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Bob Geldof speaks on the Press and President Bush.

February 20, 2008

Bob Geldof in Rwanda gives Bush his props

Mr. Geldof is an Irish rock and roll singer and longtime social activist who has helped, along with U2 rocker Bono, raise awareness about need in Africa. His most well known achievement is organizing the Live Aid concert in 1985, which raised money for debt relief for poor African countries.

But Mr. Geldof has remained closely engaged with African affairs since then, and he spoke off the cuff to reporters today who were waiting for a press conference with Mr. Bush and Rwandan President Paul Kagame.

Mr. Geldof praised Mr. Bush for his work in delivering billions to fight disease and poverty in Africa, and blasted the U.S. press for ignoring the achievement.

The U.S. press ignoring positive news? Shocking, isn’t it?

“This is the triumph of American policy really,” he said. “It was probably unexpected of the man. It was expected of the nation, but not of the man, but both rose to the occasion.”

“What’s in it for [Mr. Bush]? Absolutely nothing,” Mr. Geldof said.

Mr. Geldof said that the president has failed “to articulate this to Americans” but said he is also “pissed off” at the press for their failure to report on this good news story.

Now, while the media has in fact finally started to report on these stories, Geldof does have a point. The media just can’t help but talk about the negative in every story the do about the President. Take a look at a few excerpts from this Reuters story on Bush’s current visit to Africa (the negatives start in the headline):

Unpopular at home, Bush basks in African praise

Unpopular at home and in much of the world during the last year of his presidency …

Although around 2,000 Muslim demonstrators protested against Bush on the eve of his visit …

Back home, Bush is suffering some of the lowest approval ratings in his seven-year tenure and has been buffeted by criticism of his handling of wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the ailing economy …

Although many Africans, especially Muslims, share negative perceptions of Bush’s foreign policy with other parts of the world …

Now that the got all that out of the way, they finally get to the meat of the story down towards the bottom of the article:

Bush has spent more money on aid to Africa than his predecessor, Bill Clinton, and is popular for his personal programs to fight AIDS and malaria and to help hospitals and schools.

Bush has stressed new-style partnerships with Africa based on trade and investment and not purely on aid handouts.

His Millennium Challenge Corp. rewards countries that continue to satisfy criteria for democratic governance, anti-corruption and free-market economic policies.

Bush signed the largest such deal, for $698 million, with Kikwete on Sunday.

Because of the U.S. anti-malaria program, 5 percent of patients tested positive for the disease on the offshore islands of Zanzibar in 2007 compared to 40 percent three years earlier, the Tanzanian leader said.

Bush’s legacy in Africa would be saving the lives of hundreds of thousands of mothers and children who would otherwise have died from malaria or AIDS and enabling millions of people to get an education, he said.

Yet Bill Clinton gets the mantle of ‘America’s First Black President’ while others spout off about how ‘George Bush doesn’t care about black people.’

Yeah… that makes sense.

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From → Politics

4 Comments
  1. Before any Republican starts out with “How wonderful it is that president Bush gave billions to fight AIDS in Africa, let us remember that if China or Japan or others didn’t lend us the billions, there wouldn’t be any billions to donate to Africa. Ergo China, Japan et al, are to be thanked for the billions to Africa. And we’ll have the next one hundred years to have to pay those folks back for being so kind to George. Thanks Busheney.

  2. Thanks for the comment and for pretty much reinforcing the point of this post. Anything bad = Bush’s Fault. Anything good = someone else.

    By the way, should we also thank China/Japan/Others for the Billions that our Goverment pours into useless pork projects?

  3. Woof permalink

    Oh, geez. Not again. Lacking good arguments, you guys already are back on the personal-attack kick. Can’t you grow up? Ads on your site for “Obama Exposed.” What crap. All you’re exposing is your juvenile inability at rational argument, your failure to respect people who disagree with you (the kind of good manners you should have learned at home, if not by reading Jefferson and Franklin), and your propensity for innuendo and insinuation.

  4. You sure you commented on the right site there chief? Because I’m looking around and… nope, no ads here. What exactly are you talking about?

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