'The President of the World was coming'
A friend suggested I read this piece by Bob Geldof
on his time in Africa with President Bush. Geldof is quite blunt about his disagreements with the president. But he's also blunt (and right) that the president deserves more credit than he's received for what he's done in Africa. ... The president comes across as a classic defensive teaser, i.e., his quick wit derives in part from put-downs of others before they might tease him -- or something like that. But Geldof doesn't seem to mind and gives it right back to him. I liked these lines:
The Bush regime has been divisive — but not in Africa. I read it has been incompetent — but not in Africa. It has created bitterness — but not here in Africa. Here, his administration has saved millions of lives.
I hope the president devotes much of his time, post-presidency, continuing his work in Africa. ... On a separate note: Madagascar Reader (formerly Quebec Reader) sends in this piece
about rioting in Cameroon, which I used as a base for nearly six months while traveling through Africa in the early 2000s. Note the existence of unions and protesters defending what's left of the constitution. Cameroon is relatively stable and prosperous compared to its neighbors -- and it's almost universally assumed there that the Biya regime is both holding together and holding back the country. The trick is to hold it together while moving forward. The potential is there. The leadership isn't. ...