T Nation

$15 Billion to fight AIDS in Africa

To all the bad guys,
Once again, the United States has shown that it is the most benevolent country in the world. Yesterday, George W. Bush signed into law a fifteen billion dollar program for the prevention and treatment of AIDS in Africa. FIFTEEN BILLION DOLLARS. Accoring to, http://www.stat.gouv.qc.ca/donstat/econm_finnc/conjn_econm/compr_inter/pdf/pib-ang.pdf, this would be nearly 20 percent of NEW ZEALAND’S ENTIRE GDP FOR 2002.
This is one of the programs outlined in George W. Bush’s State of the Union address in early 2003. The American people in our infinite wisdom and benevolence has seen fit to accept and approve this proposal without amendement.
bad guys, I challenge you to find an ulterior motive. It is obviously and indication of our morality and another demonstration of our humanism.
This coupled with the fact that the United States gives over SIXTY PERCENT OF THE FREE AID AROUND THE WORLD EACH YEAR, shows unequivocally that the United States=Good Guys.

They will!
I used to work for a consulting company and we published a report called Trends Shaping US Pharmaceutical Strategies. And I can think of a number of less than favorible replies.
Examples:
1)It is a pay-off to the Pharmaceutical Companies for camapign dollars.
2)We the americans, wil only give our tax dollars to the american pharmaceutical companies saving them billions in R&D cost and giving them an unfair advantage in the global market.
3) The list could go on to even include the strange story that AIDs is an American Bio War mistake that is out of control (or was that Russian?)
“Don’t bother me with facts, my mind is made up”.
Best of Luck.

Please, don’t hold back. Tell us how you really feel. :slight_smile:

I am glad to hear this news, although I would rather see that money going to all the people in America who lost their pensions (Enron, MCI, and others), increase veterans benefits (like we talked about on the other thread), increase police and firefighters. A little aid package to support small businessmen would probably be the best thing he could do for this country.

Bailing out big biz constantly wouldn’t be bad if the CEOs of those companies didn’t continue to take HUGE salaries. There should be some kind of rule that when a business gets corporate welfare the officers of the company should have to live on an average managers salary till they use the money intelligently enough to make the company solvent again.

I personally have to sign salary agreements with my investors, capping my income till my company is profitable. I don’t have a problem with this, but I am not in the habit of living beyond my means either.

If the USA disarmed, we’d have world peace since the USA is the source of so much tension in the world. Then there would be $400 billion more to sped on AIDS research & anything else related to community interests.

“If the USA disarmed, we’d have world peace since the USA is the source of so much tension in the world.”

Could we all join hands and sing? That is the funniest thing I’ve read in a long time.

Monsiour, you have rendered your opinion useless on this board by virtue of that idiotic statement. Congrats.

 Monsieur Quebec:


 ARE YOU INSANE??!?!

 Tell me - what language would the french be speaking today, had it not been for OUR military? Huh? 

 Who would control Kuwait today had it not been for OUR military? 

 How much longer would WW II have dragged on had it not been for OUR military?

 

 Surely you cannot represent the general canadian population. What the fuck are you going to do, once another fuckin idiot of the likes of Hitler, Mussolini, Saddam Hussein, Kim Jong, et al, come marching into YOUR land, or the land of YOUR allies and friends and claims it as their own - but not before shedding the blood of YOUR brothers, friends, allies...


 You, my friend, are INSANE. The world is NOT a field of strawberries. Evil exists. Disarming yourself is signing your own death sentence - literally.

Having a military is a necessity if you want to keep your country. The bigger the country the bigger the target they make. Places like Iceland and Costa Rica can get away with disarmament but even Canada has an army so it can be assured that they retain control of their natural resources.

Great sounding idea to hash over at a sidewalk bistro over cappucino but it wouldn’t work in a real world.

It’s just like the idea of wealth redistribution. Just take all the rich people’s money and give it to the poor. Voila! No more poverty. Look at what happens in the aftermath of some poor schmuck in a trailer park winning a large lotto. A few years later the money is gone and he’s at least as bad off as he was. There might be a reason some people don’t have wealth and giving it to them won’t change the traits that make them that way.

I don’t often read these political things but I have to agree with Roy Batty on this one.

While it’s nice and hunky-dory to give boatloads of money and aid to foreign countries and have it make us look so nice and caring, I’d rather have the shit in our own country taken care of first.

How can you remove the speck in your neighbor’s eye while you still have a beam in your own? …or something like that.

