Monday, December 01, 2008

World AIDS Day

Today is World AIDS Day, not a commemoration that usually impassions me, but it is hard to ignore the fact that “Dr.” Rick Warren, pastor of the Saddleback Church and one of the legion of right-wing evangelists who blame individuals’ lack of faith instead of capitalism for the worlds’ ills, will be giving an “International Medal of Peace” to President Bush.

This is like a roach giving a medal to the makers of Raid.

The ostensible reason for the honor is the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief [PEPFAR] that is in the midst of spending up to $50 billion to fight AIDS, malaria and other infectious diseases in low-income countries. The best that can be said about Bush’s plan is that he is making a belated attempt to crawl through the eye of a needle.

That a Christian group is giving an “International Medal of Peace” to the smirking chimp who as governor mocked the execution of a female murderer who found Christ in prison redounds poorly on Christianity.

To honor Bush for saving lives of Africans by paying for medications ignores the untold thousands or hundreds of thousands he killed by refusing to give money to AIDS-prevention programs that also used contraception. To give such a medal to a man who is personally responsible for the slaughter of perhaps 100,000 Iraqis and thousands of American troops, makes a mockery of all medals.

Just yesterday, a former intelligence officer estimated that “at least half of our losses and casualties in that country have come at the hands of foreigners who joined the fray because of our program of detainee abuse.”

And this is what Barack Obama inherits. How ever many Clinton administration retreads populate the national security apparatus of the United States, the “change” sneered at by so many liberals and right-wingers is Obama himself.

He brings instant credibility, and, more important, the brains to navigate us back into civilization.

The “office of president-elect” may be an artifice, but it already has been imbued with more honor, decency and competence than eight years of rule by someone whose medal of peace might pierce his breast and leak an excrement of alcohol and bile.

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