Tuesday, December 28, 2004

U.N. official slams U.S. as 'stingy' over aid - The Washington Times: Nation/Politics - December 28, 2004

U.N. official slams U.S. as 'stingy' over aid - The Washington Times: Nation/Politics - December 28, 2004

This is just amazing. This author is one of those people that blow my mind. What right does she have to tell me what to do with my money? Before I get deep into my diatribe, I should take a step or two back, and build my case.

First quote....

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."

Okay, so the author calls an instant donation of $15 million, which is $5 million more than the next hightest doner, stingy even though we gave the first cash before we even knew the extent of the damage. Perhaps this is ignorance, but in this country, Congress holds the purse strings. They still have to approve any spending. The author is from Norway, perhaps she doesn't know that. It's reasonable since I don't know how the government of my grandfather's birth nation operates either. Still, the President did divert several Navy assets (aircraft and ships) to the region to help. It's a good thing Uncle Sam is all over the place, huh?

Second Point....
Secretary of State Colin L. Powell hinted that the $15 million U.S. offer was only the first installment of a larger aid package to those countries devastated by 30-foot waves triggered by a massive underwater earthquake.
"We also have to see this not just as a one-time thing," he said. "Some 20-plus thousand lives have been lost in a few moments, but the lingering effects will be there for years.
"The damage that was caused, the rebuilding of schools and other facilities will take time," he added. "So you need a quick infusion to stabilize the situation, take care of those who have been injured, get immediate relief supplies in, and then you begin planning for the longer haul."

My point is, DUH, more's comming!

Point 3
"Even before the crisis in the Asia-Pacific region and the Indian Ocean, the demands for food aid were stretching capacity: demands in Sudan, demands in West Africa, demands in other areas hit by drought and fighting," State Department spokesman Adam Ereli said.
"So even though we're giving a lot, the demand is very high," he added. "We're going to have to look at, as we move forward, what we can do to meet that demand."

Look at this, America is helping everybody already. Oh, yeah, we're bastards. Does anyone even offer to help us when we have a problem? I don't remember international aid coming in when Florida was hit by a few hurricaines in like what 9 weeks? Oh, but we're stingy. Right, okay.

Now we get to the fun stuff as my fur is going to get up, and I get really colorful...
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.

So, Jan Egeland thinks he understands economic policy since he's at the post for humanitarian affairs. Okay, Jan, tell us how to run our economy. What's that raise taxes so the governments of the world can give away their citizens money to those less fortunate? Hmmm, that sounds like wealth re-distribution. Why I thought the Commies lost the Cold War? I must be mistaken. Actually, they put on new clothes and ran amuck. Socialism, after all, was invented in the west. Engles was an Englishmen, i think. I know he and Lenin came up with in in England. But, I digress... My point here is that ol' Jan there makes the mistake that so many do, thinking they know better how to handle my stuff than I do.

What proof of that, here's this statement of his...
"It is beyond me why are we so stingy, really," the Norwegian-born U.N. official told reporters. "Christmastime should remind many Western countries at least, [of] how rich we have become."
"There are several donors who are less generous than before in a growing world economy," he said, adding that politicians in the United States and Europe "believe that they are really burdening the taxpayers too much, and the taxpayers want to give less. It's not true. They want to give more."

This is really two statements, but worth putting together. What Jan illustrates here is two distinct kinds of ignorance. The first is that America, and the West in general, is not only Christian. Some of us are Jews, Muslim, Hindu, Buddist, and other religions that I can't even think of. Still, what's wrong with being rich and powerful. Rich is protection. Think about this fact. When Hurricane Andrew hit Florida, and I forget the exact number, but less than 100 Americans died in an area that has millions living in it. When a similiarly powerful, class 4 or 5, hurricane hit Central America (or even Galvaston Texas about 100 years ago) more than 10,000 people died. What does that tell you? Rich people have the means to survive, so so strengthing the economy of the world is how you best save lives.

The second related point is the fact that he believes that I want to give more of my money to charity. Is that so? Do I feel guilt? Of course I don't, that's ridiculous! I give of my choice, and actually I do choose to give some of my income to charity. That's my business, and my decision. Why tell the government to take it from me, and give it to who they think deserves it. I'm and intelligent being, and can think for myself. Perhaps my charity is to my nephews whose parents earn less than I do. Perhaps I'll give to the families of my former bothers and sisters in arms who have lost their lives. Perhaps I'll give it to my house of worship, the Red Cross, or some children's fund. The point is that it's my choice to give or not; let alone to whom.

Americans are already the most charitible people on the planet, and we deserve some credit for that. 300 million can only do so much!


one last point....
Meanwhile, Agence France-Presse reported that a tsunami alert system in Hawaii that warns Pacific countries about devastating tidal waves detected the earthquake that led to the destruction across Indian Ocean nations.
But the absence of an alert system in Asia meant the information could not be sent out fast enough.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) Pacific Tsunami Warning Center, established in 1949 after a huge wave killed more than 150 people in Hawaii, issued a bulletin at 3:14 p.m. local time or 8:14 a.m. in the affected area, when it detected an earthquake off Indonesia.
The NOAA's information bulletin said there was a possibility of a tsunami near the earthquake's epicenter, but that no destructive threat existed in the Pacific. The huge tidal waves instead swept across the Indian Ocean, killing people in 10 countries from Indonesia to Somalia.

We're the bloody ones who warn the rest of the world about this stuff anyway. That's not a cheap system to monitor. Do we get any credit for that?


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