by Tim Reid
PRESIDENT BUSH embarks on a five-day tour of Africa today that
reflects the continent's growing importance to America's global
interests and Mr Bush's electoral prospects at home.
. . . the five-day visit, which comes as Mr Bush is on the verge of
sending US troops into Liberia, is also being driven by the
realities of America's post-September 11 foreign policy and the
dynamics of next year's presidential election. In many ways the real
agenda is terrorism, US military influence, oil and American voters.
[It sees Africa as the world's last largely untapped market. It
holds out hope that Africa's substantial oil reserves could play a
larger role in fueling the American economy and perhaps serving as a
counterweight to the influence of OPEC.--Richard W. Stevenson, "New Threats and Opportunities Redefine U.S. Interests in
Africa," New York Times, July 7, 2003]
Somini Sengupta, "Liberian Says U.S. Backs His Enemies," New York Times, July 8, 2003