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In Toronto, Bush Spurns AIDS Leadership

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davidbikman Donating Member (19 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 02:12 PM
Original message
In Toronto, Bush Spurns AIDS Leadership
In Toronto, the sixteenth International Conference on AIDS has just wrapped up, and yet another chance for the media to highlight the failure of U.S. leadership in the fight against AIDS has passed. With 26,057 attendees, the largest AIDS conference ever held gathered doctors, civil servants, and activists from hundreds of countries to compare treatment and prevention strategies, establish and strengthen relationships among researchers and scientists, and share news of their struggle with the world. And in a major slap in the face to the AIDS community, the United States sent zero high-level representatives to the conference. According to Democracy Now, the few lower-level researchers and scientists from the U.S. who were allowed to come were so cowed by the Bush government's stance on AIDS that they wouldn't even allow themselves to be named for fear of losing their jobs.

Both the New York Times and the Washington Post covered criticism of South Africa's AIDS program by a U.N. official, but ignored the United States government's abandonment of the conference and the chill reception U.S. officials would have received had they shown up.

Trying to understand the fight against AIDS without considering the role of the United States is like talking about computers without mentioning Microsoft. The United States is the five hundred pound gorilla of AIDS prevention, treatment, and research: when that gorilla moves, the world responds, and to pretend otherwise is disturbingly naive. Consider this factoid from the Post's David Brown:

There was also disturbing news out of Uganda, which for years has been the African model of a winning battle against AIDS.

HIV infection rates at a sample of 24 prenatal clinics fell from 1992 to 2000. In seven, the fall has continued, and in seven it has leveled off, but in 10 it is rising. In a rural population sample, HIV prevalence in men rose from 5.6 to 6.5 percent in the past four years and in women from 6.9 to 8.8 percent.

The precise reason for this is unknown, but the researchers said it shows that prevention efforts must not let up.

But rising infection rates in Uganda are only a puzzle when you remove the United States from the equation. The Bush administration has demanded that AIDS prevention funds in Uganda (and many other African countries) be used for "abstinence education" and anti-condom propoganda, a stance that doctors, civil servants, and AIDS activists say only hastens the spread of the virus. Dr Jotham Musinguzi, director of Uganda's Population Secretariat at the Ministry of Finance, for example, says that "There are some prominent people in government, and some outside, who with the help of conservative agents in the U.S. are stigmatising AIDS, saying that only sinners use a condom. That is the message we are struggling with."

He's not alone. The so-called "ABC" approach (Abstinence/Be Faithful/Use a Condom) pushed by the United States would be the laughingstock of AIDS activists if it weren't so deadly. In a plenary session at the Toronto conference, Indian human rights lawyer Arnand Grover said that "President Bush and the US Congress need to be told that the so called ABC approach is killing people in the U.S. and in the rest of the world."

The sad fact is that the United States has lost most of its credibility among AIDS doctors, activists, government officials, and non-governmental organizations throughout the world. With the Bush administration's insistence that U.S. funds in Africa be spent on "abstinence education," coupled with its refusal to allow countries like Brazil and India to produce inexpensive generic versions of lifesaving AIDS medicines, its track record of lying about the effectiveness of condom use in stopping the virus, and its inability to confront the role that marital rape and gender inequality play in spreading the virus in Africa, the United States under Dubya has essentially abandoned the AIDS-infected world. Mainstream media leaders, who could do so much to contextualize the current state of AIDS research, prevention, and treatment by examining the impact of U.S. policy, have not yet done so.


* * Always Read More at Times/WaPo Watch * *

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William769 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 02:22 PM
Response to Original message
1. With all the advancements in AIDS research
Just think where we would be if the U.S. Government was helping.
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izzie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 02:30 PM
Response to Original message
2. More and more it looks like the world is just passing us by
I know so many Am. like to think we are the world leaders but looks more and more to me as if we are just taking our self out of that spot and the world is moving on with out us. Those pesty ideal that our founding fathers got together have gone around the world lets hope we do keep those.
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 03:22 PM
Response to Original message
3. The U.S. government has no credibility among anyone with a brain
This is so disgusting -- it's unbelievable that our country has come to this. :rant:
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Canuckistanian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 04:45 PM
Response to Original message
4. Our Prime Minister was roundly criticized for not attending
What's with these neocons, do they think they can just ignore an uncomfortable problem and it will go away by itself?
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arcane1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 06:00 PM
Response to Reply #4
5. for them, the "uncomfortable problem" is something different:
too many black people still live on these resource-rich lands... let AIDS kill them off and then the rich white bastards get to keep the wealth for themselves
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Canuckistanian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 06:06 PM
Response to Reply #5
6. How cynical
And yet totally believable with this bunch of monsters.

