A unique and prestigious residential project in now being built in Mekor Haim Street in Jerusalem.
I was struck by two reactions, from the left and the right:
From the left, I got incensed e-mails from Bush-hating elements refusing to concede that Bush did what he did. They said the craziest things, insisting not a dime had been spent and that the program effectively did not even exist. They could not find it within their power to grant that Bush could do something so kind, which they should naturally embrace.
I’ve been most disappointed by my fellow Christians in the “social justice” wing – Catholics and Protestants alike – who have been deafeningly silent on a campaign that ought to serve as a poster child for precisely what they advocate.
To be fair, some have stepped up to thank Bush, including no less than Bill Clinton, as well as musician-activist Bob Geldof. But they are the exception. (In a piece for Time magazine, Geldof wrote about the moment he personally asked Bush about the lack of awareness of the AIDS initiative: “Why doesn’t America know about this?” Bush answered: “I tried to tell them. But the press weren’t much interested.”)
From the right, I still get angry e-mails explaining that what Bush did for Africans is not a “core function” of government, certainly not enumerated anywhere in the U.S. Constitution. Fiscal conservatives asserted that America could not afford this huge expenditure at a time of post-9/11 recession, burgeoning budget deficits, on the heels of a massive operation in Afghanistan, and as military spending was about to go through the roof as U.S. troops headed for Baghdad.
Technically, or perhaps fiscally, much of this is true.
Yet, to be sure, George W. Bush understood the financial cost – and said so explicitly. Nonetheless, he judged that only America could carry out this “act of compassion” at that critical juncture. He also judged, apparently, that only he, as a Western leader, had the will to do this.
So, he did it. He absorbed the cost to try to save lives.
Well, we now know that the policy has worked – just as, yes, we know it contributed to a record deficit. Still, it is rare when history can so directly, indisputably credit a president for a specific, undeniable policy achievement – a genuinely generous one that clearly emerged from his personal doing, from his heart. Millions of lives have been spared or bettered due to Bush’s intervention.
But while the policy helped, it never did anything to help George W. Bush’s terrible disapproval rating – and still will not, given the lack of attention paid to it.
Well, George W. Bush, the much-ridiculed man of faith – ridiculed often because of his faith – always said he never expected rewards in this lifetime. Here’s one that apparently will need to wait.
About the Author:
If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.
Comments are closed.
At Brandeis, much of what counts as Western civilization got cold feet and won’t stand with Hirsi Ali.
But the lesson from this meditation is that hidden behind the anti-semitic act is the greatest light.
As support of their messianic dream, Halevi and Antepli approve dishonoring Hirsi Ali as a ‘renegade.’
If itis a mitzva to eat matza all Pesach, then why is there no berakha attached to it?
When we are united with unconditional love, no stone will be raised against us by our enemies.
The reporter simply reports the news, but it is greater to be inspired to better the situation.
The Big Bang theory marked the scientific community’s first sense of the universe having a beginning.
Freeing convicted murderers returns the status of Jewish existence to something less than sanctified.
“The bigger they are the harder they fall” describes what God had in mind for Olmert.
We, soldiers of the IDF, who stand guard over the people and the land, fulfill the hopes of the millions of Jewish people across the generations who sought freedom.
How much is the human mind able to grasp of the Divine?
Jews have brought the baggage of the galut (exile) mentality to the modern state of Israel.
The Haggadah is an instruction manual on how to survive as strangers in strange lands.
It’s finally happened. New York Times public editor Margaret Sullivan reported on her blog that “many readers…wrote to object to an [April 2] article…on the breakdown in peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians,” claiming “[they] found the headline misleading and the article itself lacking in context.” Ms. Sullivan provided one such letter, quoted the […]
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: