Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Praising Bush

Saturday must be the NY Times's lightest circulation day. Why do I think that? Because last Saturday the Times published an article that was actually positive about one aspect of President Bush's foreign policy.
So far, roughly 1.4 million AIDS patients have received lifesaving medicine paid for with American dollars, up from 50,000 before the initiative. Even Mr. Bush's most ardent foes, among them Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts, his 2004 Democratic challenger, find it difficult to argue with the numbers.

"It's a good thing that he wanted to spend the money," said Mr. Kerry, an early proponent of legislation similar to the plan Mr. Bush adopted. "I think it represents a tremendous accomplishment for the country."
And, John Kerry and the Times maybe grudging in their praise, but not so others.
"I think he's done an incredible job, his administration, on AIDS. And 250,000 Africans are on anti-viral drugs. They literally owe their lives to America. In one year that's been done." Who made this radically pro-American claim? No doubt it was a Bush administration stooge, right? Wrong. These are the words of Bono, the Irish rock star and humanitarian activist. And here's what fellow rocker-activist Bob Geldof has to say: " … the Bush administration is the most radical — in a positive sense — in its approach to Africa since Kennedy."
At Mass a few weeks ago I heard a woman who had been a lay missionary in Africa praising President Bush's efforts in Zambia. Is there any hope that this part of the Bush story might also find its way into the "accepted view" of people here in Ireland?

Results matter, not more money. It was something I expected from the Bush Administration in all spheres, but at least it seems to have paid off in Africa. Once you have the program right, then up the aid, but don't just throw money at a problem to follow the same failed path.