Sunday, 9 January 2005

The tsunami

Tsunami news has been all over the place and I haven’t commented much. I think we’ve reacted well, thus far, and have played an indispensable role. Only the U.S. is capable of deploying the assets needed in the immediate aftermath of that kind of disaster.

This has led to some unfortunate debates on the merits of the U.S. vis-a-vis the rest of the world—we don’t give as much annual aid to UN-related institutions, though we do well in responding to crises. It’s an approach I approve of since these organizations—the World Health Organization, the UN (their response has been laughable), the World Bank, the IMF, and so forth—don’t acquit themselves very well over the long term. I tend to prefer that we assist in well-defined projects where we can get unambiguous measures of progress and the Asian tsunami fits the bill.

I don’t even really care whether we get any “credit” as long as we are doing what we think is right. It seems to me that some Europeans got a little carried away in their hatred of President Bush and a Hindi guy set them straight:

“Can you let your hatred of George Bush end for just one minute? There are people dying! And what are your countries doing? has helped more than France has. You all have a role to play in the world, why can’t you see that? Thank God for the US Navy, they dont have to come and help, but they are. They helped you once and you should all thank God they did. They didnt have to, and no one but them would have done so. I’m ashamed of you all…”
Reagan said something along the lines of “we can accomplish great things as long as we don’t care who takes credit”. These days we’ll have to settle for getting no credit and doing the right thing anyway.

As for myself, I would rather America be right than be loved.

(þ: The Professor)

Update: The guys at Powerline found a great article that demonstrates the BBC's, and other MSM outlets, biased coverage:

The real story of the week should thus have been the startling contrast between the impotence of the international organisations, the UN and the EU, and the remarkable efficiency of the US and Australian military on the ground. Here and there, news organisations have tried to report this, such as the Frankfurter Allgemeine in Germany, and even the China News Agency, not to mention various weblogs, such as the wonderfully outspoken Diplomad, run undercover by members of the US State Department, and our own But when even Communist China's news agency tells us more about what is really going on than the BBC, we see just how strange the world has become.
Remember: in spite of the media coverage, we've continued to do the right thing while the UN has had numerous pre-planning meetings, which have had a net benefit of zero for the people of the region.


Any views expressed in these comments are solely those of their authors; they do not reflect the views of the authors of Signifying Nothing, unless attributed to one of us.
[Permalink] 1. Barbara Skolaut wrote @ Sun, 9 Jan 2005, 10:08 pm CST:

Well said, Robert. Thank you.

I don’t care if we’re loved; I expect we won’t be, since most of the hatred we hear from the rest of the world is really jealousy. We can, and they can’t. And they can’t because they deliberately chose not to be able to, just as we chose to be able to. Thus their hatred, brought on by jealousy.

(Can and can’t what, you ask? Just about anything important.)

Every day I wake up I’m grateful my however-many-great-grandparents got on those boats. It is a privilege to be an American.

[Permalink] 2. joe mockensturm wrote @ Thu, 13 Jan 2005, 7:38 am CST:

Of course, since robert and barbara wrote their thoughtful pieces, Indonesia has given us a deadline of 31 March, 2005 to get or military off their precious soil.
To hell with their suffering masses, the glory of Islam must reign

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