Lame-duck George W. Bush has finally got some appreciation. It only took handing out a billion dollars during his six-day trip in February to five of the world’s poorest nations. He avoided Africa’s hot spots, instead deciding to “herald success.”
During a three-hour stop in Benin, Bush is awarded the Grand Cross of the National Order and informed that October 10 has been dubbed “George W. Bush Day” in recognition of funds received for fighting malaria.
In Tanzania, Bush announces $698 million for economic development. At a welcoming ceremony, dancers wear sarongs imprinted with Bush’s face.
Rwanda: after visiting a museum about the 1994 genocide, Bush signs a trade deal.
Ghana: $350 million is announced for fighting tropical diseases. A major highway being constructed is unveiled as the George Bush Motorway.
Six-and-a-half hours in Liberia — long enough to announce the contribution of a million textbooks and desks for 10,000 students.
“This is one of the most exciting trips of my presidency,” Bush says upon return. “And what really made me happy was that the people of Africa have come to appreciate the generosity of the American people.” Ah, yes. Paternalism in action.