Skip to content

Naumann: Bush "does not give a damn" about "the dying of millions of children in Africa"

Michael Naumann, one of the editors of the respected weekly Die Zeit, writes about American achievements in the past, what Germany owes the US, that Germans have been "Americanized" (in a good sense) and would be valuable partners to solve global issues. Naumann is optimistic that now -- after the midterm elections -- Europeans and Americans will continue a dialogue on those issues "George W. Bush did not give a damn: global environmental problems, disarmament, fighting hunger and the dying of millions of children in Africa.":
Der atlantische Alltag der frueheren Jahre koennte wiederkehren – ein hochmutfreier Dialog über all jene Themen, die George W. Bush von Herzen egal waren: globale Umweltprobleme, Abruestung, Kampf gegen Hunger und millionenfaches Kindersterben in Afrika. Nicht seine Wirtschafts- und Militaermacht, sondern sein angestammter Freiheitsbegriff könnte sich einmal mehr als das beste, waffenlose Exportgut Amerikas erweisen.
Davids Medienkritik has written a detailed critique and links to many interesting sources to debunk all of Naumann's anti-Bush claims and concludes:
Whether we like it or not, George W. Bush will be gone in two years, but the damage done by "journalists" like Naumann to transatlantic relations will endure for years to come, whether Democrats or Republicans are in power. Only when the German-American conversation begins to move beyond these extreme voices and the falsehoods they spew (still all too common in the German media) will we begin to see real improvement.
Naumann tries to avoid charges of Anti-Americanism by using the headline Amerikaner sind wir alle ("We are all Americans") and by expressing his appreciation of America's past policies, but his article could be considered Anti-American, because he misinforms his readers about present US policies by claiming that President Bush "could not give a damn" about "the dying of millions of children in Africa."
While Naumann underestimates US contributions, many Americans overestimate them and believe that the United States spends 24 percent of its budget on aid to poor countries, although
it is less than 1 percent. Could the US government do more to fight hunger, climate change, and disarmament? Sure. Europe could do more as well. Nauman, however, does not write about the lack of European policies re Darfur etc.
Foreign Policy Magazine measures how rich-country governments are helping or hurting poor countries; not just in terms of the amount of aid, but more broadly. The Netherlands won this year's competition, followed by Denmark, Sweden and Norway. Germany ranks at the 9th place and the United States at the 13th. Japan lost again.

Trackbacks

Amerika Blog on : Medienkritik a la David und den Fulbrights

Show preview
Wo soll man anfangen? Da schreibt Joerg W von den Fulbrights, dass Naumann mit seiner Kritik an W. falsch liegt. Dabei stuetzt sich Joerg auf David's Medienkritik.Angeblich ist es W. nicht egal ob Kinder in Afrika sterben. Da mag was

Gregory Kelly on : German Media, Starving African Children, and America Bashing.

Show preview
Naumann: Bush "does not give a damn" about "the dying of millions of children in Africa" [click for full article] (Posted by Joerg W in Transatlantic Relations on Saturday, November 11. 2006) Michael Naumann, one of the editors of the respected w

Comments

Display comments as Linear | Threaded

Assistant Village Idiot on :

The Foreign Policy ratings capture some important facts - most appropriately the appalling agricultural protectionism of the US, and its destructive effect on poor economies. In the numbers cited, however, the totals do not reflect private contributions into other countries. This leaves out two large pools of aid: charitable giving, and the sending of wages earned in a prosperous country back to relatives in poorer countries. Perhaps the governments of nations shouldn't "get credit" for those contributions, but they have a real effect on economies nonetheless. Tangent: I am really tired of politicians using "caring," the mind-reading of whether someone else gives a damn, as a measurement for anything.

JW-Atlantic Review on :

The index is not perfect, but they do count most of the private aid: "The index rewards governments for letting taxpayers write off charitable contributions, since some of those contributions go to Oxfam, CARE, and other nonprofits working in developing countries. All CDI countries except Austria, Finland, and Sweden offer such incentives. Since the index is about government policy, it counts only private giving that is attributed to tax incentives. Private giving to developing countries is higher in the U.S. than in most countries, at 10¢ per person per day. But even adding that to the 19¢ a day in government aid leaves the U.S. well short of donors such as Sweden and Denmark, which give 86¢ and $1.08 a day in government aid alone." [url]http://www.cgdev.org/section/initiatives/_active/cdi/_components/aid/[/url] Related: "Combining public and private donations puts total U.S. development assistance in the range of $35 billion per year, or about 0.32 percent of U.S. income. In other words, for every $3 of income, the United States provides about one cent in development assistance. Even with this broader measure (and using the larger estimate of U.S. private assistance without making a similar adjustment for other countries), the United States ranks, at best, 15th among the top donors." [url]http://www.foreignpolicy.com/story/cms.php?story_id=2773&print=1[/url] Discussion here: [url]http://atlanticreview.org/archives/369-One-Year-after-G8-Summit-on-Extreme-Poverty.html#comments[/url]