I imagine there's a secret policy paper out there that says essentially the same thing.
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Higans Donating Member (819 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 06:27 PM
Response to Reply #6
7. No, it's all done through email. If only we had the NSA spy program
on our side.
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arcane1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 09:46 PM
Response to Reply #6
11. there is such a paper...
it's called House Bill 15090
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Canuckistanian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 10:36 PM
Response to Reply #11
13. I looked that up. Very disturbing.
Edited on Mon Aug-21-06 10:37 PM by Canuckistanian
I found out about this website:

http://www.gulfwarvets.com/cristie.htm

What do you know about it?
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arcane1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-23-06 03:01 PM
Response to Reply #13
17. I know this much:
if the Bush admin really intended to let AIDS kill off millions of Africans, they would handle the issue in much the same way they are handling it now
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Wally Pipp Donating Member (26 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-22-06 03:06 AM
Response to Reply #5
15. But not all of them. . .
The aristocracy will still need some peasants to do the work.
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silverweb Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 07:29 PM
Response to Original message
8. And we *dare* to preach to others?
Look at this: "...the few lower-level researchers and scientists from the U.S. who were allowed to come were so cowed by the Bush government's stance on AIDS that they wouldn't even allow themselves to be named for fear of losing their jobs."

Land of the free? Home of the brave? Maybe once upon a time, but certainly not now!

When researchers and scientists have to be "allowed" to attend international scientific conferences, and are "cowed" by their government and "in fear" for their jobs, something is seriously wrong.

Any credibility, pretense of "freedom," free scientific inquiry, or scholastic integrity that the United States has claimed is now completely discredited in light of this shameful revelation.

:grr:
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kilgore65 Donating Member (97 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 07:50 PM
Response to Reply #8
9. Why should it be surprising that Bush spurns AIDS leadership?
The Bush Crime Family, through its association with the criminal Nixon-Kissinger regime, is part of the power structure that influenced the U.S. Government's development of HIV as a bio weapon in furtherance of worldwide depopulation goals. Read Webster Tarpley's "George Bush: The Unauthorized Biography" about "Rubbers" Bush I's obsession with Nazi eugenics and population control. Then read Len Horowitz's book "Emerging Viruses: AIDS & Ebola, Nature, Accident, or Intentional" - a real eye-opener!
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silverweb Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 08:18 PM
Response to Reply #9
10. Not surprise -- FURY
The BFEE's interest in eugenics, etc, notwithstanding, the death of free scientific inquiry in this country and its subjucation to political and pseudo-religious doctrine infuriate me.

We have gone from the days of "Yankee ingenuity" and scientific excellence to official scorn and suppression of intellectual pursuits and scientific progress seemingly overnight.
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ninkasi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 10:22 PM
Response to Reply #8
12. And we have the nerve
to claim some moral authority over other countries, and dictate to them what kind of government they should have? Bush and his neocon cronies have turned a once proud country into the bully, and the laughing stock, of the entire world. Yes, countries get cowed by our so-called leadership, but you know what they must say behind closed doors. I have never felt more humiliated to be an American citizen.

It is absolutely unconscionable that we as a country would have people suffer, and die, and pass this disease onto their children, all because we insist on imposing our religious viewpoints on others. It doesn't matter to Bush if people suffer lingering deaths, if people are without hope, and leaving orphans, it's more important to appease his wing-nut religious majority base. You know, the sadists who torture in the name of their god.
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silverweb Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 11:10 PM
Response to Reply #12
14. I agree completely.
AIDS, family planning, women's and children's rights and health, education, scientific integrity, global warming, environmental protection... you name it, and this evil maladminstration has destroyed any scientific or humanitarian credibility we ever had as a nation. We now preach human rights and democracy, but suppress and subvert them at every turn.

Like you, I am ashamed of what our nation has become. We are no longer any "shining city on the hilltop" to be a beacon of hope to others. We have become instead a fortress on the hilltop, looming with a glaring floodlight over other nations and threatening to crush them if they challenge our will. The "freedom" and "democracy" our "leaders" blather on about is a subterfuge and a lie, a flimsy cover story for total domination. I cry for shame.

If Dems retake Congress in November, we have at least a chance to redeem ourselves. Otherwise, I truly believe the formerly great United States of America will soon be over.
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IWantAChange Donating Member (974 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-22-06 09:32 AM
Response to Original message
16. has to make the top ten
reasons why the Bush Administration is on its way to being ranked as the worst in American History.
I can only hope that the American public comes to their senses and gives Hope a chance at the midterm elections.
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