The Oil-For-Food scheme is now under Coalition control and if you’re Judy Swallow, that is not such a happy prospect. On tonight’s broadcast of “Newshour” she hectored the poor UN official who is now out of a job (so to speak) about how bad things are going to get now that the UN is not around to look after the Iraqis who’ve been receiving aid. The official makes very clear that nothing will really change, for the same staff will administer the programme as before. Judy isn’t sure the Coalition can manage it. I must say that she takes the prize as one of the most consistently anti-Bush Beebazoids on the World Service. Later on in the programme the topic was AIDS prevention and the terrible things George Bush was doing by urging sexual abstinence “just like Reagan did with his ‘just say no’ campaign against drugs.” While her assumption seems to be that Bush II is more philosophically informed by Reagan than by his father (about the only thing on which we agree), she takes a major speculative leap to conclude that “Reagan’s anti-drug programme encouraged more young people to take drugs because they became curious about what they were saying ‘no’ to.” I would like to see where she gets her data.
Next up are two experts to discuss the war against terror as “the new cold war”. Neither of these guys could be accused being even close to the center-left of the political spectrum. One lets fly a screed about the West using proxy wars to keep Islamic nations under western domination. This seems to be where she wants the discussion to head. The second expert (of the liberal Brookings Institution) notes that since the war in Iraq, more than half of the counter-terror resources were diverted to Iraq (and we all know that no terrorists are involved there, don’t we), leaving Afghanistan and other places around the world to languish. Judy seems to be happy with this assessment. Consistently you can expect negative slanting against the Bush administration. Judy Swallow then asserts that President Bush, by funding AIDS prevention programmes which promote sexual abstinence as an important way to avoid contracting the disease, is doing great harm to the world!
Finally, she interviews (interrogates?) an AIDS prevention expert from the USA. It is clear that Ms Swallow will settle for nothing less than to hear this expert admit that President Bush, as usual, is the source of all that is wrong in the world. Judy is not able to put words in her expert’s mouth. Strange, isn’t it, that she can remember a ‘failed’ anti-drug message touted by the Reagan administration but could not manage to mention that Mr Bush is the driving force behind the 15bn in AIDS-related funding for Africa. Ah well, Judy’s not into that kind of music.