US military propaganda about US Africa Command

Click on to see 30 Minute news program highlighting the creation of the US military's newest command, US Africa Command.

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Propaganda? I watched this and heard about this. This seems like a great idea that George Bush has not only followed through with, but has had great success with.

Am i missing something?
Well increasing US domination of the world is not a great idea.
US domination? Okay, i must have missed that. As far as what I have seen, it seemed that Bush is the only President to actually make that big of an impact in Africa as far as aids, and helping Africa.

I mean I have seen footage of people in Africa crying because of what he has done. I understand many people were not happy with decisions he has made, but I think most people are very happy with what he tried to do.
The truth about George Bush's anti-AIDS push

The President is returning a favour from the big US drug companies, writes Kenneth Davidson.

Missing from the list of rewards was the $US15 billion AIDS relief program for Africa, which seems to have received a good press, even from Bush's traditional opponents.

The proposal caught everyone by surprise. According to the Planned Parent Federation of America, on his first day in office, Bush restored the Reagan-era "global gag rule" on international family planning assistance.

In May 2002, Bush Administration representatives at the UN Children's Summit opposed the use of condoms for HIV/AIDS prevention.

In July, Bush withheld from the UN Population Fund $US34 million in funding for birth control, maternal and child care and HIV/AIDS prevention. In August, he withheld more than $US200 million in funding programs to support women and tackle HIV/AIDS in Afghanistan.

Last month, the US killed a deal agreed to by 143 World Trade Organisation members to allow developing countries without the ability to produce cheaper generic drugs for HIV/AIDS and other diseases to import generic drugs at lower prices from countries such as India, rather than the more expensive patented drugs from the US and Europe.

The US pharmaceutical manufacturing industry is one of the top 10 industry contributors to federal US political campaigns. Prescription drugs cost twice as much in the US as in other developed countries, and the industry makes three times the profit of other industries.

The question is, will the money proposed for the AIDS relief program benefit Africa by being used to buy the drugs from the cheapest source - or, as is more likely, will the money be used to subsidise production by the American pharmaceutical manufacturers, to protect their markets in developing countries?

Bush could do far more to minimise the AIDS epidemic now sweeping the Third World by reversing the infamous "global gag rule", which promotes needless deaths by discouraging safe sex, and unwanted pregnancies, which lead to unsafe abortions.

The International Planned Parenthood Federation calls the policy "Bush's secret war" and says his actions "are a testament to the Bush Administration's war against women and his overall contempt for their fundamental civil and human rights".

Bush's war against women has regional as well as global security implications, implications that the Clinton administration recognised.

At a UN Population Fund meeting in Auckland last week, the New Zealand Health Minister said 40 per cent of the Pacific Islands' contraceptives previously came from donors such as the fund, but that by 2000, partly because of the success of the safe-sex awareness programs, donors met only 27 per cent of the region's estimated needs.

US bullying in international forums and its effort to gut international reproductive health programs was in evidence yet again at the UN Asian and Pacific Regional Population Conference, held last December in Bangkok (and at which the US was represented because of its ownership of the island of Guam).

According to Dr Martha Campbell from the Berkeley School of Public Health, "the Bush delegation was young, pro-life, bright, well trained, legally savvy, deceptive and threatening . . . In the corridor we witnessed the US delegation threatening at least one high-level Asian delegate with his country's loss of US foreign aid and the loss of his own career".

In the wash-up, every country represented at the meeting defied the US, but all their time was taken up, according to Campbell, in "preventing damage by a 500-pound gorilla from Guam".

The US delegation demanded the deletion of a recommendation for "consistent condom use" to fight AIDS, even though a Berkeley study found condom distribution to be astonishingly cost-effective, at $US3.50 a year of life saved. In contrast, antiretroviral therapy costs more than $US1000.

This expensive option is obviously more acceptable to the religious fundamentalists who give the Bush Administration its moral dimension, and to the pharmaceutical manufacturers who want an even bigger return on their political investment in Washington.

Kenneth Davidson is a staff columnist.


‎"Why should there be hunger and deprivation in any land, in any city, at any table, when man has the resources and the scientific know-how to provide all mankind with the basic necessities of life?"
~Martin Luther King, Jr.



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