ROA on :

AVI, I agree that the US farm subsidies are bad, but I think Europe's are worse. From Daniel Drezner: http://www.danieldrezner.com/archives/000709.html There is also a website that provides information on farm subsidies by members of the EU's Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). Note how many members have been unwilling to provide information: http://www.farmsubsidy.org/

Don S on :

The major problem I have with the FP rankings are the apparently equal weighting of all 7 categories when the real-world importance of some categories far outweigh those of others. In my opinion Trade and Investment are the most important factors with Technology and Migration and perhaps Security middleing categories. Environment and Aid should bring up the rear. Aid because aid doesn't have much to do with successful national development. Environment because resources spent today to reduce global warming don't help poor nations nearly as much as the same amount spent in increasing investment or in reducing selected trade barriers would help them. The case for money spent on reducing greenhouse gases helping the poor rests on theoretical effects decades in the future whereas most or all the other categories have present effect.

JW-Atlantic Review on :

Darfur: Nick Kristof has a blog and new video: [url]http://kristof.blogs.nytimes.com/?p=772[/url]

Bill on :

The Bush administration could have done a better job with it's strategic policies on Africa but as Ray points out in his post there have been significant increases in foreign aid and trade with sub-Saharan African countries during his term in office. Dr. Susan E. Rice of the Brookings Institution (she's the other Dr. Rice who served brilliantly in President Clinton's administration and received "nada coverage" in the German media and press)... and some other experts on the subject remain critical of the G.W. Bush administration policies toward Africa. Clinton actually reduced financial aid to Africa if I'm not mistaken, but he is still admired by many on the continent as some kind of American messiah. Go figure. For more information on the subject checkout the AGOA - African Growth and Opportunity Act website and there is also considerable information about U.S.-Africa trade and aid available from the U.S Dept. of Commerce and U.S. Dept. of State websites. BTW: Where can we find equivalent information about Germany's trade and aid with sub-Saharan Africa? Die Zeit website perhaps? Nein? The whole Aid vs. Trade with Africa debate is a big mess and few ordinary people really understand what is going on or which path is the best way forward. What I also noticed last week was the almost total lack of German TV news coverage of the China-Africa Summit in Beijing. Did the German press cover the summit adequately? What about the flurry of global debates and criticisms surrounding China's real intentions in Africa and how that impacts EU-based trade and development and governance initiatives for Africa? When Michael Naumann or any other journalist in the German media has something informative and interesting to say about this important subject (China in Africa), let me know. Spiegel International (Der Spiegel) has yet to write even a sentence about the China-Africa Summit which surprises me since last month they published excerpts from their Berlin editor Gabor Steingart's bestselling book "Weltkrieg und Wohlstand". Steingart severely criticizes China's rapid economic rise and the dangers it poses for Western countries and especially for Germany. See Spiegel's "World War for Wealth: The Global Grab for Power and Prosperity" for more info. http://www.spiegel.de/international/0,1518,442574,00.html In the meantime, it looks as if Ray over at David's Medienkritik has bagged that sucker Naumann again. Looks like a bullseye from here Ray.

joe on :

The index is established in such a way as to project a particular point of veiw and an agenda. It is not very well connected to reality. I am sure the nations ranked ahead of the US did much more for SE Asia than the US did during their natural diaster it was just not reported in the media. The aid Denmark and the Netherlanders provide Thialand was beyond comparison of anything the rest of the world did.

JW-Atlantic Review on :

"to project a particular point of veiw and an agenda." What is the basis for your claims? Please, explain, if you are "connected to reality." Why do you bring up Thailand, which is not among the poorest countries of the world?

Don S on :

It's much worse than that joe. The 'aid' the US rendered after the tsunami was actually a thinly-disguised military invasion of Thailand as can be seen by the fact that it was the US Navy who rendered the aid. The 'aid' was not delivered by personnel wearing the UN uniform and the United States failed to secure a mandate from the UN Security Councli before before commencing military operations against Thailand. Thus it may well be that those operations were in fact 'war crimes' and may well form part of the bill of charges against ex-secretary Rumsfeld. We hope to have a favorable ruling from the German public prosecutor soon stating that he will file charges against the US for the invasion of Thailand - as well as other grave charges.....

