Live Aid 2003
May 28, 2003 4:35 AM   Subscribe

"Clinton was a good guy, but he did fuck all" or so says Bob Geldof when it comes to Clinton getting aid to Africa. And he's just as critical about the EU as well ("The EU have been pathetic and appalling, and I thought we had dealt with that 20 years ago when the electorate of our countries said never again...") pointing out their tiny contribution to the recent aid shipments to Ethiopia. But what about the Bush government you ask? "You'll think I'm off my trolley when I say this, but the Bush administration is the most radical -- in a positive sense -- in its approach to Africa since Kennedy."
posted by PenDevil (19 comments total)

 
By refusing to send condoms to Africa, you mean?
posted by twine42 at 4:40 AM on May 28, 2003


twine42: How would condoms help avert the famine that threatens 15 million people? The US and the UK are shipping the bulk of the food to Africa, while the EU seems to be sitting on it's behind.

If you're referring to the Bush administration's preference to promote abstinence campaigns, perhaps they got the idea from Uganda, where HIV infections rates have dropped from 30 to 5 percent since the Ugandan government started a massive abstinence campaign.

And anyway USAid still does distribute condoms to Africa (from the same link, "Four months ago, USAid announced it would provide Tanzania with 6.8 million condoms to alleviate a shortage. "Ensuring a consistent supply of condoms is a top priority of all stakeholders working in family planning and HIV/Aids prevention," USAID's director for Tanzania, James Kirkland, said at the time.").
posted by PenDevil at 5:06 AM on May 28, 2003


This is the Irish musician's first visit to Ethiopia since the 1985 Live Aid concert that raised $60-million for famine victims.

Clearly unaccustomed to the local heat, today's featured asshat is blinded by GM dumping and abstinence-based HIV campaigns with inflated budgets. Instead of asking for aid focused on solving the problems at hand, he claims that it is much more convenient to use those problems as oil to push agendas through. Then again, it would be asking too much from Mr. Geldolf to look *beyond* appearances, as his follow-up skills are clearly lacking (and I'm not the first one to bring this up, Mr. Loudmouth).

What I would like to ask him is how does he earn a living these days - is he still sucking it off "Bloody Sunday" decades after the band dissappeared?

Incidentally, the Clinton admin did worse that fuck-all. For a while, the actually sided with big pharma in their lobbying to stop the SA government to use cheap generics to fight AIDS. They only changed course after a bunch of nasty activists' appearances at Gore's speeches. But that is another story ...

posted by magullo at 5:17 AM on May 28, 2003


Second in today's series of maybe-Bush-is-doing-something-right links: The Bush administration has prepared a list of sanctions against Israel should it refuse to comply with a plan for a Palestinian state by the end of the year.
"It's hard to overestimate the anger within the administration toward Israel regarding the delays in the roadmap," a congressional source close to the administration said. "The White House doesn't regard the roadmap merely as foreign policy. It sees the roadmap as a major element toward the reelection of the president."
Maybe, just maybe, there's a positive side to Bush's "if you're not with us, you're against us" attitude.
posted by Bletch at 5:36 AM on May 28, 2003


Geldof did fuck all for Africa himself, donating the bulk of the 'LiveAid' fund to the 'communist-terror' government of Ethiopia in 1985 served to exascerbate the problems for the 'rebels', who were suffering already. Essentially, the money reaised by the Live Aid and Band Aid campaigns was wasted AFAIK. I think he also added to the problem by (maybe inadvertantly) by contributing to the feeling that the starving in Africa could be (have been) fed by donations from the general public in the minority world. He is now better informed:
"However, Bob is also campaigning to reform the international trade rules where the US administration remains a major impediment to reform. These trade rules disadvantage poor countries by much larger amounts than the US will ever offer in aid."
One of the reasons for the present famine in Ethiopia is:
'Trade rules. Coffee makes up 60% of the country’s exports and the last three years have seen prices plummet to a thirty year low. As a result of this collapse the country is losing around twice as much as it gained in debt relief. The coffee crisis has meant that many coffee farmers have been much more vulnerable and the government do not have the money to deal with this crisis. '
The EU doesn't seem to be helping matters, with it's slow reaction times to such disasters.
PenDevil, abstinence is only a part of the success of the Ugandan AIDS campaign (as is stressed in your link).
Jonathon Dimbleby:
'Among the first to recognise the scale of the emergency, Museveni's government long ago brought in a sustained programme of awareness and education to arrest the spread of the virus. The official statistics, compiled by UNAIDS , suggest that over the last decade this campaign has reduced the prevalence of the disease from 15% to 8%'
Some perspective:
'The “Dr. Edward Green” that is mentioned in the report as the “expert” who spoke on how condoms don’t work, while a credentialed HIV resource at Harvard, wasn’t speaking as a result of any studies he conducted, but rather at a “CHRISTIAN CONNECTIONS FOR INTERNATIONAL HEALTH MESSAGE” conference about his own views on the subject. The “paper” that he presented wasn’t from a peer-reviewed study, but rather his own thoughts – which is rather meaningless as definitive research goes.'

magullo - maybe you mean 'I don't like Mondays'?
posted by asok at 5:39 AM on May 28, 2003


That's right, asok. All of it.
posted by magullo at 5:59 AM on May 28, 2003


Okay, next time we sent asok to the UN instead of Bono.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 7:10 AM on May 28, 2003


Clearly, this ought to hairlip the holy fuck out of certain quarters, who will now feel free to engage in their own ad hominem attacks against Geldorf. Of course, that's OK for them...
posted by Pressed Rat at 7:40 AM on May 28, 2003


How would condoms help avert the famine that threatens 15 million people?

