Meir Panim implements programs that serve Israel’s neediest populations with respect and dignity. Meir Panim also coordinated care packages for families in the South during the Gaza War.
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.
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Fatah: Hamas stole relief aid for Gaza and distributed it amongst its followers in mosques.
Can teenagers seriously be expected to behave properly when they are surrounded by so much suggestive material? Is it fair to expose them (and ourselves) to so much temptation and then tell them, “Just say no”?
Washington remains ignorant of the need to dismantle alliances with various Muslim countries.
Abbas again used the UN to attack Israel, distort history, and undermine prospects for peace.
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Last week the president announced a four-point plan. Unfortunately, there’s little buy-in from our European and Middle Eastern allies. Here’s my own four-point plan that may be more palatable to our allies.
Rosh Hashanah has an obvious connection to God’s Kingship. We constantly refer to Him during the Asseres Yemei Teshuvah as Melech/King. The nusach of the tefillah, referring to Rosh Hashanah as “a remembrance of the first day” (of Creation), implies a certain dimension of divine kingship operating at the time of Creation and replicated every […]
Yes, God judges, but His judgment is that of a loving father who longs for his child’s quick return.
Anti-Semitism has returned to the mainstream of European society and Israel has become its focus.
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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.
Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/the-president-who-saved-a-million-african-lives-hint-it-isnt-obama/2009/09/09/
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