Health Supreme by Sepp Hasslberger

Networking For A Better Future - News and perspectives you may not find in the media

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June 30, 2005

Live8 - Lockstep Into AIDS Catastrophe?

An article by Peter Barry Chowka caught my attention. Titled "Warning: Don't Be Hoodwinked As The Biggest HIV/AIDS Hype Yet Gets Ready To Roll", the piece refers to the upcoming series of concerts termed Live8. Chowka says the concerts, organized to pressure the G8 nations into canceling some of the African nations' debts and into reforming development aid, will be a huge propaganda coup for the international HIV/AIDS medical-pharmaceutical-industrial complex.

With the major push in AIDS treatment being the sale of antiretroviral drugs, which are known to often kill the patient rather than cure the disease, as Chowka puts it, the direction of the drive may be right into catastrophe. He says:

Incredibly, the conventional war on AIDS, like no other issue in history, has succeeded in uniting left and right, liberals and conservatives, and evangelicals and nonbelievers in a lock-step march toward institutionalizing the pharmaceutical drug treatment paradigm worldwide right down to every last person on earth. If this sounds like an exaggeration, consider the fact that the expressed objective of policymaking HIV/AIDS control proponents is to test everyone on the planet for HIV and treat everyone who tests HIV positive with antiretroviral drugs, even infants who test HIV negative if their mothers test positive. It is an absolute act of modern heresy and guaranteed career suicide for anyone in any position of power and authority to challenge the dominant HIV/AIDS mega-spin including the belief in the monolithic HIV/AIDS-test-and-treat-with-drug strategy that is now completely operant at every level of public policy around the world.

Chowka is right about the orthodoxy unwilling to listen to any alternatives on AIDS, but I hope that the concerts will not function as a push for that pharma-centered view. In fact, reading the Live8 information - WHAT'S IT ALL ABOUT - I have hope...

Read the whole article at the Peter Barry Chowka's site.

- - -

Want to know more? This site contains several articles on Aids and alternative treatments, as well as false statistics in Africa and toxic medications that kill the patient. There are even references to what might by some be called conspiracy theories - a US biological warfare research program to find a race-specific bug, which does seem to be oddly time-coincident with the appearance of what has become known as the Aids epidemic.

To find the articles, simply type Aids into the search window on the top of this page and go!

See also related:

Health Groups Expect to Miss AIDS Target
Thursday 30 June 2005 - The World Health Organization and the United Nations AIDS program said yesterday that they would not reach their heavily promoted "3 by 5" goal of treating three million H.I.V.-infected poor people by the end of 2005.

The Guardian: Africa's new best friends
George Monbiot - Tuesday July 5, 2005
The US and Britain are putting the multinational corporations that created poverty in charge of its relief

Live8: a triumph for sentiment, not for results

Live8 was to "pressure" the G8 countries to provide relief to the poor, especially in Africa.

Here are some comments on the G8 meeting, taken from GM WATCH daily:



"When the moment came to act, the G8 turned their back on the world's poor."

- John Hilary, War on Want

"The final communique is an insult to the hundreds of thousands of campaigners who listened in good faith to the world leaders' claim that they were willing to seriously address poverty in Africa. More importantly it is a disaster for the world's poor. The agreements on trade, debt, aid and climate change are nowhere near sufficient to tackle the global poverty and environmental crisis we face."

- Peter Hardstaff, the World Development Movement

"The people who will most immediately pay the price for this failure will be the poor people in Africa whose lives are already being damaged by climate change and the increased droughts, floods and hunger it brings."

- Stephen Tindale, Greenpeace

"A lot of what has been announced [on aid] has been announced and promised before."

- Claire Melamed, Christian Aid.

"The G8's approach on trade seems to be 'Ask not what we can do for the poor, but what the poor can do for us,'"

- Peter Hardstaff, the World Development Movement

"not a word about the agricultural subsidies in the European Union and the United States that make competition so tough they are crippling African farmers and their produce in their own land."

- Sunjay Sury, Inter Press Service (item 2)

"The G8 Summit was widely seen as Blair's last chance to rescue his credibility. As details of the deal on Africa and climate change emerge it is becoming clear that we have been totally betrayed. The worst outcome would be for him to get away with it. We have a unique opportunity now for NGOs and the Make Poverty History organisers and the Live8 concert organisers to demand Blair's immediate resignation. Will they have the courage to demand this?"

- Robert Vint, Genetic Food Alert

"Tony Blair is a liar and a warmonger"
- Iain Banks, famed Scottish novelist and supporter of the parliamentary campaign to have Blair impeached.


G8 condemn Africa to miss Millennium Development Goals
Friday 8 July 2005

Responding to the outcome of the G8 summit, World Development Movement (WDM) Head of Policy, Peter Hardstaff said:

"The final communique is an insult to the hundreds of thousands of campaigners who listened in good faith to the world leaders' claim that they were willing to seriously address poverty in Africa. More importantly it is a disaster for the world's poor. The agreements on trade, debt, aid and climate change are nowhere near sufficient to tackle the global poverty and environmental crisis we face.

"We are furious, but not surprised. Calling on the G8 to Make Poverty History this year was always a brave attempt to put aside 30 years of knowledge of G8 failures and suspend our disbelief at the notion that the countries responsible for causing so much poverty could become the solution.

