Sunday, July 12, 2009

Obama's African Poverty Program

"Obama urges poorer nations to fight global warming".

That was the lead-in to a story on Yahoo news a few days ago. As I've mentioned previously, there's a segment in the BBC documentary "The Great Global Warming Swindle" that depicts the devastating effects of environmentalism in the third world. Watch it to see the perpetual destitution that Obama seeks to consign to his brethren ("I have the blood of Africa within me"). This even as he exhorts Africans to progress ("Yes you can").

Mark Steyn (NRO) spotlights the environmental movement's drive to push us all (except for a selected elite few) into third world poverty. Here he cites the Greens' romantization of poverty.

"I don’t think a lot of electricity is a good thing,” said Gar Smith of San Francisco’s Earth Island Institute a few years back. "I have seen villages in Africa that had vibrant culture and great communities that were disrupted and destroyed by the introduction of electricity,” he continued, regretting that African peasants “who used to spend their days and evenings in the streets playing music on their own instruments and sewing clothing for their neighbors on foot-pedal powered sewing machines” are now slumped in front of Desperate Housewives reruns all day long.
One assumes Gar Smith is sincere in his fetishization of bucolic African poverty, with its vibrantly rampant disease and charmingly unspoilt life expectancy in the mid-forties. But when a hereditary prince (Prince Charles) starts attacking capitalism and pining for the days when a benign sovereign knew what was best for the masses, he gives the real game away. Capitalism is liberating: You’re born a peasant but you don’t have to die one.

Finally, as the press gushes (again) over Obama's supposed unique potential to create change in that poorest of continents, it's important to remember that he has a tough act to follow. No one. NO ONE! EVER! has done more for Africa than George W. Bush with his AIDS initiatives. As Mona Charen wrote late last year,

“Bush Has Quietly Tripled Aid to Africa.” So headlined a Washington Post story from 2006. But the president has been trying not to be quiet about it. On the contrary, he’s been touting it as often as he can.
But he gets precious little credit. Yes, Rick Warren of the Saddleback Church has awarded President Bush the “International Medal of Peace” for his humanitarian efforts in Africa. And a few agitators for international aid like Bono and Bob Geldof have put in a few good words for the man. Actually, Geldof was pretty interesting. He said George Bush had done more for Africa than his predecessor and was “pissed off” at the press for failing to report it.
But for the most part, the beautiful people in America — the Hollywood and university types, the book and magazine publishers, and of course, the major media — have shown complete indifference to George W. Bush’s dedication to a cause they purport to value. In fact, they’ve pointedly ignored it. It goes without saying that if Obama does even half of what Bush has done for AIDS sufferers in Africa, he will be — in the eyes of those same people — a candidate for canonization.

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