Sunday?s devastating tsunami has given the
this writing the tsunami triggered by a 9.0 magnitude earthquake, the fourth largest this century, has killed more than 25,000 people in a circle
of death spanning 10 countries from
Upon hearing the news,
In addition to this aid package, President Bush has dispatched military planes to the area, sent a 21-person USAID contingent of disaster relief specialists, and offered to send troops stationed in Okinawa, Japan, to help Thai victims.
By way of contrast, the 25-member European Union, the world's largest trader, whose combined economy is larger than that of the United States, will deliver $4 million.
Nonetheless, UN Undersecretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Jan Egeland labeled these efforts ?stingy.?
Aside from betraying abhorrent manners, the UN bureaucrat?s comments sounded a common theme of the Left: No matter how much time, money, or resources America commits to a humanitarian effort ? and no matter how demonstrably unselfish our motives ? greedy capitalist America never lifts a finger to help the downtrodden. Indeed, by our disproportionate consumption of the world?s resources and contributions to environmental degradation, we are the cause of the world?s suffering.
The left-wing blog TalkLeft anticipated Egeland. After accusing
DailyKos and other
leftist blogs have noted
How could leftists express such a fundamental truth? According to them,
this country has waged a needless pre-meditated war on innocent Iraqi freedom
fighters and ? according to at least one
Democratic Congressman ? is deliberately targeting
civilians. Their view was best expressed by U.S. Senator Patty Murray,
D-Wash., when she told a high school class Osama bin Laden had done more for suffering
[Osama has] been out in these countries for decades building roads, building schools, building infrastructure, building day care facilities, building health care facilities, and the people are extremely grateful. It made their lives better. [Americans] have not done that. ? How would they look at us today if we had been there helping them with some of that, rather than just being the people who are going to bomb in Iraq and go to Afghanistan?
Naturally, Osama bin Laden has never built ?day care facilities?
The broader point is that America
has always been more than the nation
that liberates enslaved Arabs; it is the nation that bailed Europe out of two
world wars, then reconstructed those nations with the Marshall Plan; that aided
our sworn enemies to keep them from starving their populations to death in the
Soviet Union, Ethiopia, and North Korea; that shows up with troops, supplies,
and endless grants (often in the form of ?loans,? never repaid) every time there
is a mud slide, earthquake, or hurricane anywhere in the world, including Iran. When a
leftist acquaintance claimed that
After deriding Western philanthropy (an odd way to solicit donations), Egeland urged the West to exacerbate worldwide income redistribution. Western governments, he vouchsafed, mistakenly ?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.? He added, ?Christmastime should remind many Western countries at least, [of] how rich we have become.? His words echoed comments Jesse Jackson made to MSNBC?s Campbell Brown on domestic welfare spending last Thursday:
the last [Bush] budget, we cut housing again, and that was Jesus? dilemma. In
Jesse?s Christmas message: Republicans ? and the nation they govern ? hate baby Jesus. Leave it to Jesse to turn the nativity of the Son of God into a crass political weapon.
For the record, Jesus? family became homeless when the Roman government
herded together every soul ever born in the ?little town of
Egeland is right that the American people always ?want to give more? to
the suffering and downtrodden. White House deputy press secretary Trent Duffy
responded to Egeland?s rant by stating that Americans are ?the largest contributor to international relief and aid
efforts, not only through the government, but through charitable organizations.
The American people are very giving.? The facts bear out Duffy?s case.
Americans make a minimum of $34 billion in private donations to assist the less fortunate
overseas, the overwhelming majority from religious foundations and
non-governmental organizations (NGOs).
Times like this show the world
You can help USAID assist victims of Sunday's tsunami by clicking here.