Assistant Village Idiot on :

Don S. Heh. JW, I was thinking of alternate computations of giving, such as this: http://www.cgdev.org/content/publications/detail/6303 An interesting quote from the Council on Foundations, November 2005: "A lot of US giving internationally also goes to categories such as education, healthcare, arts and culture. But since the donor must be a private foundation in order to qualify for a tax deduction on gifts to foreign organizations, most giving by individuals and many corporations is not tracked by the US tax system and therefore does not appear in nonprofit sector data. Nevertheless, there are many individual American donors who opt to make direct charitable gifts for an urgent cause or an issue of personal concern who knowingly forego any tax benefit." I don't mean to denigrate any European nation's contributions - we learned this value from you guys, after all. But the point of many of these "Americans finished 407th" lists is to reinforce the comforting idea of the greedy, selfish, self-righteous American. Americans often give aid via religious denominations, which are not broken out in the totals. Americans don't give enough by a long shot - I'd like to smack a few to give more myself - but any list that doesn't have us up in the first few is immediately suspect. Anecdote - a single case: the Romanian orphanage where we volunteer and adopted two sons from is run by a Romanian doctor. He traveled over much of Europe after the Revolution seeking aid and volunteers. He found a few Europeans willing to make one trip. He is openly angry and almost contemptuous of western Europe at this point: "I don't go there anymore to ask. No one but the Americans and the Canadians come." That is likely unfair and perhaps poisoned by his unrealistic expectations. Still, it is instructive.

Wolf on :

Would someone please address the idiotic claim by Ray@Medienkritik that W cares because he pledged $15 billion? According to Ray's own evidence only about $2 billion was actually appropriated in the first 3 years of the 5 year commitment. And all of that money in a $2 trillion budget. Don't tell me W cares about more than a photo op. Ask Powell, O'Neill, and Todd Whitman.

Don S on :

"Would someone please address the idiotic claim by Ray@Medienkritik that W cares because he pledged $15 billion?" Certainly. I could not care less how much Bush 'cares' about African AIDS sufferers. On this issue actions speak very much louder than words. And the actions do seem to be there. [url=http://www.avert.org/pepfar.htm]The PEPFAR web site[/url] seems to have good information about the Bush program. 1) Of the $15 billion program, $9 billion is new funding. Not quite the claimed 'tripling' of aid but close. Bush never claimed $15 billion in new funding to to attack him on that basis is - disingenuous.... Let me be more clear; it's an outright lie. Wolf: [i]"only about $2 billion was actually appropriated in the first 3 years of the 5 year commitment"[/i] From PEPFAR: "In FY 2004, President Bush requested $1,900 million for combating global HIV/AIDS, TB and Malaria, suggesting that the $3,000 million was an average and that the annual expenditure would be increased over the five year period. Congress insisted on increasing President Bush's figure by $500 million, and in January 2004 appropriated $2.4 billion for HIV/AIDS" "The total budget for global HIV and AIDS in FY 2005 was $2,701 million, of which $2,598 million was enacted." "In FY 2006, President Bush requested, and Congress appropriated, approximately $3.2 billion." In the first three fiscal years a total of $8.2 billion was appropriated. Not [b]"about $2 billion"[/b]. May I suggest remidial math lessons for whomever invented those 'statistics', Wolf? Further: "For FY 2007, the president has asked for around $4 billion including $300 million for the Global Fund. However this amount may still be cut by Congress." That would bring the total up to $12.2 billion for the first 4 years, assuming that the new Democratic congress appropriates it. They may not; they are 'conservatives' after all.... ;) But you're correct in a cosmic sense, Wolfie. ;) Bush doesn't give a gamn abotu Africans; it's clearly proven by his actions.

