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Bush snubbed in South Africa

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President Bush Receives Cool Reception in South Africa

Policies on Iraq, AIDS, International Court Sources of Criticism

By Dana Milbank and Emily Wax

Washington Post Staff Writers

Wednesday, July 9, 2003; 12:58 PM

PRETORIA, South Africa, July 9 -- President Bush received a cool reception today in the capital of Africa's largest economic power, as opinion leaders across the continent complained about his policies on Iraq, AIDS and the International Criminal Court.

Bush has come with many goodies for this long struggling region: the promise of billions of new dollars for development, disease fighting and counter-terrorism efforts, and the prestige conferred by his making only the third sub-Saharan Africa tour by a U.S. president. But Africans have responded with anti-Bush demonstrations, diplomatic snubs and critical media coverage.

Here in South Africa, the country's revered former president Nelson Mandela, who sharply criticized Bush on Iraq and once said he "cannot think properly," arranged to be out of the country for the three nights Bush is here.

The country's dominant political party, the African National Congress, led a 2,000-person march to the U.S. Embassy here today in protest of Bush's visit. Hundreds more marched in Cape Town.

The current president, Thabo Mbeki, left the country today after a half day with Bush to attend the 52-nation African Union meeting in Mozambique with the rest of Africa's leaders. Bush will not be meeting with the African Union.

The reception for Bush in Africa is not as overtly hostile as those he has received in places such as Germany, where tens of thousands filled the streets to protest what they called his unilateralist and militaristic policies. At the same time, however, the reception contrasts markedly with the large and adoring crowds that greeted former President Bill Clinton five years ago; some still have photos of Clinton in their homes.

In Uganda, which Bush will visit briefly on Friday, ordinary people are proud and happy to have an American president visit. But they see Bush's interest in Africa as simply part of his war against terrorism. Already, intellectuals in newspapers and on the radio in Uganda have characterized him as a "cold fish," who does not really care about Africans.

"Sure, Bush is coming to visit our AIDS clinic -- and he will be here for a whole four hours," said Walfula Oguttu, editor-in-chief and managing director of The Monitor, Uganda's well-regarded independent newspaper. "But we all know it all has to do with fighting terrorism. His AIDS money is trying to buy Africa. That is what everyone is saying." Sitting in the busy newsroom in the capital city of Kampala, Oguttu said Africans are also greeting Bush with suspicion because he ruled "tyrannically" against the international community by going to war in Iraq.

In Nairobi, which was scheduled to be a destination for Bush before his Africa trip was postponed in January, Kenyans are angry that Bush is not including a trip to visit the African victims of terrorist attacks in last year's bombing of a Mombasa hotel or the U.S. Embassy bombing of 1998.

"It is true Bush is going to spend a sum of money . . . surpassing any his predecessors committed to Africa, and yet he will never be liked on this continent," read an editorial in The Nation, Kenya's influential daily. "In Kenya especially, America has become a dirty word. . . . Africans respect power, of course. But there is something they respect more. Wisdom. They are not sure what they are seeing in the White House represents anything close to that."

Bush has avoided public rifts with his hosts in Africa. In a press conference today, Bush and Mbeki emphasized their common ground while avoiding differences on contentious issues such as Zimbabwe's leadership, AIDS and Iraq. Mbeki told Bush in a luncheon toast later today that "we would not but receive you as a friend and an honored guest," adding: "We're greatly strengthened, Mr. President, by the knowledge that we have you as our partner and friend."

When reporters quizzed Bush and Mbeki about their differences over Zimbabwe -- Bush has been highly critical of President Robert Mugabe while Mbeki has sought to negotiate with the authoritarian ruler to end violence there --Bush said the reporters were trying to "create tensions which don't exist."

Bush and his hosts have reason to be cordial. Bush is seeking help in the fight against terrorists. And countries including South Africa and Botswana are in negotiations with the administration over a potentially lucrative free-trade agreement.