"A historic breakthrough was promised, instead we saw a tiny step. The deals on debt and aid fall way short of what is needed to achieve global poverty reduction targets and on trade it's business as usual as the G8 attempt to bulldoze more liberalisation out of the poor. These tiny sums of money are nothing more than a sticking plaster over the deep wounds the G8 are inflicting by forcing failed economic policies such as privatisation, free trade and corporate deregulation, on Africa.

"Add the lack of anything meaningful on climate change and this once again proves that the G8 is not a legitimate body to be tackling these urgent global problems, this should be the last G8. The minor moves on aid and debt need to be taken forward in other institutions such as the UN where the G8 can't backtrack on them.

"The campaign to secure justice for the world's poor is far from over."

On trade

The G8 countries made no significant unilateral commitments to change their damaging trade policies sending a clear message that they will only consider taking action if poor countries liberalise in return. The G8 push to get poor countries to liberalise has even extended as far as offering 'aid for trade' bribes - giving poor countries some extra aid money in return for liberalisation.

This is despite the fact that UN research demonstrates that the liberalisation forced on least developed countries during the 1990s was associated with rising poverty, with the countries worst affected being those that had liberalised most - even though these countries received substantial aid during the same period.

Peter Hardstaff said, "The G8's approach on trade seems to be 'Ask not what we can do for the poor, but what the poor can do for us'."

On aid

The modest increases to be delivered by 2010 will be too little too late - and far from the $50 billion a year the UN say is needed to reach the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Thanks to pressure from Germany and France, it looks like Gordon Brown's International Finance Facility may be financed through air ticket taxes rather than aid budgets. While this may address the gaping flaw in Brown's IFF - the likely drop in aid budgets once repayments kick-in - the money will not be new and the tax will not be raised to a level that could reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

On debt

The re-announced cancellation initiative is a step forward but it is woefully inadequate. Only 18 countries currently qualify (with a possible further 20) when over 60 have been identified as needing immediate debt cancellation to achieve the Millennium Development Goals. Therefore the amount of money on offer can only address about 10 per cent of the multilateral debt problem.

A potential crumb of comfort on aid and debt is a statement from the G8 recognising that poor countries should be free to determine their own economic policies. However, George Bush has made it very clear that the US only supports giving money to countries that are pursuing free market policies, this calls into question his willingness to abide by this promise.

The key test will be whether the G8 countries make good on this action by abolishing the economic policy conditions attached to bilateral aid, debt relief and World Bank and IMF loans.


posted by Sepp Hasslberger on Thursday June 30 2005
updated on Friday June 26 2009

URL of this article:


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Readers' Comments

A comment by email, forwarded through Croft Woodruff in Canada...

From: Croft Woodruff
Sent: Saturday, July 02, 2005
Subject: Africa's poor do not owe "you and me" anything

Sir Geldof hails the pre-summit announcement that there would be a debt forgiveness package for some countries in sub-Saharan Africa as "a victory for millions," claiming, "Tomorrow 280 million Africans will wake up for the first time in their lives without owing you or me a penny."

What nonsense! Africa's poor do not owe "you and me" anything. Their debts are to major corporations, financial institutions, imperialist governments and multilateral organizations such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. None of these contemplate any measures to seriously alleviate Africa's plight because they are intent on perpetuating the exploitation of the continent.

The June 11 G8 agreement covers just 18 countries that have fulfilled the pro-market criteria set down under the Highly Indebted Poor Countries Initiative (HIPC), and accounts for at most $1.5 billion per annum in repayments, and possibly only half that amount. The move is largely aimed at staving off criticisms of the major nations' failure to honor other commitments on aid.

Whatever is given must be offset by a corresponding cut in aid to the poor countries, meaning that, in reality, they will get nothing extra. And to qualify, they must continue to "boost private sector development" and eliminate all "impediments to private investment, both domestic and foreign."

Compared with the announced sum of $40 billion in debt forgiveness over 10 years, sub-Saharan Africa alone has $230 billion in external debt, and the so-called "developing" countries owe a combined total of $2.4 trillion. For every $1 of aid officially provided to Africa, $3 are extracted by the Western banks, institutions and governments. And far more is plundered by the transnational corporations who operate there.

The political leaders in Washington, London, Berlin, Paris, Rome, Ottawa, Tokyo and Moscow can no more be persuaded to act altruistically towards Africa than they can jump out of their own skins. They are the representatives of financial elites whose interests are diametrically opposed to those of working people everywhere.

The massive levels of debt that afflict the world's poorest countries have the same essential cause as their economic backwardness. The countries in which capitalism first emerged in Europe, America and Japan were able to use their economic and military might to exploit the markets and resources of the entire world. These imperialist powers still look on Africa, Asia and South America as a source of valuable raw materials and markets for finished products. They cannot tolerate the development of domestic competition in these regions, or any genuine expression of democracy for the oppressed masses.

The ruling elites in the economically backward countries depend on their relations with the major powers and giant corporations for their privileged position. In return, they are charged with imposing the dictates of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund on the working class and peasantry to ensure that oil, minerals, agricultural produce and other essential raw materials find their way to the advanced countries or to production facilities set up by the transnational corporations.

The forms in which imperialism has exercised its dominance over the underdeveloped countries have undergone certain changes, but the fundamental economic and social relationship between oppressor and oppressed nations remains the same.

Posted by: Sepp on July 10, 2005 04:42 PM


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