News

Obama, Bush brought together in Africa

Obama, Bush brought together in Africa

Photo: Reuters

DAR ES SALAAM (Reuters) – President Barack Obama and his predecessor George W. Bush stood side-by-side in Tanzania on Tuesday to commemorate the victims of the al Qaeda bombing of the U.S. Embassy 15 years ago – an attack that foreshadowed the United States’ present military build-up in Africa.

The two men bowed their heads in silence at a memorial stone in the new embassy compound in Dar es Salaam to the 10 Tanzanians killed and 85 Americans and Tanzanians wounded in the bombing on August 7, 1998.

They then briefly spoke to survivors. But there was little personal interaction between the two men.

The ceremony took place at a time when the United States is stepping up its role in the fight against Islamist militants in Africa.

Washington supports African forces in stabilizing Somalia and Mali, deploys dozens of training teams to African nations, provides intelligence and has struck at militants with drones.

With up to 5,000 personnel on the ground, the United States now has more troops in Africa now than at any point since its Somalia intervention two decades ago.

On the same day as the Tanzanian attack, al Qaeda also bombed the U.S. Embassy in Kenya. Those assaults proved a precursor to the September 11, 2001, al Qaeda attacks on U.S. cities and the subsequent U.S.-led invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq ordered by Bush.

Obama has spent his tenure winding down the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and reacting to an economic downturn that Democrats blame on Bush’s policies. Republicans in turn say Obama’s actions have been bad for growth.

But on his three-nation African tour, Obama offered praise for the former president and described Bush’s program to battle HIV/AIDS there as a “crowning achievement.”

Bush is highly regarded in much of Africa for his legacy of support, while Obama has disappointed many by paying it little attention, security concerns aside, despite his African heritage.

Recent Headlines

in Music

Alice Cooper wants to ‘die on stage’

Fresh
alice

The rocker says he's not worried about elaborate stunts on stage because that's the way he would want to go out.

in Entertainment

Bryan Cranston laughs off ‘Breaking Bad’ toy controversy

Fresh
breaking

A Florida mom wants action figures from the popular series banned from Toys 'R' Us stores.

in Viral Videos

Brad Pitt in ‘Furby’

17-overlay1

What if the WWII tank movie was remade with the furry toys?

in Entertainment

Jimmy Fallon penning picture book

jimmyfallon

Fallon's daughter Winnie Rose has inspired the picture book, which will hit store shelves this summer.

in Music

Is your favorite artist ‘smart’ or ‘stupid?’

beethovenlilwayne

Can your listening habits actually boost your brain power?