June 3, 2005

Bushman of Africa


So, how did this picture come about this week?  And why did it go by so fast?  And why all the groping?

Could it be because Tony Blair is coming to Washington next week … and Blair has thrown his personal prestige behind raising an additional $25 billion for Africa from the world’s richest nations … and, Blair needs Bush to double America’s share … and Blair feels he needs to make this happen in time for the Group of Eight summit meeting next month in Scotland … and Bush isn’t budging … and Blair isn’t backing down … and Bush has hardly raised a finger over Africa since making a a very promising trip several years ago (“Bush Continues To Be Moved“) … and Blair’s visit also spotlights the issue of Darfur … and Bush hardly mentions Darfur … and Bush has been getting some heat about it for a while now (Day 113 of the President’s Silence;  Day 141 of Bush’s Silence; Evangelicals Urge Bush to Do More for Sudan) … and Bush also had South African President Thabo Mbeki here this week pressing for help for the continent (Bush Maintains Opposition to Doubling Aid for Africa) … so Bush finally had to at least say something about Darfur … (but Bush will do almost anything not to get pulled into the situation, or even get his fingerprints on it) … and because Powell was his go-to guy on Africa … and — even though he resents Bush for treating him like a doormat  — Powell’s nature is to always be the good soldier … and because Powell is on record as calling Darfur a genocide …  Bush showed up at Colin’s front door (with half the Washington press corp in tow), and rather than fully embrace Colin’s view– he just embraced Colin instead.

(image: Kevin Lamarque/Reuters. May 31, 2005 in YahooNews)

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Michael Shaw
See other posts by Michael here.

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