Sunday, March 19, 2017

A public-diplomacy comment on the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Facebook entry

We believe that investing in health, development, and research is good for America and good for the world.
More in this statement from our CEO, Sue Desmond-Hellmann.

Sue Desmond-Hellmann

We are deeply troubled that the budget proposal disproportionately affects the poorest people, abroad and at home. In just 25 years, American investments overse...
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Monique Jacobs It's heartbreaking to see these budget cuts; sadly it will get worse before it gets better. It will take a serious "hurricane katharina" or "ebola outbreak" like event for republicans to understand that investing in science is the Heart & Soul of a wel...See More
Elias Luri I couldn't agree more with Mr Bill Gates. Any negative correlation between American militarism on one hand, and American humanitarianism-cum-public diplomacy on the other hand, in favour of the former, will neither win for America hearts and minds, nor command military fear-induced respect for it. 

The things that introduced the name America/USA to me, in the late 1970s and early 80s, long before I could locate it on a map/globe and endeared it to me as a child growing up in pari-urban/rural northern Ghana were the infant/child milk powder, 'weanimix' food and cooking oil distributed to nursing mothers at various postnatal child health and nutrition clinics. Printed on the food bags and gallons of oil were "USAID, donated by the American People." 

The USAID's sponsorship of my undergraduate research project on microfinance access and impact on rural women in northern Ghana in the mid-90s, also endeared America/ns to me, and not its military might per se.

The George Walker Bush Highway, in Accra, Ghana, constructed with American grant by H.E. President George Walker Bush in 2007, has also endeared me to America/ns, not least because of the positive economic impact of that highway on my personal economy and stress levels, in commuting to and fro in the City of Accra. This gesture, rather than his militarism in Iraq, makes me feel indebted to him and the American people.

Let President Trump eschew military 'spending-extremism'; and instead steer a moderate course in allocating his budget. In the era of non-state terrorists actors and cyber warfare, I wonder whether heavy spending of military is what will assure American security. America needs friends not foes!

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