But tensions show themselves in other ways. Bush had originally intended to visit a South African military base today, but that was dropped in favor of a visit to a Ford Motor plant. The Star, a South African newspaper, quoted South African government sources as saying the Americans were "too embarrassed" to proceed with the visit, because in recent days the administration cut military aid to South Africa and other countries that did not agree to exempt Americans from prosecution before the International Criminal Court.

An administration official said Bush "simply decided he wanted to go to the Ford plant." Senegal and Botswana agreed to the exemptions, provoking some grumbling here that Bush bought their support with military aid and a presidential visit. "Underpinning this apparent largesse . . . is his uncompromising stick to drop developing countries from his list of military beneficiaries if they do not grant immunity to U.S. military personnel against crimes against humanity," said Na-iem Dollie, a respected on-line journalist in Nigeria.

Despite Mbeki's cordial embrace of Bush, his African National Congress, is protesting Bush's visit. According to the Sowetan, a South African newspaper, a number of members of parliament and other politicians have "snubbed invites" from Mbeki to lunch with Bush today. The paper's editor, John Dludlu, wrote that rising anti-American sentiment in Africa "has everything to do with his behavior in and out of office," on Iraq, trade and AIDS. A cartoon in the paper shows corpses tied to Bush's motorcade labeled "International Justice," "Third World" and "U.N."

Even in Senegal, a peaceful West African country not known for anti-Americanism, about 50 demonstrators objected to his visit before his arrival Monday with signs saying "Bush butcher" and "Receiving Bush is like making a pact with the devil."

Much of the criticism comes with the job of being president in a post 9/11 world when security makes it difficult for Bush to interact with the populace. In Uganda, for example, local farmers are annoyed with Bush because they have been asked to cut their trees for security reasons by municipal authorities in Entebbe.

Other criticism comes from the nature of Bush's fast-paced sprint through the continent. Sitting in a café in downtown Kampala, Agnes Tiisa, a station manager at Mama FM, a popular women's radio station in Uganda, complained that Bush "is going to come here for only four hours, praise AIDS and not help with any of our real problems. People feel he is using us to get re-elected in his own country. We Africans care about spending time."

Even some of the AIDS researchers and doctors in Uganda, people Bush is celebrating, have gripes. That's mostly because he appointed a former executive of a pharmaceutical company to be an adviser on international AIDS. On the world's poorest continent, nothing is demonized more than the drug companies that charge prices that almost no African can dream of affording for life-saving drugs.

"Now there is the problem that everyone is pre-judging the guy and saying he is only here to help us in his own self-interest," said David Serwadda, acting director of the Institute for Public Health at Makerere University and a long time HIV/AIDS researcher.

But Serwadda said he is willing to give Bush and his AIDS policy a chance, as long as they bring in the promised cash quickly. "People are dying right now," he said. "Bush will have to move fast to make an impact and win us over."

© 2003 The Washington Post Company

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when they stop killing each other and spreading massive amounts of aids, then perhaps they can open their mouth to judge someone else.

nevermind someone who's handing them money to fight a disease they should already be doing their best to prevent, as well as fighting against people they should have already been fighting, instead of killing each other for jewelry and cars.

but no, they'd rather bitch that they're being paid off, because bush is a moron, AIDS money is his way of buying off the public and the war on terror isn't real, its just an illusion he uses to bring everyone under his control. :rolleyes:

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Originally posted by cintron

when they stop killing each other and spreading massive amounts of aids, then perhaps they can open their mouth to judge someone else.

nevermind someone who's handing them money to fight a disease they should already be doing their best to prevent, as well as fighting against people they should have already been fighting, instead of killing each other for jewelry and cars.

but no, they'd rather bitch that they're being paid off, because bush is a moron, AIDS money is his way of buying off the public and the war on terror isn't real, its just an illusion he uses to bring everyone under his control. :rolleyes:

And who exactly is killing who off in South Africa? Oh, and in Germany too, right? Dude, it really does well to actually LISTEN to why people dislike Bush rather than just ignore and blindly forge ahead.

