- It seems inappropriate to be arguing over Boxing Day sales while thousands of our neighbours have been killed. It is a sad and grim reminder of how vulnerable we are to the force of nature. A pity our army is busy fighting America's immoral war when they should be providing assistance to the affected areas.
- An opportunity for western governments to divert some funds to aid assistance projects rather than their billion dollar war obsessions.
And some reckon it's the "Gods" again. Good try but not cigar. Leave the voodoo out of it.
Mother Nature strikes
- This latest tragic disaster should open all our eyes to the fact that the world seems to already have its "hands full" coping with seemingly ongoing natural disasters rather than creating such man made disasters as we have contributed to in Iraq.
wayne gregory FYFFE
Oh, by the way:
President Bush is sending condolences and promising aid to those affected by the Indian Ocean earthquake that spawned massive tidal waves felt from Indonesia to Sri Lanka.In particular:
A White House spokesman says the United States will provide appropriate aid and says some relief is already on its way to Sri Lanka and the Maldives. U.S. officials say they will provide further assistance in cooperation with other countries and international organizations, including the United Nations.(via Blograjanr, who's following the tsunami tragedy)
From IowaHawk, with a dash of Crichton:
Top Scientists Warn: Sea Gods Angry(via Instapundit)
Washington, DC - Pointing to the devastating weekend Indian Ocean tsunami that left over 24,000 dead, an international blue ribbon committee of climatologists and ecoscientists today issued a stark warning that man-made pollutants have increasingly "make water spirits angry."
The blunt conclusion prefaced a 2300 page meta-analysis of hundreds of scientific studies and computer models detailing links between human industrial activity and wrathful eco-deities. Entitled "Fire Bad: Fire Very Bad," the report warns that the planet faces additional catastrophies unless drastic regulatory action is taken to appease Earthen-furies.
"Unclean money devils anger sacred water spirit Tai-Waku," explained Martin Knudson of Scripps Oceanic Institute. "He now call angry to son the whale, 'make slap with anger-tails! Bring vengeance-surf to villagers!'"
Not Heh Update:
Are Democrats merging with the UN?:
The Bush administration yesterday pledged $15 million to Asian nations hit by a tsunami that has killed more than 22,500 people, although the United Nations' humanitarian-aid chief called the donation "stingy."I thought the "black helicopter" stuff was a myth, but if they can raise American taxes, the UN really is the source of all evil.
"The United States, at the president's direction, will be a leading partner in one of the most significant relief, rescue and recovery challenges that the world has ever known," said White House deputy press secretary Trent Duffy.
But U.N. Undersecretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Jan Egeland suggested that the United States and other Western nations were being "stingy" with relief funds, saying there would be more available if taxes were raised.
(via The Corner)
Not Heh Further Update:
The jerk's backed down:
The international response to a catastrophic tsunami in Asia has been quick and generous, a senior U.N. official said on Tuesday, playing down his earlier comments that wealthy nations were stingy.Since he's incapable of comprehending the real world, I recommend the UN send Egeland back to Norway. Alternatively, perhaps the Democrats should nominate him for President in '08.
U.N. Emergency Relief Coordinator Jan Egeland rowed back from statements he made on Monday after an annoyed Secretary of State Colin Powell said Washington was "the greatest contributor to international relief efforts in the world."
"The United States is not stingy," Powell told CNN's "American Morning" program.
[The Norwegian Egeland continued,] "It has nothing to do with any particular country or the response to this emergency. We are in early days and the response has so far been overwhelmingly positive," he said.
"The international assistance that has come and been pledged from the United States, from Europe and from countries in the region has also been very generous," Egeland added.
Countries have contributed or pledged tens of millions of dollars in the first few days after the disaster.
The United States provided an initial $15 million mostly channeled through the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent, plus logistical support for aid efforts. On Tuesday, the U.S. Agency for International Development added $20 million for the earthquake relief, a White House spokesman said.
Yeah, that's the ticket.
Still Further Update:
Even the title--Turtle Bay Catch-22--of Jonah's latest is brilliant:
[I]t is one thing to say the victims need more help, and another thing entirely to suggest that Sri Lankans and Indonesians are suffering from the stinginess of Americans or U.S. tax policy.More and More:
Let's review the obvious: The United Nations is an odious institution. Whenever I make this commonsense observation, I am invariably rebutted with questions like, "What about the starving people it feeds?" or "What about the peacekeeping?"
O.K., what about them? . . .
The United States supplies more than one-fifth of the United Nations' total budget (and 57 percent, 33 percent and 27 percent of the budgets for the World Food Program, the Refugee Agency, and Department of Peacekeeping Operations, respectively). We've been the United Nations' biggest donor every year since 1945. Taxpayers reluctantly agree to such largess because we're told of the good works the United Nations does. And yet, whenever there's a catastrophe, Uncle Sam is asked to dig deep into his pocket for more money.
The problem is that the United Nations is not an impartial philanthropic organization. It is a political institution where a broad coalition of nations hope to curtail the power and influence of the United States. France uses the organization to leverage its relatively meager power by rallying African and Arab nations against us. Kofi Annan uses his megaphone to decry the moral and legal legitimacy of American foreign policy. Its Human Rights Committee is festooned with torture states, but it seems capable of issuing only condemnations inconvenient to the United States. And we foot the bill.
This is the Catch-22 of the United Nations. Politically, it's often reprehensible and inimical to American interests. But we're never asked to pay for that stuff. This comes out of the general budget. It's only when human beings are suffering in vast numbers that we're shamed for being "stingy" — because the United Nations understands how to exploit America's decency. If only we could be shaken down for more money to pay the light bill in the General Assembly when they play whack-a-mole with the United States.
Charles Johnson at LGF has two tables showing the U.S. aid budget (both in percentage of growth national income and in total dollars); data is from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development:
As a percentage of Gross National Income (click to enlarge)
In Total Dollars (click to enlarge)
Doesn't look so stingy anymore does it? Indeed, the OECD numbers don't even include food aid:
The United States is the world's leading provider of food aid to the UN's World Food Program (WFP), contributing 51.4% of its budget--about $929 million--in 2002. In the first 5 months of 2003, the United States provided $794 million to the WFP.And the grinches are especially crazy since all these amounts don't include monies from private non-governmental charities, which dwarf government aid--"more than three and a half times the amount of official development assistance (ODA) given out in a year by the U.S. government"--but barely exist outside the Anglosphere.
I guess there are as many ways to calculate "aid" as there are to calculate "love of country." According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, in 2003, the U.S. gave $37.8 billion out of a total $108.5 billion in foreign aid from the world's major countries – notable for being more than three times the amount from the next largest donor, the Netherlands, clocking in at $12.2 billion. Americans make up about 5 percent of the world's population and give about 35 percent of the aid. . . .The Hits Just Keep on Coming:
At a minimum, in order to discount the largesse of the United States, one must carefully exclude gigantic categories of aid, such as military aid, food aid, trade policies, refugee policies, religious aid, private charities and individual giving.
Victor Davis Hanson:
In the first days of the disaster, a Norwegian U.N. bureaucrat snidely implied that the United States was "stingy" even though private companies in the United States, well apart from American individuals, foundations, and the government, each year alone give more aggregate foreign aid than does his entire tiny country. Apparently the crime against America is not that it gives too little to those who need it, but that it gives too little to those who wish to administer it all.