Assistant Village Idiot on :

Wolf, how do we know if you "care?" All we know is that you write angry words on a blog? How is it that I am going to read your mind across the miles, to know if you really "care" or are just grousing? My Emote-o-meter doesn't work through the net. When you figure out how I'm going to read your mind, you can tell me how you can read Bush's. I figure it must be a pretty similar process.

joe on :

Interesting how these ranking were developed. One could use something similar and come to the conclusion that Fiji is more of an ally of the US than any member of the chocolate summit Which would be equally true

Gregory Kelly on :

So the massive corruption of the Africans is in no way responsible for the starving african children...it is all the fault of George Bush and The United States? While one could come up with many ways to excuse this behavior I must point out that one of the premier signs of Arrested Development is the lack of personal responsibility or in effect not accepting ones circumstances as outcomes of ones behavior(s) and choice(s). When it IS always the fault of others and never the persecuted "victim" or 'martyr" fault you should have warning signals blaring in your head! When a socio-pathological destructive pattern of behavior continues over the course of decades one cannot merely dismiss it as a passing phase or blame it on one two term American president. Everyone of us has gone through goodtimes and badtimes but we took responsibility and action to correct the situation(s) and in many instances with the assistance of our allies without blaming others or making the problem that of others. Personal Responsibility Does Start At Home!

joe on :

Maybe I have missed something. How did this get to be a US problem? And just what has the Germans and other euros done. Somewhere I read that Germany has an army, if that is really true and this is such a moral issue for the Germans then why not deploy them?

Gregory Kelly on :

Why has the G8 defaulted? (Mail & Guardian: 30 October 2006 08:10) {The United Nations' special envoy for HIV and Aids in Africa accused the world's wealthiest countries on Sunday of failing to deliver on promises to increase aid to the most impoverished continent.” "Where is the G8 money ? Where is the promise?... The world is running out of patience. Why has the G8 defaulted?" Stephen Lewis told reporters in Malawi. "I cannot understand why programmes in Africa are not being funded when in 2005 the G8 promised to double its funding to $25-billion by 2010," he said on the first day of a three-day visit to Malawi.} G8 funding was based upon Africa undertaking serious steps toward fiscal responsibility and corruption reform. (not mentioned in the article of course) Africa has made little effort in this regard and has not been able to show any moves towards positive reform measures. The UN should first address ITS FAILURE TO STOP THE GENOCIDE in Africa. Remember Rawanda? Ever heard of Darfur? Koffi Annan and his Oil for Food scheme ring a bell? The UN lacks the credibility to chide anyone. Over the course of the past six months I have been in negotiations with an African non-government organization here in the New York City area. The group is fast to claim that they represent “The New Africa!” In actuality they are “The Old Africa!” just attempting to hide the corruption and scams better. They are indeed advised by an extremely shady character that works for the City of New York and is working to have the UN recognize their business promotion group as an official NGO of the UN. So yet again, the failure, corruption, and genocide of Africa and UN failure is somehow the fault of the G8. Stephen Lewis said: “The world is running out of patience,” well Mr. Lewis the G8 and developed world ran out of patience a long time ago with throwing money into the sewer pit, enough said.

joe on :

George, I believe you are a bit confused. Please do not use the word “responsibility” with any nation other than the US. You should NEVER use it in anyway connected to the UN. It is best not to use that word even in the same paragraph with the UN. And the world has not run out of patience with the UN only with the US. The UN contiues to be the shinning beacon of world government for the euros.

Yank on :

"Bush does not give a damn about the dying of millions of children in Africa." How can you let that very type of accusation pass as valid and respectable? Anyone who uses that type of argument damns his own words. It is a fallaciouis argument that combines the bogus ad hominem attack with the amazing familiarity fallacy: http://www.don-lindsay-archive.org/skeptic/arguments.html People who have right on their side don't stoop to such deceitful rhetorical devices. I can speculate on the intents and motives of anyone here to my heart's content, accusing them of having evil motives and intents. Shall I? Shall I claim to be an omnicient mind reader like this anti-American? Then shall we reqire the accused to prove a negative? I am a stupid American hick and I know better to fall for that garbage. So what's with all you intelluctually superior Euros? Don't you know demonization when you hear it? Don't you know pure speculation when you hear it? Indeed, what country has done more to stop the deaths? Jorg, you said the reasons for Amerians' alienation from Germany are silly. No they are not. Germans have earned it.

Don S on :

Yank, Read carefully and I think you'll find that Joerg debunks what Michael Naumann wrote, albei in a 'balanced' way with a back dig at 'many Americans'.

Add Comment

E-Mail addresses will not be displayed and will only be used for E-Mail notifications.

To prevent automated Bots from commentspamming, please enter the string you see in the image below in the appropriate input box. Your comment will only be submitted if the strings match. Please ensure that your browser supports and accepts cookies, or your comment cannot be verified correctly.
CAPTCHA

Form options