No, see, as Americans we’re responsible for the Kashmir conflict between Pakistan and India, and the civil wars in Africa that have claimed 2.5 million lives. Chechnya? America’s fault. Sri Lanka - yup- all America’s fault. If America would just disarm the Muslims would stop fighting Christians, Jews and Hindus. Russia and Chechnya would settle their differences over a shot of vodka, and the following conflicts would just disappear:

http://www.ploughshares.ca/content/MONITOR/monm02e.html

Since we’re talking about Africa, monsiour_quebec, I challenge you to go ask the Rwandan Tutsis what they think of France’s benevolence or “pacifism.” France actually sent troops to protect the Hutus (the ones doing the killing), and lied to the UN saying it’s just a “civil war.”

Canada is guilty too, a couple years after the massacre, Canada authored a resolution in the security council that said “we and France want to send troops to protect the Rwandan Hutus travelling back to Rwanda from Zaire. We will shoot any Tutsis that attack the Hutus, but we will not interfere if the Hutus attack Tutsis because after all it’s ‘just a civil war.’”

France is the author of much oppression, bloodshed and violence against civilians in Africa, more than any other country in the world.

We just don’t hear about it much because Africans are poor and the average Westerner just doesn’t care.

Anyway, those who live in glass houses…

Monseuir Quebec,
Where I don’t share the other’s zeal for attacking posters, I do have to respectfully disagree with your statement. I can appreciate the idealism behind it, but it is unfortunately not realistic. We have a great country, but many civilizations were wiped completely out because they couldn’t defend themselves (the Cathars in the Albejensian Crusade 1109AD, for example). To be a strong country, we simply MUST have a strong military. There may be ways to cut spending without weakening our military, but giving all our money to the world is not realistic. The economy would collapse, and we would be vulnerable to attack. I have read your other posts, and I know that you must realize this because you don’t strike me as stupid, so I must assume that you are only saying this to rile up the self appointed “good guys” (of which I am not a member of apparently).

Instead of using the NRA argument “it’s not the guns that are the problem, we just need bigger guns for ourselves” why not try to figure out why people would want to attack the USA? That makes a lot more sense to me since it would be getting to the core of the problem.(& the rest of the people in Canada & Europe too I bet) Did all you ‘good guys’ vote for a nuclear arms race in 2000? If the USA decided that it was going to give up its selfish & aggressive ways, etc I really think we’d have world peace. Or at least that would be a huge step towards world peace. Wasn’t 80% of the world against the Iraq aggression? I keep reading that the USA spends more on ‘defence’ than the rest of the world put together or something & now congress just approved another $30 billion increase that could have been spent on hospitals or schools or something. Instead, school boards get sponsored by corporations like McDonalds or Exxon & learn nutrition from McDonalds & that fossil-fuel emissions aren’t a problem. That’s the kind of lifestyle your president wants to protect with a $400 billion defence budget.

MQ,
I think that you misunderstand my position. It is well known in here that I am not a fan of the current administration. Even in a perfect world where we did not bring all this crap on ourselves, there are aggressive and cruel people in this world who would see what we have, want it, and try to take it. It is sad, but it is human nature.

An analogy… I was burglarized last year, and it really devastated me. I learned a little bit more about people that I don’t like, had to accept some harsh realities, and spend some money on an expensive security system. According to your analogy, I should try to figure out why people want to rob me, and make sure that I share my personal wealth (which is not much) with all the neighborhood thugs so that they won’t want to rob me anymore. It sounds like you may just need to learn the lesson the hard way. The world just doesn’t work like that. I agree that we can do some things to maintain peace, but realistically we wouldn’t last a decade without a strong military.

I meant the social safety net. The government should come in & find out why someone would want to rob someone else. I don’t really know, but maybe it’s because people get desperate or something. With the social safety net, people don’t fall as far when they lose their business or their home if they get sick or something. In the MAJORITY of EU countries university is free, if not for everybody, then with some conditions like only for nationals or for full-time students, etc. A lot of them have universal health care as well. I bet that has a lot to do with why cops in Sweden & Norway are unarmed, nobody locks their doors they’ve got quality public schools, generous maternity leave & paid vacations, flexible work hours blah blah. (yes I know Norway isn’t EU but I’m talking about social programs) How does that sound? The USA uses so much gas you could pay for all that stuff by having a $0.05 gas tax or something. & it would start the rest of the world doing the same because that’s what they want & also because the USA is the most powerful & influential nation in the world right now. Why doesn’t the USA use their powers for good instead of spreading violence & inequity?

