Thursday, December 14, 2006

The global war on malaria, and of course terror

There are times when the President does things that I may agree with on principle. I would be the first to want to acknowledge those cases and let me start this post with just one such example.

Today the President announced a drive to combat malaria in Africa. The program the President supports includes a mix of governmental sponsorship and private sector giving to fund such anti malarial measures as insecticide treated mosquito netting, drugs to treat patients and other tools to fight the disease. The first lady is asking school children across the nation to donate $10 to help the cause.

So far so good. Malaria is a scourge on poor nations around the globe and the more we can do to fight it the better. Frankly the President had me at hello on this one. The more our nation does to alleviate the suffering of the poor innocent third world masses, the happier I am. So what is that feeling you must have... that certain growing doubt, the still small voice that tells you, Frik is about to go on another singularly potent anti Bush tear.

Because I am! It's all fine and dandy to help poor countries and fight disease and so on. But then the President feels the urge to get up and speechify. Mind you, the President still has the chance to hold my unqualified support just so long as he is brief and doesn't try to say nuclear or any other such English language land mine he so routinely trips on. But NO! He has to go bringing this obvious humanitarian do goody two shoes project under the umbrella of the Global War on Terror!
By bringing together such a wide variety of people, this summit is sending a clear message, that we are determined to defeat malaria. We are also sending a broader message about America's purpose in the world. In this new century, there is a great divide between those who place no value on human life, and rejoice in the suffering of others, and those who believe that every life has matchless value, and answer suffering with compassion and kindness.

The contrast is vivid -- and the position of America is clear. We will lead the cause of freedom, justice, and hope, because both our values and our interests demand it. We believe in the timeless truth: To whom much is given, much is required. We also know that nations with free, healthy, prosperous people will be sources of stability, not breeding grounds for extremists and hate and terror. By making the world more hopeful, we make the world more peaceful -- and by helping others, the American people must understand we help ourselves.
Oh freaking PLEASE! Like Osama Bin Laden is pro malaria or something! Like, by pouring money into the anti malaria project America is striking a blow against Muslim extremists. Let me ask anyone reading this post. How many of the 9/11 terrorists were malaria sufferers from Botswana? How many freaking suicide bombers go to Iraq from Benin after witnessing their loved ones being ravaged by the disease? I'm sure the entire world is absolutely sick to death of all the terrorism being exported from the malarial swamps of Tanzania! We must strike back! Bring on the insecticide treated nets.

And what is this thing about the President talking that he is making the world more peaceful? My gag reflex just kicked in upon finishing that question for some odd reason. Bush makes the world more peaceful like my cat brings aromatic goodness to the area immediately surrounding his litterbox.

In fact I do believe the President has just telescoped his "new way forward" in Iraq. He isn't going to "double down" or stay the course. Far from it. He's pulling out completely... Our boots on the ground will be replaced by heaps of insecticide treated mosquito netting and cutting edge medicines to treat the malaria suffering Iraqis! Take that you Al Qaeda terrorists and dead ender Iraqi malcontents. The Maliki government is certain to reign in supreme confidence now that our President has finally come to his senses.

I just find myself very irritated to have this war on terror infect every aspect of this Presidents being. Must EVERY speech reference the war on terror? I thought part of our recovery after 9/11 was to be getting back to normal, just to be doing stuff like normal America always did. Now everytime the President approaches a mic, for whatever reason... the war on terror is the omni present topic.

If only fighting the war were so simple as alleviating the suffering of third world nations. If only we didn't have to try to work out a fair solution to the Israeli/Palestinian question. The sad fact that history will record here is that the Presidents policies figuratively poured gasoline on the fires of 9/11. He took that horrible event which united us as never before and used it to scare us into a needless war, which inflamed our enemies against us and divided us amongst ourselves. He has led this nation in precisely the wrong direction from where enlightened leadership would have taken us. The world begged us to lead in the war on terror after 9/11, and Bush squandered that for no good reason.

Frankly, to get back to the issue at hand here, I do believe I have found the cause of all the Presidents ills. It is very well demonstrated by this seemingly innocuous speech about something everyone should be able to agree upon. The President would do himself a world of good if he would just shut up. The American people are sick of his swagger, sneer, bellicosity, continued certainty even when proven wrong, and overall mannerisms. He should stay out of camera range and work as best he can to salvage some little semblance of his Presidency. After all, if the only notification of this program were a Whitehouse press release describing the program, I'd be supporting it lock stock and barrel. I still support the war on malaria, but I reject the attempt by this President to link it to the war on terror.

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