Not fit for the MSM

The Independent - But there is another, perhaps more important, reason for President Bush's week-long visit to Africa: people actually like him here. A recent report from the Pew Global Attitudes Project found that "the US image is much stronger in Africa than in other regions of the world". At least 80 per cent of respondents in Ghana, Kenya and Cote d'Ivoire were favourable to the US. In all other sub-Saharan African countries polled, there were more "favourables" than "non-favourables". Part of the reason for that support is money. Lots of it. When President Bush came to power in 2001, the US spent $1.4bn a year on humanitarian and development aid in Africa. By 2006, the figure had quadrupled to $5.6bn a year.

And it is likely to get bigger. The centrepiece of Mr Bush's aid to Africa is the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (Pepfar), a five-year, $15bn Aids prevention and treatment programme launched in 2003. His most recent budget proposes doubling the funding to $30bn over the next five years. Taken alongside US funding for malaria prevention, plus the Millennium Challenge Accounts, which provide funding for countries with strong governance records, Mr Bush has done more for Africa than any other US president, according to Joel Barkan, a senior associate at the Washington-based Centre for Strategic and International Studies.
For all the work that Bill Clinton has done on Aids prevention through his charitable foundation since he left office, he took little interest in Africa during his presidency. His one and only visit was in 1998, when he apologised for his government’s inaction during the Rwandan genocide. It was also on Mr Clinton's watch that US troops pulled out of Somalia following the Black Hawk Down incident in 1993, leaving the country in the midst of a deadly security vacuum that exists to this day.
For President Bush, this is his second visit – and the fifth for his wife, Laura. Such is the indifference with which the White House has traditionally viewed Africa that Mr Bush is the first incumbent ever to visit the continent more than once. Before Mr Clinton's trip the last US President to step foot on African soil was Franklin D Roosevelt in Casablanca, where he met Winston Churchill during the Second World War. Hat tip Dinah Lord.
I'm surprised at that Bush has done so much, but not surprised that we're never told any of this, can't have anyone thinking that George Bush is anything but a evil, terrorist, war monger can we. So Bush has done much more for Africa than Clinton eh, no surprises there either, this just confirms what most of us suspect about leftists, they are all talk and wiffle-waffle, it is much more important for leftists to look like they're doing good but not actually do any good. And if you think Bush is spending a bit too much, take note of Barack Hussein Obama's Global Poverty Tax, that's $845 billion more over a 13 year period that the American taxpayer will have to dig deep for.

Speaking of leftists looking like they're doing good, our own PM Kevin Rudd last week turned on the water-works with his 'sorry' and hold hands. It's a bit early to draw conclusions but I suspect that his grand plans and fancy diagrams about saving Aborigines will remain just that. And I suspect years from now, there won't be many reports of failures because much of the media are smitten by the fellow and they too, are only interested in those that look like they're doing a lot but are not actually doing anything. Look at our own John Howard, he didn't do much talking, but did actually take some action and so got more punishment, go figure.
The Australian - It's rarely acknowledged but no government gave more practical help to Aboriginal people than John Howard's. Spending on Aboriginal health programs quadrupled in the decade from 1996. Aboriginal use of other health programs substantially increased. During the term of the Howard government, there was a three-year increase in indigenous life expectancy in the Northern Territory. It was a government that wanted to make a difference rather than strike a pose. Unfortunately, many people thought the former government had a good head but a hard heart.

Its refusal to say sorry meant that Howard never received the credit he deserved for groundbreaking policies such as the intervention in Northern Territory Aboriginal townships. The Rudd Government is starting to water down the intervention by restoring the permit system, which protects incompetence and hides injustice. The "party that refuses to say sorry" would have little credibility to attack the Government when it relaxes alcohol bans, withdraws police, ends the welfare quarantine, makes excuses for truancy and prevents private land ownership, as it almost inevitably will.
Well, I guess we'll just have to wait and see what the Rudd government will actually do, it's too early to draw any conclusions, but judging by the item below, it's not off to a flash start.
SMH - The 10-year-old Croc Festival involved 18,000 students from more than 400 schools in seven three-day festivals throughout remote and regional Australia last year, including Kempsey and Dubbo. The festival also featured health and education programs run by indigenous sports stars such as Nova Peris. But staff had been laid off and the festivals made impossible because of funding delays and a $700,000 cut to its budget from the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations, Steve Mark, a director of Indigenous Festivals Australia, said. The Opposition spokeswoman for indigenous affairs, Dr Sharman Stone, said the Government was breathtaking in its hypocrisy. "Croc Fests brought wonder and delight to over 100,000 indigenous children [in a decade] … Students' self-esteem and skills were built as they also heard the message about great careers, drug and alcohol abuse and the importance of good nutrition."
But he said 'sorry' so it'll have to be OK then, they'll just have to suck eggs, perhaps the message that was missed on 'sorry' day was that he was also saying 'sorry' for things yet to come.

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