Monday, October 17, 2005

UN Chokes on Abstinence

Stephen Lewis, the United Nations' special envoy to Africa for HIV/AIDS, has little good to say about the Bush administration's efforts there.

That the United States is spending more money than any other nation on stopping the spread of AIDS in Africa counts for little. He is upset with the US emphasis on abstinence, which he accuses of causing a condom shortage in Uganda.

Now Uganda happens to be the only sub-Saharan African country that has achieved a large reduction in its HIV prevalence rate. The adult HIV infection rate has dropped from 18% to 5-7%. No other nation in the world has achieved such success. Most sub-Saharan African nations, following the pro-condoms model, continue to suffer from rising HIV infection rates.

But then, other African nations do not have leaders like Ugandan President Museveni and his wife. This dynamic duo has consistently promoted an abstinence-first model that has successfully changed Ugandan culture. Ugandan surveys show a reduction in premarital sexual activity among Ugandan youth and a reduction in extramarital activity among adults.

The result: less AIDS.

This is, in Lewis's worldview, all wrong. He complains that the Bush administration’s shift of funding from condoms to abstinence promotion under its PEPFAR program has led to a shortage of the prophylactics in Uganda. “There is no doubt in my mind that the condom crisis in Uganda is being driven by PEPFAR,” said Lewis. “To impose a dogma-driven policy that is fundamentally flawed is doing damage to Africa."

This is a bizarre inversion of the truth, and threatens to do grievous harm to the one HIV/AIDS prevention approach that has actually worked.


Uganda’s health minister, Jim Muhwezi, denies that there is any shortage of condoms in his country. “It is not true that there is a condom shortage,” he said. “There seems to be a coordinated smear campaign by those who do not want to use any other alternative simultaneously with condoms against AIDS.” In fact, Uganda officially uses the ABC approach: Abstinence before marriage; Be faithful in marriage; and use Condoms if you don’t do one or two.

But this isn't good enough for UN officials, whose love affair with condoms knows no bounds, and who are also angry with America for funding her own AIDS initiative in Africa instead of giving the money to them.

“Alas, from Stephen Lewis's point of view, the US is deplorably ‘unilateralist’ and spends its billions of AIDS dollars directly in Africa rather than sluicing them through the UN, where now that the Oil-for-Fraud program is no longer ‘needed,’ many bureaucrats are itching to bring their humanitarian expertise and efficiency to bear on another great slab of cash,” wrote Mark Steyn in the Canadian Western Standard, October 3. “Once the usual UN administration fee had been deducted from Bush's pitifully inadequate $15 billion, there could easily have been enough left over to buy, oh, twenty thousand bucks' worth of second-hand condoms from a rubber factory co-owned by a nephew of Kofi Annan and a cousin of Boutros Boutros-Ghali. Instead, the US decided to spend the cash itself.”

Why not? The UN’s approach has failed, and its own statistics show it. HIV rates keep rising, to over 30% in some countries. Two decades of pornographic sex education and massive shipments of condoms have sent millions of young Africans to an early grave.

But who on the Left cares about the facts? The UK Guardian sneers at Ugandan First Lady Janet Museveni’s abstinence campaign, ominously hinting that it is driven by her Christian beliefs. It scorns the poster campaigns that Mrs. Museveni has backed. “In one poster campaign, signed by the office of the first lady, the slogan alongside the picture of a smiling young woman says: ‘She's saving herself for marriage — how about you?’” said the paper.

It is this sort of thing that the UN and left-wing newspapers fear that Bush is going to promote in Africa.

Lewis is no new kid on the block shooting his mouth off. A former Canadian ambassador to the United Nations and former Deputy Executive Director of UNICEF, he is a long-time member of the establishment. His wife, Michele Landsberg, is a pro-abortion feminist activist and former columnist for the Toronto Star.

In August, the Global Fund for Aids, Tuberculosis and Malaria pulled all funding from Uganda’s highly successful AIDS prevention program, alleging financial irregularities.

Apparently, achieving results isn’t good enough for international grandees. It’s death by condom or nothing. But we think the Bush administration will stay the course.


