Wednesday, January 07, 2009

George Dubya makes his dad look less bad...

Quote of the Day:

...George W. Bush has done his father a great service by making him look like a greater President than he probably was.
Jon Snow, Channel 4 News, commenting on today's historic power lunch at the White House, the first such gathering of all living Presidents of the United States for a generation. It was the idea of President-Elect Barack Obama, hosted by Dubya and also attended by President George Bush senior, President Bill Clinton and President Jimmy Carter.

Four white men. One black man. No women.


Anonymous said...

People should never forget that if it was not for the great George W Sadam would still be in power, Iraq would still be in limbo as would have Aids research.

God Blees the man.

fairdealphil said...

is that why three out of four Americans are glad to see the back of him - not to mention most of the rest of the world...?

fairdealphil said...

sorry, forgot to add the link to the poll which shows three out of four Americans glad Bush is finished...

Anonymous said...

four years of socialist tax ans spender Obama and thinks will quickly change.

Anonymous said...

In these last days of George W Bush's Presidency I hope to record some of his real achievements.

First of all: International development.

The praise for George W Bush's record on international development has come from surprising and independent sources:

“Those who care about Africa tend to think that the appropriate attitude toward President Bush is a medley of fury and contempt.But the fact is that Mr. Bush has done much more for Africa than Bill Clinton ever did, increasing the money actually spent for aid there by two-thirds so far, and setting in motion an eventual tripling of aid for Africa.” - Nicholas Kristof, left-wing New York Times columnist

"[The President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (Pepfar)] is the largest commitment ever made by any nation for a global health activity that’s dedicated to a single disease. I mean, that’s just not disputable. It has a prevention component, a treatment component, and a care component, but treatment is the centerpiece. The last number I’ve seen is that this initiative has led to treatment of more than 1.7 million people, most of them in Africa. Now, that’s not all the people who need treatment, but it’s a huge amount. Pepfar at least tripled our aid flow to Africa—I’m talking about total aid flow." - Dr Michael Merson, an international AIDS researcher, who evaluated President Bush's $15bn AIDS relief programme, PEPFAR.

Travelling in Rwanda, Mike Gerson - former Bush speechwriter - noted that the programme had transformed access to health treatment. In 2003 just 4% of Rwandans in need of AIDS drugs were receiving them. That figure was 92% by 2007.

And basic medical care hasn't just been focused on AIDS. Twenty-five million Africans across fifteen nations have benefited from the White House's Malaria Initiative. Gerson again: "With an infusion of bed nets and effective drugs, [Rwanda's] child malaria deaths were cut by two-thirds in less than two year." Fifteen countries have been targeted overall.

America now provides more than half of the world's food aid.

President Bush hasn't just spent a lot more money (although America's overseas private giving dwarves governmental giving (the reverse of Britain)) he has also ensured it is spent a lot better. Under the Millennium Challenge Account developing nations agree to reforms including on democracy and anti-corruption measures in return for US aid.

But enough statistics. Here's a real story of one person helped by PEPFAR:

"John Robert has a family of two children; he has HIV/AIDS. This disease ravaged his body. His weight dropped to 99 pounds. He developed tuberculosis and other health problems. He and his family felt certain that he would die. Then John Robert began receiving antiretroviral treatment through PEPFAR in Uganda. The treatment restored his strength. He returned to the classroom and he continued being a dad. John Robert is earning his bachelor's degree in education. He's volunteering to help other people."

Conservatives are wrong to crudely oppose all international development spending. We must simply insist that it is effective, that it supports wider progress within developing countries and that it takes place alongside more important changes such as trade liberalisation.