05 January 2008

Bush and Pepfar

In Global Battle on AIDS, Bush Creates Legacy

Nearly five years later, the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief — Pepfar, for short — may be the most lasting bipartisan accomplishment of the Bush presidency.

I don't know about that. This god damn war in Iraq had more support from congressional Democrats than any of them are willing to admit. Lets say that it may be the most lasting peaceful accomplishment of the Bush presidency. But even the peaceful things that this president has managed to do have not been unmarred by his illogical ideological roots.

Critics, including Mr. Kerry, are particularly incensed by the requirement that one-third of the prevention funds be spent teaching abstinence, despite a lack of scientific consensus that such programs reduce the spread of H.I.V.

When a Ugandan AIDS activist, Beatrice Were, denounced the abstinence-only approach at an international AIDS conference last year, she received a standing ovation. Paul Zeitz, executive director of the Global AIDS Alliance, an advocacy group here in Washington, says the Bush program has been hamstrung by “ideologically driven policies.”

Think about how much could have been done with that third that had to be spent on abstinence. The abstinence funding is only in there because the Christian right, like so many other fundamentalist groups, is anti-sex. And that Christian right is the base of Bush's popular support. There is no proof that abstinence education helps decrease premarital or extramarital sex, not here in the US among teens or else where to stop the spread of AIDS.

I will, grudgingly give Bush some props for sending money to help AIDS patients around the world. Some money, even money tied to the stupid abstinence programs, is better than none.

It wont make up for the god damn war though. And it wont make up for torture, trashing civil liberties, putting conservative judges on the SCOTUS, letting New Orleans drown and all the other shit he's pulled. Wont even come close.

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