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

Smokey Robinson gets tribute treatment in Cleveland

Fresh
smokeyrobinson

Case Western Reserve University and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame are going to spend a week studying and celebrating Smokey Robinson.

in Viral Videos

WATCH: Truck vs. Tree

Fresh
17-overlay

Witness the power!

in Music

Andy Grammer signs on for ‘DWTS’

andygrammer

The "Honey, I'm Good" hitmaker is hitting the dance floor.

in Music

Ne-Yo isn’t married … yet

neyo

The R&B star is clearing up reports suggesting he has wed his pregnant partner Crystal Renay, insisting the couple is simply engaged.

in Entertainment

Why Bill Murray is in the new ‘Ghostbusters’ movie

24-overlay

After spending a quarter of a century not agreeing to be in "Ghostbusters 3" as Peter Venkman, Bill Murray recently signed on to Paul Feig’s reboot of the franchise.