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    oh yeah, and give me 50 beeellion dollars..., 2008-02-20 13:03:11 | Main | mission accomplished..., 2008-02-27 09:07:57

    if ignorance were bliss then we've been spreading the joy a bit too generously:

    Thoreau is skeptical about Bush's "mission of mercy" to Africa, correctly seeing it as a mission to expand AFRICOM. The latest news on that unrighteous promotion of US military dominance is that Bush called plans for new bases in Africa "baloney" a few days after it was reported that all but one African nation had refused to host them.

    So it goes. "George Bush has indeed done things that could be seen as humanitarian in Africa", and while this is very true - eliciting restrained praise from even the likes of Paul Farmer - it's also true that the humanitarian program - the President's Emergency Plan For AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) - is probably one of the most obviously idiotic welfare expenditures implemented in human history. The moderately generous amounts of money poured into PEPFAR is largely wasted on protectionist rents and disease-spreading education programs.

    The drug funding comes attached with requirements for the FDA to manage "drug safety" in Africa, to the great benefit of US pharmaceuticals and a handful of preferred foreign clients. Bush's proposals for a significant increase in the drug aid budget only came along after poor countries won the "right" in 2001 to buy cheap generics under TRIPS if they declared a national AIDS emergency. So the administration turned to aid-conditionalities to circumvent an efficient life-saving violation of free-trade fundamentalist-approved global patent protectionism.

    Then there's the widely criticized one-third earmark for abstinence programs, a number that in actuality is closer to two thirds. In 2005 53% and in 2006 56% of the sex ed funding went to abstinence-only programs. That's close to $80 million a year we're spending on the prevention of sex education. A wise investment, not doubt ensuring long term market growth for taxpayer provided FDA-approved pharmaceuticals.


:: posted by buermann @ 2008-02-23 12:39:05 CST | link





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