As we celebrated Presidents Day in our country this week, how is it possible for the media to ignore (for the most part) President Bush spending the next couple days on the continent of Africa? His tour includes visits to Benin (making him the first U.S president to visit), Tanzania, Rwanda, Liberia and Ghana to bring necessary attention to countries that have been ravaged by strife, famine, disease and conflict.
When Bush became president there were seven major wars being fought in Africa; that number has now been reduced to two. Why is it that more Americans don’t show a greater interest in what happens outside the United States? We are a global society now and all are affected by the plight of countries around the world.
Often President Bush’s foreign policy is judged solely on Iraq and Afghanistan. On Friday, Feb. 15, the president arrived for the second time in Africa for a six-day tour beginning in Benin. Despite the fact that the president is out of the country, it’s not until page A17 that The Washington Post's Sunday edition even mentions it. President Bush wants to highlight the victories in spending $15 billion on AIDS and helping 1.3 million in Tanzania alone in combating this deadly disease. Additionally, he mentions that before his term is over he wants to double the contribution to $30 billion to assist in battling the AIDS epidemic.
Why can’t we understand that what this man is doing in his final term of office is bringing attention to a continent that has been ravaged by disease, famine and genocide? It’s not only Africa the American public seems to ignore, but the entire rest of the world. Are we returning to the days of isolationism, and will this prove to be an Achilles heel for this country in the decades ahead?