To whatt extent it is relevent to this discussion, I don’t know, but if the US’ sole interest was teretorial defence, the national guard alone would be sufficient to accomplish this. No nation in the world currently has the logistical strength to cross either the Atlantic or the Pacific with an army-- and its supplies-- fit to even occupy a large american state, let alone take it by force. The US military in all its might exists to protect american interests abroad, not the actual US territory. 400 bil. provides the ability to project power to any corner of the globe, no matter how far from US shores. An excellent example is provided by the modern aircraft carrier fleets. In a war to defend against an invasion of Maryland, these would serve very little purpose which ground based aircraft could not. Their usefulness comes though when the US wants to project its military might into an area like the straights of Taiwan or the Persian Gulf.

Spending the quantity the US does on its military does not preserve its freedom any more than 1/10 the sum would. What it does preserve though is America’s position of preeminance in world politics and economics. It ensures that the US can get the final say on any matter it considers important to its interests, no matter how bizarre and minor the issue might seem to the average american. America keeps the world in some type of order because it is in its own best interest to do so and the rest of the world is able to wiggle out of costs of its own because the US will continue to pay the costs to keep world order as long as it remains in its best interests. This is what’s refered to as the hegemonic cost.

Plus it all means we get the airshows.

Roy, nice cathar reference. Are you fairly familier with them? They had a really interesting theologic twist.

MQ, regards to your question,

Just because people hate the US doesn’t mean anything.

It is normal politics for people to hate whoever is on top. That is why pure democracy ultimately fails, the have-nots will vote to take away everything from the haves. Unfortunately, the haves are who employs them, invests in business, etc, in essence, the haves make the economy run. Without them, the economy fails, and everyone is worse off.

That is why the Founders made the US a democratic republic instead of a pure democracy.

So… if everyone hates us, I think that means we’re on the right track.

Secondly, regarding defense spending, the US is the only superpower, the US Navy is the chief police force on the seas for ALL nations. We have the most interest in protecting shipping lanes, etc, so we do. EVERYONE benefits from this, do you really want the rest of the world to be like the South China sea, where pirates rule?

Finally, this hatred of America is nothing new. I remember when France stormed out of Warren Christopher’s goodbye dinner, this was of course during Clinton’s presidency. The 9/11 perpetrators planned their attack way back in '98. During 98, if you remember, Clinton was pressuring Rabin to accept almost all of Arafats demands, we were doing everything that people seemed to want, and that wasn’t enough, they still wanted to kill us. So obviously, doing things for others not because it is right, but to keep them from hating us, does not stop anyone from hating us, and is only inviting our own destruction.

Finally, some of the reason the US has to pay for these drugs for Africa, is that many European countries and Canada FORCE the pharmaceutical industry to sell the drugs in their country for only certain amounts. Therefore, in every other country (including the US), the drug companies have to raise prices in order to make money. This of course hurts those who have less money to spend. This is why socialism and high taxes doesn’t work, it ends up hurting the little person.

There is no free lunch, someone always pays. If you force companies and people to give up too much, you destroy incentive to try to create new products, in the end, you have less products, medicines, etc for everyone, and high prices.

I suggest studying economics. I find “Teachings from the Worldly Philosphy” by Robert Heilbroner to be a great introduction. I find economics, sociology, and ethics to be intermixed, you can’t just talk about ethics without talking about the others.

To E Mckee,
A little familiar with them. An interesting culture… advanced medicine, advanced education, very enlightened group. Their religion was not true paganism, but they resembled them in a lot of ways. They were declared heratics by the Pope at the time. His message to the soldiers of the Crusade was one we have heard before, but improperly assigned to an American 18th century judge… “Kill them all, God will know his own.” (translated). Every man, woman and child was killed, they burned down their villages, and crammed many of them into giant cages which they lit afire while they were still alive. Pretty sad story, really. All that they were is lost forever. If only they had considered that people in the world were (and always will be) mean and nasty, and prepared themselves with a military force. I know that this is ancient history, but as the old cliche goes, those who do not bother to understand history are doomed to repeat it.

I read about them in a book called, Holy Blood, Holy Grail, and another book called, The Legacy of Christ, which both tracked the bloodlines of kings through the dark ages back before the Meravingian Dynasty. Interesting stuff.