Sunday, December 31, 2006

Altruistic or pragmatic?

President Bush's legacy is sure to be defined by his wielding of U.S. military power in Afghanistan and Iraq, but there is another, much softer and less-noticed effort by his administration in foreign affairs: a dramatic increase in U.S. aid to Africa.

The president has tripled direct humanitarian and development aid to the world's most impoverished continent since taking office and recently vowed to double that increased amount by 2010 -- to nearly $9 billion. (WaPo)

I follow politics, and I wasn't aware of the increase in aid. Why haven't they been publicizing this? It would do wonders to soften the warmonger image that this administration has. The title of the article, by Michael Fletcher, is "Bush Has Quietly Tripled Aid to Africa: Increase in Funding to Impoverished Continent Is Viewed as Altruistic or Pragmatic," but political moves like this -- and there's no doubt that it was a political move, despite the lack of capitalizing on it -- don't have to be only altruistic OR pragmatic. In the best situations, they are both.

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