The Bush legacy from main street to Africa (updated)
Yesterday James Lewis analyzed the psychopathology of Bush hatred in today's liberal mainstream media. It's a sad commentary on what passes for journalism today. We're all familiar with Bush derangement syndrome as practiced by the New York Times and other media outlets. And the prognosis for Bush's legacy may seem bleak. However James ends his article on an optimistic note: "Bush will soon look like an American hero. Just watch it happen."
In fact it may already be happening, not in America yet, but from the far corners of the world. As evidenced in this story from javno.com:
The main street in Pristina today, carries the name of the current US president, George W. Bush. That is a decision by Kosvo's cabinet, and it was brought as a sign of thanks for his support to independent Kosovo.
This is the second time the street has changed its name, until 1999 it was Vidovanska Street, then it was named into Majka Tereza (Mother Theresa) Street.
It is interesting that George W. Bush's watch was stolen during his visit to Pristina.
With his self deprecating style Bush takes it all in stride, whether it's a stolen watch or a shoe flying right by his ear.
Also, few people are aware of the help Bush has provided to Africa. He has an astonishing approval rating of 80% on that continent. The NY Sun reported on this back in February:
President Bush's sense of mission to improve the lives of the people of the Middle East has attracted so much attention that the Wall Street Journal called him "Bush of Arabia" the other day over an article by Fouad Ajami. Less widely appreciated are Mr. Bush's achievements in Africa, which are worth marking as the president embarks today on a visit that is scheduled to include trips to Benin, Tanzania, Rwanda, Ghana, and Liberia. Mr. Bush has committed $15 billion to fight AIDS and HIV in Africa, and the result is that the number of Africans benefiting from anti-retroviral drugs has soared to 1.3 million today from 50,000 a few years ago. A similar effort is under way to fight malaria, with similarly promising results.
Mr. Bush hasn't gotten much credit for this among the American public, but, as a BBC interviewer noted yesterday, his approval rating in Africa is in the 80% range, which is astonishingly high. [....]
Asked about all this yesterday, Mr. Bush characteristically looked beyond the poll numbers to the broader principles. "I believe to whom much is given, much is required. It happens to be a religious notion. But, it should be a universal notion as well," the president said. "I believe America's soul is enriched, our spirit is enhanced when we help people who suffer."
We don't know if an Obama administration will be as generous with aid to Africa as the Bush administration has been. The only example we have is this report from The UK's Telegraph on Obama's interaction -- or lack thereof -- with his brother in Africa.
Mr Obama, 26, the youngest of the presidential candidate's half-brothers, spoke for the first time about his life, which could not be more different than that of the Democratic contender.
"No-one knows who I am," he told the magazine, before claiming: "I live here on less than a dollar a month." [....]
He told the magazine: "I live like a recluse, no-one knows I exist."
Embarrassed by his penury, he said that he does not does not mention his famous half-brother in conversation.
"If anyone says something about my surname, I say we are not related. I am ashamed," he said. [....]
He has only met his famous older brother twice - once when he was just five and the last time in 2006 when Senator Obama was on a tour of East Africa and visited Nairobi.
The Illinois senator mentions his brother in his autobiography, describing him in just one passing paragraph as a "beautiful boy with a rounded head".
Of their second meeting, George Obama said: "It was very brief, we spoke for just a few minutes. It was like meeting a complete stranger."
We can only hope that Obama has more compassion for the Continent of Africa than he has shown for his brother.
In Africa Bush has an amazing 80% approval rating. In Kosovo the former Mother Theresa Street now carries his name. Back here in America things are a little different, the mainstream media has cast a spell that may take a little longer to break.
Update: Thanks to several readers for pointing out that Bush's watch was not stolen in Kosovo or Albania. Apparently Bush decided to take some preemptive action and removed the watch before heading into the crowd.