Over one-hundred million male condoms were poised to be distributed around the globe late last year by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), according to an actual government planning document obtained by Exhortations to the Oblivious. The massive shipment of prophylactics was to be targeted at developing countries, whose populations will use them "in family planning programs... HIV/AIDS prevention programs... and in a full range of service delivery programs: public sector, non-governmental, community based and private."
What troubles me most about this project isn't the obvious hypocrisy of the Bush Administration, which outside of this "family planning" endeavor appears to be under the illusion that it's the Global Guardian of All Great & Godly Things. No, what baffles me is the selected number of devices for this Rubbers to Rwanda initiative; not only is the order for more than one-hundred million (yes, over 100 million) condoms, but it's precisely for 100,002,000.
Yes, you read it correctly: ONE-HUNDRED MILLION, TWO-THOUSAND.
How (and why) did a USAID bureaucrat decide to add an extra 2,000 to this already astounding number?
"Okay, Charlie, I'm putting in the order for a hundred mil rubbers for Rwanda and elsewhere," a federal pencil pusher informs his supervisor, Mr. Quimby.
"Umm, hmmm.... no, no, no," responds Quimby. "Make it an even 100 million plus, say, 2,000. Just in case."
(Exhortations to the Oblivious formerly was the political humor sister-website of The Peacock Report. A few posts remain archived via U.S. Trade & Aid Monitor.)