Stephen Lewis, the United Nations' special envoy to Africa for HIV/AIDS, has little good to say about the Bush administration's efforts there.

That the United States is spending more money than any other nation on stopping the spread of AIDS in Africa counts for little. He is upset with the US emphasis on abstinence, which he accuses of causing a condom shortage in Uganda.

Now Uganda happens to be the only sub-Saharan African country that has achieved a large reduction in its HIV prevalence rate. The adult HIV infection rate has dropped from 18% to 5-7%. No other nation in the world has achieved such success. Most sub-Saharan African nations, following the pro-condoms model, continue to suffer from rising HIV infection rates.

But then, other African nations do not have leaders like Ugandan President Museveni and his wife. This dynamic duo has consistently promoted an abstinence-first model that has successfully changed Ugandan culture. Ugandan surveys show a reduction in premarital sexual activity among Ugandan youth and a reduction in extramarital activity among adults.

The result: less AIDS.

This is, in Lewis's worldview, all wrong. He complains that the Bush administration’s shift of funding from condoms to abstinence promotion under its PEPFAR program has led to a shortage of the prophylactics in Uganda. “There is no doubt in my mind that the condom crisis in Uganda is being driven by PEPFAR,” said Lewis. “To impose a dogma-driven policy that is fundamentally flawed is doing damage to Africa."

This is a bizarre inversion of the truth, and threatens to do grievous harm to the one HIV/AIDS prevention approach that has actually worked.

Uganda’s health minister, Jim Muhwezi, denies that there is any shortage of condoms in his country. “It is not true that there is a condom shortage,” he said. “There seems to be a coordinated smear campaign by those who do not want to use any other alternative simultaneously with condoms against AIDS.” In fact, Uganda officially uses the ABC approach: Abstinence before marriage; Be faithful in marriage; and use Condoms if you don’t do one or two.

But this isn't good enough for UN officials, whose love affair with condoms knows no bounds, and who are also angry with America for funding her own AIDS initiative in Africa instead of giving the money to them.

“Alas, from Stephen Lewis's point of view, the US is deplorably ‘unilateralist’ and spends its billions of AIDS dollars directly in Africa rather than sluicing them through the UN, where now that the Oil-for-Fraud program is no longer ‘needed,’ many bureaucrats are itching to bring their humanitarian expertise and efficiency to bear on another great slab of cash,” wrote Mark Steyn in the Canadian Western Standard, October 3. “Once the usual UN administration fee had been deducted from Bush's pitifully inadequate $15 billion, there could easily have been enough left over to buy, oh, twenty thousand bucks' worth of second-hand condoms from a rubber factory co-owned by a nephew of Kofi Annan and a cousin of Boutros Boutros-Ghali. Instead, the US decided to spend the cash itself.”

Why not? The UN’s approach has failed, and its own statistics show it. HIV rates keep rising, to over 30% in some countries. Two decades of pornographic sex education and massive shipments of condoms have sent millions of young Africans to an early grave.

But who on the Left cares about the facts? The UK Guardian sneers at Ugandan First Lady Janet Museveni’s abstinence campaign, ominously hinting that it is driven by her Christian beliefs. It scorns the poster campaigns that Mrs. Museveni has backed. “In one poster campaign, signed by the office of the first lady, the slogan alongside the picture of a smiling young woman says: ‘She's saving herself for marriage — how about you?’” said the paper.

It is this sort of thing that the UN and left-wing newspapers fear that Bush is going to promote in Africa.

Lewis is no new kid on the block shooting his mouth off. A former Canadian ambassador to the United Nations and former Deputy Executive Director of UNICEF, he is a long-time member of the establishment. His wife, Michele Landsberg, is a pro-abortion feminist activist and former columnist for the Toronto Star.

In August, the Global Fund for Aids, Tuberculosis and Malaria pulled all funding from Uganda’s highly successful AIDS prevention program, alleging financial irregularities.

Apparently, achieving results isn’t good enough for international grandees. It’s death by condom or nothing. But we think the Bush administration will stay the course.

4 Comments:

Anonymous phil said...