I'm just getting sick of everyone on this board writing off any country or individual that disagrees with Bush's policies. I'm sure you guys would find something bad to say about the UK if they did a U-turn and went against the US.

If the general consensus is that these countries should not say anything against the US just because of the aid they're getting, then that aid is nothing but bribery.

Face it, Bush is not nearly as popular in the international community as Clinton was. Bush has done lots to hurt foreign relations with his sometimes insensitive approach to world matters.

Going in with "guns blazing" and "either you listen to us, or we'll kick your ass" attitude might ring well with the conservatives, but not necessarily with the rest of the world.

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It's not a matter of "guns blazing" at all.

It's more like, "you have a SERIOUS disease problem, we're concerned so here's some cash to help you out, because if we don't take action who knows where else it could spread to. Oh and by the way, if you see Osama just drop us a line."

what's so difficult about that?

It's ridiculous when people start getting all uppity about monetary donations and such. The US gets accused of being a wealthy ignorant nation an awful lot, and when we decide to spread our wealth around, suddenly we're buying everyone off and "empire making" again.

damned if you do, damned if you don't.

by all fucking means we could just let them all die - god knows nobody else has decided to step in thus far out of the HUNDREDS of other wealthy nations who could probably kick loose some money at a disease that's already a global issue.

see what i'm sayin?

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Originally posted by cintron

It's not a matter of "guns blazing" at all.

It's more like, "you have a SERIOUS disease problem, we're concerned so here's some cash to help you out, because if we don't take action who knows where else it could spread to. Oh and by the way, if you see Osama just drop us a line."

what's so difficult about that?

It's ridiculous when people start getting all uppity about monetary donations and such. The US gets accused of being a wealthy ignorant nation an awful lot, and when we decide to spread our wealth around, suddenly we're buying everyone off and "empire making" again.

damned if you do, damned if you don't.

by all fucking means we could just let them all die - god knows nobody else has decided to step in thus far out of the HUNDREDS of other wealthy nations who could probably kick loose some money at a disease that's already a global issue.

see what i'm sayin?

it is clear that the US government has offered help to Africa in various ways, but that does not mean that the African people don't have a valid right to protest other US actions that could be considered less than desirable.

for example, while it is true that Bush has given $ for AIDS, it is also true that he's dragged his feet on the issue for MONTHS while people have died.

as raver_mania said, if giving a country money means you expect it to agree with everything the US does, then essentially any US aid is a bribe for silence. certainly a country should be grateful of America's "donations," but does that mean it can't be critical as well?

btw, does anyone know why the African farmers have to cut down their trees for security reasons? why don't US farmers have to do that? had terrorists been hiding out in African trees?

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Originally posted by raver_mania

And who exactly is killing who off in South Africa? Oh, and in Germany too, right? Dude, it really does well to actually LISTEN to why people dislike Bush rather than just ignore and blindly forge ahead.

I'm just getting sick of everyone on this board writing off any country or individual that disagrees with Bush's policies. I'm sure you guys would find something bad to say about the UK if they did a U-turn and went against the US.

If the general consensus is that these countries should not say anything against the US just because of the aid they're getting, then that aid is nothing but bribery.

Face it, Bush is not nearly as popular in the international community as Clinton was. Bush has done lots to hurt foreign relations with his sometimes insensitive approach to world matters.

Going in with "guns blazing" and "either you listen to us, or we'll kick your ass" attitude might ring well with the conservatives, but not necessarily with the rest of the world.

Raver,

Perhaps it not people getting pissed off just because Countries disagree with Bush policies.......