There would certainly be a lot fewer little mouths to feed...
posted by jpoulos at 7:45 AM on May 28, 2003


*is glad that no one's made the obvious Clinton joke regarding the linked quote*

OW!
posted by Vidiot at 7:57 AM on May 28, 2003


He signs one aid package on CNN and now he's "the most radical since Kennedy." Smells like feces to me...
posted by zekinskia at 8:57 AM on May 28, 2003


Well Zekinskia, he has also proposed dramitically boosting traditional foreign aid, but only making it available to countries that meet certain minimum standards, such as fair rule of law, limited corruption, transparent political procedures, etc. That's a fairly radical concept, reward those who are already doing decently, rather than giving lots of money to the poorest of the poor, countries that often are so messed up they can't even effectively process what aid they do receive.

Bush didn't come up with this idea, but his is the first major government to follow through with it. It's fairly radical.
posted by pjgulliver at 9:14 AM on May 28, 2003


Except there is the exception of aid to those countries in which America does have a direct strategic interest; to whit the aid given to boil dissidents in central Asia as posted earlier today within a FPP's comments. But yeh I agree there does seem to be certain indications that Bush does have a moral agenda albeit on his terms. And I know that such indications could be interpreted cyncially but still, they do challenge certain preconceptions.
posted by pots at 9:31 AM on May 28, 2003


AT best, most aid from DC's to Africa is a fraud, at worst, it's colonialism under a new banner.

Typically, aid is divided into to categories - development projects, and humanitarian relief, although there can be a lot of overlap between the two.

Most development aid is spent in the country of origin. It goes for things like project managers, accounting and auditing, 'oversight' and the like. Typically all the equipment used is purchased from the donating country, and even things like gravel and fuel, which can be obtained much more cheaply locally, are in fact imported. Often only the direct wage expense of unskilled manual laborers (the skilled laborers are imported) are spent in the country, and that's usually even less than the amount the local government skims off the top.

So you wind up with over-expensive make-work projects for favored contractors of the donating country, with virtually no real benefit to the local economy.

Since France dominates the EU developmental-aid process, the vast majority of EU foreign aid actually gets spent there - a fact that they don't trumpet to the rest of the Community.

Since strictly humanitarian aid is mush less lucrative to the donating country/body, the EU does much less of it.

And that's actually the best of it - it can get much worse than that. Recently the EU pressured Zambia to reject emergency food shipments that might come from GM crops with the not-so-subtle threat that all their aid would dry up if they did. This is a political win for the EU GM foods position, but a disaster for people starving in Zambia.

That's not to say that any other country/body's programs are especially good, but those of the EU are especially awful.
posted by Jos Bleau at 11:11 AM on May 28, 2003


If you're referring to the Bush administration's preference to promote abstinence campaigns, perhaps they got the idea from Uganda, where HIV infections rates have dropped from 30 to 5 percent since the Ugandan government started a massive abstinence campaign.

Massive abstinence campaign? That's such bullshit.

Uganda reverses the tide of HIV/AIDS

Sex education programmes in schools and on the radio focused on the need to negotiate safe sex and encouraged teenagers to delay the age at which they first have sex. Since 1990, a USAID-funded scheme to increase condom use through social marketing of condoms has boosted condom use from 7% nationwide to over 50% in rural areas and over 85% in urban areas. The social marketing scheme involved sales of condoms at subsidized prices or free distribution by both the government and the private sector. The scheme was also backed up by health education and other public information. Meanwhile more teenage girls reported condom use than any other age group -- a trend reflected in falling infection rates among 13-19 year old girls in Masaka, in rural Uganda. And among 15-year-old boys and girls, the proportion who had never had sex rose from about 20% to 50% between 1989 and 1995.

Sex education programmes in schools and on the radio focused on the need to negotiate safe sex and encouraged teenagers to delay the age at which they first have sex is not a description of a massive abstinence campaign.

Sex education; free condoms; 50% of the rural population using condoms and 85% using them in urban areas; an STI self-treatment kit, more teenage girls reporting condom use than any other age group goes a lot farther to explain Uganda's lowering their HIV infections than an ancillary program that has the proportion of 15 year old virgins going from 20% to 50% of that demographic.
posted by y2karl at 11:21 AM on May 28, 2003


Geldof has done fuck all for anyone recently... a disservice, in fact.

He's actually come off as xenophobic and conservative over the past few years, especially in regards to his opposition to the Euro, which puts him into the same category as the National Front, frankly... and he's been intellectually incapable of articulating just why the Euro is really bad for Britain, despite the fact that most people in the UK are paying more for goods than they would have to pay if they adopted the Euro.
posted by insomnia_lj at 2:25 PM on May 28, 2003


Geldof has done fuck all blahblahblah
Since France dominates the EU developmental-aid process
countries that often are so messed up they can't even effectively process what aid they do receive

LINKS, people, LINKS! Without links, you're the wild-eyed guy with the matted hair who rants on the Underground about MI5 persecution & con-trails. IMHO, of course (",)

Magullo - Geldof has become a rich man in the UK by investing in TV production
posted by dash_slot- at 3:34 PM on May 28, 2003


He's actually come off as xenophobic and conservative over the past few years, especially in regards to his opposition to the Euro, which puts him into the same category as the National Front, frankly

Opposition to the Euro does NOT put you in the same category as the National Front. The reasons for his opposition might, but you'd have to elaborate.
posted by Summer at 2:42 AM on May 29, 2003


*is glad that no one's made the obvious Clinton joke regarding the linked quote*

Yeah, I was going to ask, since when is "fuck-all" or "fuckall" spelled as two separate words? But now I get it.
posted by soyjoy at 7:40 AM on May 29, 2003


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