Glad to see that your site posts only 100% humor pieces. Keep up the good work. Let me know if you would like me to do some humor writing for you.

Here, let me know what you think of this one, it's a poem I call "Ode to the Southern Renaissance Man"

Of the size of his flag he'll regale ya
And his knowledge of sheep genitalia
He's a loyal Bush fan
See, he's plastered his van
Front to back with Bush paraphernalia

Speaks in grunts and words single-syllabic
Rebel flag is his state’s social fabric
That he wears on his back
Racist chic (the new black)
Thinks that Condi is hot (for a black chick)

His lust for Rush Limbaugh is chronic
Though he claims that its only platonic
A confirmed shitto-head
Rush’s pic by his bed
The mere thought of Rush gets him hardon-ic

Drives two rusted old gray Chevy half-tons
Favorite things are cold beers and warm guns
Pile of trash in his yard
He don’t work none too hard
Loves all stem cells (except for the gay ones)

Left school early but might can still cipher
Rebel Yell he considers a cry ‘fer
Some saving of face
By the South’s “master race”
At the Johnny Reb club he’s a lifer

Saw Dukes of Hazzard and went apoplectic
He’s a hillbilly film genre skeptic
Burt’s Boss Hogg he found lazy
And Jess Simpson as Daisy
He found forced, trite, and quite antiseptic

Mention Clinton, his lip starts to quiver
“Hillary” down his spine sends a shiver
Head in ass, he don’t know
‘bout the fiscal death blow
GOP to him’s set to deliver

Haute cuisine 2 big Macs (extra cheese)
Mention Reagan he drops to his knees
Though he’s flat busted broke
Still he loves the rich folk
Though it screws him he’ll do as they please

High culture to him? Wax museum
The next NASCAR event? Bet you’ll see him
Sunburned, drunk, weighs a ton
There’s a million, which one?
He’s the one with the 12 beer per diem

Loves the war long as it ain’t him fightin’
The sad truth is it’s hard to enlighten
One who lacks brains or balls
Hides when his country calls
Loves war talk, but real war tends to frighten

Though morally blind he can see
Fiscal damage done by GOP
Supports them all the more
Hates those gays, loves that war
Sign on scrotum and head: Vacancy

A twice-born evangelical dimwit
Found Christ once, but misplaced him, dagnabbit
Born of shit and whole cloth
Greatest virtue is sloth
Moral and intellectual midget

He is fat-assed, foul-smelling and toothless
Loves his dog, to his kids he is ruthless
Works full time at the dump
Proudly dumb as a stump
Claims his sex scandal rumors are truthless

Says the South will be risin' agin'
Should we fear Southern Man and his kin?
Shoot, they's plumb out of luck
Couldn't start Granny's truck
They'll regroup with some home-distilled gin

They’ll debate whether South Carolina
Is the country’s asshole or vagina
It’s the foremost debate
In the reddest Red State
While Bush exports all their jobs to China

9:17 AM  
Anonymous phil said...

Hey, I'm really glad I found you, I need your help on one of them moral issues that seem to be your specialty. Help me understand how Bush can justify giving Exxon Mobil (who just earned $10 billion this past quarter and already has $27 billion in cash) $2.5 billion of our tax dollars in the energy bill he just signed while supporting paying for the cost of Katrina by cutting the school lunch program for 40,000 children? Get back to me on that one, will you please?

6:45 AM  
Blogger Bob Waters said...

Phil, some day, the folks on your side of the fence will attempt to argue your position on the merits. I'm not holding my breath, though, because they generally don't have many. I guess if I were in the business of chronically defending the indefensible, I'd rely on ridicule and name-calling, too.

But you know... folks notice that you can't defend your positions. That's one reason why you keep losing elections.

Your second post does make an attempt at an argument, though not a strong one. Might keeping poor children warm, their parents employed, and their country secure have something to do with the President's energy policy, hmmm? Or getting you to work?

See, responsible folks who actually are trusted to govern have to make hard choices sometimes- unlike irresponsible ones without constructive policies of their own.

8:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Phil,
FEELINGS.. nothing more than FEELINGS!!

10:46 AM  

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