Perhaps it is people who are just plain sick and tired of countries, governments, and people who do not appreciate how much good the U.S. does for the world, and that the mistakes the US makes does not outweigh the good......this is a generalization, but it is also true

Of course, countries, govt, and people can disagree....that is fine...but all too often the line is crossed, and quite frankly it is getting ridiculous.......anti- Americanism thought has become an all-too -convenient excuse for the world's ills, and countries and govt's OWN ineffectiveness and deficiencies

Was Clinton more well liked internationally---yes....but the reason is WHY---it is because Clinton was more worried about being "well-liked" that solving issues....THIS IS A FACT...(and let's not forget the Lewinsky scandal made Clinton a cartoon fool internationally, and had an impact on his foreign policy decision making)..this country and the WORLD is now paying for his foreign policy blunders

I agree Bush is an awful foreign statesman in terms of articulation---but you can not dispute his leadership in tackling issues (whether you agree or disagree with his choices)....sometimes the price of real leadership is not being well-liked...right now, I could care less if the world hates us short term, because I believe in the long term the world will be a better place, and they willl have the U.S. to thank for that....(because certyainly no one esle can step up to the plate...including the U.N., who once again failed in Liberia and the Congo)

The truth is 9/11 was a transformation for most Americans, and they chose to see the world through a different prism than Chmosky drivel.....

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Originally posted by igloo

Raver,

Perhaps it not people getting pissed off just because Countries disagree with Bush policies.......

Perhaps it is people who are just plain sick and tired of countries, governments, and people who do not appreciate how much good the U.S. does for the world, and that the mistakes the US makes does not outweigh the good......this is a generalization, but it is also true

Of course, countries, govt, and people can disagree....that is fine...but all too often the line is crossed, and quite frankly it is getting ridiculous.......anti- Americanism thought has become an all-too -convenient excuse for the world's ills, and countries and govt's OWN ineffectiveness and deficiencies

Was Clinton more well liked internationally---yes....but the reason is WHY---it is because Clinton was more worried about being "well-liked" that solving issues....THIS IS A FACT...(and let's not forget the Lewinsky scandal made Clinton a cartoon fool internationally, and had an impact on his foreign policy decision making)..this country and the WORLD is now paying for his foreign policy blunders

I agree Bush is an awful foreign statesman in terms of articulation---but you can not dispute his leadership in tackling issues (whether you agree or disagree with his choices)....sometimes the price of real leadership is not being well-liked...right now, I could care less if the world hates us short term, because I believe in the long term the world will be a better place, and they willl have the U.S. to thank for that....(because certyainly no one esle can step up to the plate...including the U.N., who once again failed in Liberia and the Congo)

The truth is 9/11 was a transformation for most Americans, and they chose to see the world through a different prism than Chmosky drivel.....

very nicely said

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Originally posted by wideskies

it is clear that the US government has offered help to Africa in various ways, but that does not mean that the African people don't have a valid right to protest other US actions that could be considered less than desirable.

for example, while it is true that Bush has given $ for AIDS, it is also true that he's dragged his feet on the issue for MONTHS while people have died.

and where is the rest of the world in all of this?

since when are we expected to be the only one to offer assistance, unconditionally, without terms, favors or even a common understanding?

like I said, it's damned if you do, damned if you don't and i HIGHLY doubt any other country would freely give away a ton of money towards a cause without stipulating a few conditions.

Then again we're the ONLY country [yet again] giving away the cash, so as far as I"m concerned, why not get a little something out of it.

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Originally posted by wideskies

.

for example, while it is true that Bush has given $ for AIDS, it is also true that he's dragged his feet on the issue for MONTHS while people have died.

BUSH HAS DRAGGED HIS FEET????...Are you sure about that, or do you mean Clinton?....get your facts straight

This is what is disgraceful, anti-Bush blinders....

Check out what Bob Geldof stated comparing what Bush as done vs Clinton with espects to fighting AIDS in Africa

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Originally posted by cintron

and where is the rest of the world in all of this?

since when are we expected to be the only one to offer assistance, unconditionally, without terms, favors or even a common understanding?

like I said, it's damned if you do, damned if you don't and i HIGHLY doubt any other country would freely give away a ton of money towards a cause without stipulating a few conditions.

Then again we're the ONLY country [yet again] giving away the cash, so as far as I"m concerned, why not get a little something out of it.

erm, i never said the US should have to stand alone in this. i think it's really too bad, in fact, that other 'superpower' countries haven't been as generous.

i think it's very admirable that the US does this... but it becomes less admirable when the country decides to put a price on it.

it's like only helping an old lady cross the busy intersection if she promises to do your laundry. that's not admirable, that's shrewd... and in regards to issues like AIDS, i don't respect the US government's decision to be shrewd.

