web analytics
December 22, 2014 / 30 Kislev, 5775
 
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post
8000 meals Celebrate Eight Days of Chanukah – With 8,000 Free Meals Daily to Israel’s Poor

Join Meir Panim’s campaign to “light up” Chanukah for families in need.



Home » InDepth » Op-Eds »

The President Who Saved A Million African Lives – Hint: It Isn’t Obama


What if an American president, on his own initiative, under no demands from staff or from supporters or opponents, set out to spend an unprecedented amount of money on AIDS in Africa, literally billions of dollars, at a time when the nation could not afford it, citing his faith as a primary motivation and, ultimately, saved more than a million lives?

Wouldn’t the story be front-page news, especially in top liberal newspapers? Wouldn’t it lead on CNN, MSNBC, and the “CBS Evening News?” Might statues be erected to the man in the nation’s more “progressive” cities?

What if that president were George W. Bush?

I pose these uncomfortable questions for two reasons: 1) Bush did precisely that regarding the African AIDS tragedy; and 2) a study claims that Bush’s remarkable action has indeed saved many precious lives.

As someone who has closely followed Bush’s humanitarian gesture from the outset, I’m not surprised that the former president still does not receive the accolades he deserves – including even from conservative supporters – for this generous act.

Bush himself realizes the lack of gratitude and media attention. I personally witnessed it recently, on June 17, when I was in attendance for one of his first post-presidential speeches, in Erie, Pa. There, too, he mentioned the AIDS initiative – even adding that one of his daughters is in Africa today, working on the epidemic – and, there again, it received no press coverage whatsoever.

It all began in January 2003, during the State of the Union address. In a completely unexpected announcement, Bush asked Congress for $15 billion for AIDS in Africa – drugs, treatment and prevention.

America soon learned this was not the typical State of the Union throwaway line: To show his seriousness, Bush followed on April 29 with a press conference in the East Room, where he exhorted Congress to “act quickly” on his “emergency plan.”

Accompanied by the secretary of state, he prodded America’s wealthy allies to join this “urgent work,” this “great effort.” He explained that AIDS was a “dignity of life” issue and “tragedy” that was the “responsibility of every nation.” This was a “moral imperative,” with time “not on our side.”

Bush then shocked the press by pointing to an unusual personal motivation, citing the parable of the Good Samaritan: “[T]his cause is rooted in the simplest of moral duties,” he told journalists. “When we see this kind of preventable suffering … we must act. When we see the wounded traveler on the road to Jericho, we will not, America will not, pass to the other side of the road.”

With amazing quickness, just four weeks later, Bush inked a $15-billion plan and challenged Europe to match the U.S. commitment without delay.

How did the plan work? In April, a major study was released by researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine, published in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine. According to the study, the first to evaluate the outcomes of the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), the Bush initiative has cut the death toll from HIV/AIDS by more than 10 percent in targeted African countries from 2003 to 2007.

“It has averted deaths – a lot of deaths,” said Dr. Eran Bendavid, one of the researchers. “It is working. It’s reducing the death toll from HIV. People who are not dying may be able to work and support their families and their local economy.” Co-researcher, Dr. Peter Piot, says PEPFAR “is changing the course of the AIDS epidemic.”

The study – still having received virtually no press attention several months after its release – estimates that the Bush relief plan has saved more than 1 million African lives.

Those are the facts. What about opinion, particularly public opinion?

That brings me back to my initial point. If a Democratic president had done this, he would be feted as both a national hero and international hero on his way to a ceremony with the Nobel Committee. George W. Bush, however, is getting very little credit – or, at least, no fanfare.

Again, I’m not surprised. I first wrote about the Bush AIDS initiative in a 2004 book, followed by several articles, including an op-ed in the San Francisco Chronicle, plus many discussions on radio and television talk shows.

About the Author:


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “The President Who Saved A Million African Lives – Hint: It Isn’t Obama

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Eleven people were injured by a motorist who plowed into a crowd in southern France. The driver yelled "Allahu Akbar" as he attacked. Dec. 21, 2014
French Driver Shouting “Allahu Akbar” Plows into Crowd
Latest Indepth Stories
Knesset and Menorah

Israel projects global material illumination not always the light of “morality” meant by the Navi

President Shimon Peres receives the Congrssional Gold Medal.

“Mr. Prime Minister, declare a unilateral ceasefire! Remember, Blessed is the peacemaker!”

KidSport-Everybody-Is-A-Winner1

“D-e-t-e-r-m-i-n-a-t-i-o-n!”

This masked "soldier" carrying a machine-gun is not part of a terrorist organization, according to the European Court of Justice.

Hamas is continuing to prepare its next war against Israel instead of improving conditions in Gaza

If the UN Grants national recognition to Palestine, why stop there? Tibet, Chechnya, Basque…

The decision to not publicly light the Menorah in Sydney, epitomizes the eternal dilemma of Judaism and Jews in the Diaspora.

Am Yisrael is one family, filled with excruciating pain&sorrow for losing the 4 kedoshim of Har Nof

What is its message of the dreidel?” The complexity and hidden nature of history and miracles.

Police play down Arab terrorism as mere “violence” until the truth can no longer be hidden.

The 7 branches of the menorah represent the 7 pillars of secular wisdom, knowledge, and science.

Obama obtained NO verifiable commitments from Cuba it would desist from acts prejudicial to the US

No one would deny that the program subjected detainees to less than pleasant treatment, but the salient point is, for what purpose?

For the past six years President Obama has consistently deplored all Palestinian efforts to end-run negotiations in search of a UN-imposed agreement on Israel.

It’s not an admiration. It is simply a kind of journalist fascination. It stands out, it’s different from more traditional Orthodoxy.

More Articles from Dr. Paul Kengor

In the 1980s, I was an unrefined adolescent from blue-collar Butler, Pennsylvania. I knew nothing and cared nothing about politics. I had no idea if I was a conservative or a liberal, Democrat or Republican, or much of anything else.

“In Bin Laden Announcement, Echoes of 2007 Obama Speech,” declared the headline in The New York Times.

It’s difficult to find a newspaper that has demonstrated a worse pro-Obama and anti-Bush bias than The New York Times, especially when dealing with the War on Terror.

Former president Jimmy Carter told NBC News last week that his work at home and abroad has been “superior” to other presidents.

“I feel that my role as a former president is probably superior to that of other presidents,” Carter assessed. “Primarily because of [my] activism and the injection of working at the Carter Center and in international affairs, and, to some degree, domestic affairs.”

The huge “9/12” protest in Washington was the latest expression of discontent over President Obama’s leftward policy thrust. The discord is evident from the Tea Party movement to the chaotic town halls on health care reform.

What if an American president, on his own initiative, under no demands from staff or from supporters or opponents, set out to spend an unprecedented amount of money on AIDS in Africa, literally billions of dollars, at a time when the nation could not afford it, citing his faith as a primary motivation and, ultimately, saved more than a million lives?

Every American, obviously, has heard of Ronald Reagan, and Reagan historians have heard of Bill Clark. Clark was Reagan’s close aide, who, more than any other, laid the foundation for Cold War victory.

What’s the state of the republic one month into the Obama presidency? It’s a state of deep confusion. Here are some polls to ponder. Brace yourself.

Five years ago, George W. Bush finished the last good year of his presidency.

Things were looking up. The Democratic front-runners seeking their party’s presidential nomination lauded the historic accomplishments in Iraq, particularly Saddam Hussein’s capture.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/the-president-who-saved-a-million-african-lives-hint-it-isnt-obama/2009/09/09/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: