Former President George W. Bush has done a tremendous amount of work to combat the spread of AIDS. Take it from activist rock star Bono, appearing on Jon Stewart’s Daily Show yesterday:
Bono had praise for others, including the Clintons and John Kerry, but “George kind of knocked it out of the park. I can tell you, and I’m actually here to tell you, that America now has 5 million people being kept alive by these drugs. That’s something everybody should know.” He went on to hope that “President Obama is going to follow through on what President Bush did.”
Bush didn’t throw his immense humanitarian achievement in your face at every opportunity. During his final State of the Union address, he invited Tanzanian beneficiaries of his AIDS-fighting initiative, a mother and daughter named Tatu and Faith Msangi, to sit in the audience. They were not brought to the attention of viewers, as a January 2008 Front Page Magazine article recalls:
After Msangi became pregnant, she went to a clinic at the Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Center and learned she was HIV-positive. Five years ago that news typically brought a death sentence in Tanzania, as it does in much of sub-Saharan Africa. But in 2003—over the carping of liberal ideologues and conservative fiscal hawks—Bush launched the most ambitious international health initiative in American history, the $15 billion Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). The Kilimanjaro clinic receives PEPFAR money and anti-retroviral drugs, and Msangi enrolled in their program to prevent HIV transmission between mother and child. In addition to her treatment, her daughter Faith, now two years old, received nevirapine immediately after her birth. Today Faith is free of HIV.
Bush’s work against AIDS simply dwarfed Bill Clinton’s, as even the most hostile media and political figures grudgingly conceded:
Even the president’s most vitriolic critics call his HIV/AIDS policy a remarkable achievement. After Bush signed PEPFAR into law, New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof ripped it as “a war on condoms.” But Kristof has since praised the initiative, and a recent Times story called it “the most lasting bi-partisan accomplishment of the Bush presidency.” Democratic Senator John Kerry labels the program “a tremendous accomplishment for the country.” And Paul Zeitz, executive director of the liberal Global AIDS Alliance, believes Bush has ignited a “philosophical revolution” in America’s commitment to combating global AIDS and poverty.
That’s no embellishment. The Times article noted, with obvious embarrassment, that before the Bush initiative hardly 50,000 AIDS patients overseas were getting U.S. assistance. The unmentionable fact is that Bill Clinton–despite a robust economy, budget surpluses, few international crises, and eight interminable years in the White House–never seriously contemplated how America might help the developing world tackle the AIDS pandemic. The plight of AIDS orphans barely appeared on the Clinton radar screen. But if Congress approves the next round of funding, HIV/AIDS treatment will reach 2.5 million people, probably prevent 12 million new infections, and help care for about 5 million orphans and at-risk children. So much for the liberal record on social justice.
Bush tripled PEPFAR funding to $48 billion before he left office. While his battle against AIDS has not been widely celebrated in the U.S., it has won him widespread respect and affection in Africa, as Jeffrey Shapiro recalls learning from the President’s brother in a Fox News op-ed:
Last year, during an interview I conducted with Neil Bush, the president’s brother told me, “I’ve been to Africa frequently over the past 3 to 4 years and have seen the kind of impact that my brother’s commitment has had. I’ve also heard first-hand from African leaders the appreciation they have for everything my brother did to help the continent. His impact on Africa — including his focus on eradicating the AIDS epidemic — is one of the lesser known achievements of George’s presidency, but will eventually be recognized as an important part of his legacy.”
Neil Bush was correct – eradicating the AIDS epidemic is finally being recognized as an important part of the president’s legacy – as it should be.
[…] The world has George W. Bush to thank for setting a national example on behalf of the United States of America. Helping others, especially those who are suffering is and always will be President Bush’s legacy.
Thursday was World AIDS Day, and it found George W. Bush and his family in Africa, continuing his good work against AIDS, as well as calling for greater awareness of cervical and breast cancer. His “bold leadership on the issue” of AIDS prevention was hailed by President Obama, who called Bush’s AIDS relief program “one of his greatest legacies” and said it has “saved hundreds of thousands and thousands and thousands of lives, spurred international action, and laid the foundation for a comprehensive global plan that will impact the lives of millions.”
Meanwhile, Amnesty International was calling on African nations to arrest former President Bush.
Why? Because of his “alleged involvement in and responsibility for torture,” by which they mean putting wet towels on the faces of three terrorist masterminds, including 9/11 architect Khalid Sheikh Mohammed.
They actually do this all the time, as a Fox News report explains, and some view it as a direct threat against Bush’s safety:
“They’ve been trying to get any country where President Bush and Vice President Cheney visit to harass them wherever they go,” former Justice Department attorney John Yoo said of Amnesty’s actions.
“It could be taken as a call for violence against the president,” said Brad Blakeman, a former Bush adviser who accompanied the former president to Africa in 2003.
Blakeman said Amnesty is just trying to “embarrass” the former president but the sustained campaign could be potentially dangerous.
“I think it’s a threat upon … the former president,” he said.
[…] “It shows how upside-down the human rights world is, where they’re going after a president who’s trying to save lives — many, many lives. Why? Because they’re upset about the treatment of three al Qaeda leaders in the war on terrorism,” Yoo, who wrote memos that provided the legal basis for the CIA’s Bush-era interrogation program, told FoxNews.com.
Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, also took Amnesty to task for its latest statement. “If Amnesty International had any intellectual honesty, it would give President Bush a medal to honor him for liberating so many oppressed Muslims in Iraq and Afghanistan and for assisting millions of AIDS victims in Africa,” King said in a statement.
Rep. King knows his appeal will fall upon deaf ears, because fanatical leftists care far more about scoring political points than “liberating” anyone, or saving lives in AIDS-ravaged African countries. Bush is the devil in their religion, and causing him trouble is far more important than defeating totalitarian evil or spreading humanitarian compassion, at least until the next Republican president makes a bid to take away his pitchfork.
Amnesty International does some good work around the world, but many of their American donors don’t realize their U.S. chapter is a Soros operation, which infuses hard-Left politics into the tax-exempt organization:
Amnesty International’s U.S. chapter is backed in part by Bush-basher George Soros’ Open Society Foundations, which under its prior name Open Society Institute has donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to the group. OSI donated $500,000 to Amnesty International USA in 2009 for an anti-torture campaign. At least another $250,000 was approved for the same project in 2008.
But while Amnesty’s focus on arresting the former president might raise questions about its tax-exempt status in the U.S., Amnesty’s critics noted the organization likely has the right to bother Bush.
Charles “Cully” Stimson, a former Defense Department official for detainee affairs who is now a senior legal fellow with the Heritage Foundation, said it appears “they have a profound disagreement about a policy issue that has legal implications, and that would fall under the (nonprofit) status.”
Amnesty International’s fanatical crusade against Bush makes them a useful tool of anti-civilization, which is keenly interested in twisting the moral codes of civilized nations into weapons against them. It’s a principle anti-civilization grand master Saul Alinsky expounded upon into his landmark Rules for Radicals. “Make the enemy live up to their own book of rules,” Alinsky wrote. “You can kill them with this, for they can no more obey their own rules than the Christian church can live up to Christianity.”
This gives barbarian enemies who follow no rules a tremendous advantage, whether the battlefield is riddled with bomb craters or protest signs. Nothing makes totalitarians happier than seeing their great enemy from the first decade of the new century hounded by a “human rights organization” that wants to grab headlines by threatening and denouncing him on World Aids Day, as he walks among the millions whose lives he has saved. The savages of the world are always cheered by the dark carnival attractions of a great civilization losing the will and moral strength to defend itself.