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Originally posted by wideskies

i'm not talking about the rest of the world. :confused: but anyway, i don't think that the US should be the only one helping out countries that are in dire needs of assistance.

i think it's very admirable that the US does this... but it becomes less admirable when the country decides to put a price on it.

it's like only helping an old lady cross the busy intersection if she promises to do your laundry. that's not admirable, that's shrewd... and in regards to issues like AIDS, i don't respect the US government's decision to be shrewd.

Is it better to let the old lady get hit by a car?

What do you think is better, the countries who are giving nothing and expecting nothing? or the US government who is giving aid and expects something in return?

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if the US is claiming to be generous, then it shouldn't demand something in return for its generousity. that's called a BUSINESS DEAL.

and there's nothing wrong with business deals, i suppose, as long as you admit that's what they are!

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Originally posted by igloo

BUSH HAS DRAGGED HIS FEET????...Are you sure about that, or do you mean Clinton?....get your facts straight

This is what is disgraceful, anti-Bush blinders....

Check out what Bob Geldof stated comparing what Bush as done vs Clinton with espects to fighting AIDS in Africa

15$ billion was meant to be used for worldwide (a big portion for Africa) AIDS education, treatment and research.

Congress only approved the initiative after it was decided that 1/3 of the $ was to be used for promoting abstinence before marriage.

i guess that means that the feet-dragging in this case was that of the legislative branch rather than Bush himself. on the other hand, Bush endorsed this 1/3 to abstinence plan, and didn't make any efforts to speed along a process that seemed molassas-like to those who worry about what's going on across the ocean.

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i believe most of the money they were proposing to give to these african countries is already spent...

bush should have known he would get the cold shoulder in africa, i remember a lot of people there got really upset at the US's actions, mandela was quoted several times with comments that clearly showed he did not support the Bush administration's actions.....

that should have sent up a red flag.

finally, maybe the african countries are not as developed and wealthy as the US is....but at least they have the dignity still (if not just a bit) to see past the bs Bush is trying to sell them.

for example, the whole issue of the US sending genetically-altered grain to ....(Zambia? forgot which country...) is a good example...they would starve than take that shit...

i don't think bush is going to convince anyone really in third world countries to support him....since it's their actions that make these countries so poor in the first place....and keeps repeating throughout history...:blown:

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Originally posted by wideskies

15$ billion was meant to be used for worldwide (a big portion for Africa) AIDS education, treatment and research.

Congress only approved the initiative after it was decided that 1/3 of the $ was to be used for promoting abstinence before marriage.

i guess that means that the feet-dragging in this case was that of the legislative branch rather than Bush himself. on the other hand, Bush endorsed this 1/3 to abstinence plan, and didn't make any efforts to speed along a process that seemed molassas-like to those who worry about what's going on across the ocean.

You are way off base with respects to "moving the process along"......you have your anti-Bush blinder on and obviously look to find fault in anything Bush does--even with something as positive as this (BTW--the positives goes beyond just fighting AIDS)...

I again refer you to what Bob Geldof said....

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Originally posted by wideskies

it's like only helping an old lady cross the busy intersection if she promises to do your laundry. that's not admirable, that's shrewd... and in regards to issues like AIDS, i don't respect the US government's decision to be shrewd.

with all due respect, it is NOTHING like helping an old lady.

That takes time and kindness, NOT material posession or currency.

The analogy here is helping a stranger out who's been very sick and needs help but can't make himself better - and you pony up the cash for it... oh and ask that if he sees some other people you don't like, to give you a phone call.

it's not about being shrewd - it's about doing a favor for someone you ordinarily aren't closely associated with and in the process getting a little in return.

If that concept seems offensive to anyone, then i recommend they refrain from discussing politics, because that is the way things go in that biz. One hand ALWAYS washes the other.

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