Wednesday, December 29, 2004

The Left unhappy Bush isn't personally plucking people from trees.

Racing their delinquent UN counterparts to the sleazy bottom by politicizing the tsunami catastrophe, the Washington Post chronicles the repulsing opinions of Bush's perceived 'sensitivity' and attempts a comparison to the war on terror:
The Bush administration more than doubled its financial commitment yesterday to provide relief to nations suffering from the Indian Ocean tsunami, amid complaints that the vacationing President Bush has been insensitive to a humanitarian catastrophe of epic proportions.
Would helping dig the mass graves and burn decaying bodies be a more sensitive reaction for Bush?
Some foreign policy specialists said Bush's actions and words both communicated a lack of urgency about an event that will loom as large in the collective memories of several countries as the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks do in the United States. "When that many human beings die -- at the hands of terrorists or nature -- you've got to show that this matters to you, that you care," said Leslie H. Gelb, president emeritus of the Council on Foreign Relations.
If we could just get FED/EX to deliver the tens of tons of US donations by Next Day Air, we'd be sufficiently urgent. And what would say "caring" more than President Bush to personally sign letters of condolence to a couple thousand Indonesians every day for the next few months.
Gelb said what appears to be a grudging increase in effort sends the wrong message, at a time when dollar totals matter less than a clear statement about U.S. intentions. Noting that the disaster occurred at a time when large numbers of people in many nations -- especially Muslim ones such as Indonesia -- object to U.S. policies in Iraq, he said Bush was missing an opportunity to demonstrate American benevolence.
Oh, you mean 'grudging' by "only" contributing this (via CQ)
United States: initial pledge of $35 million, 12 U.S. Navy vessels, 5,000 sailors for support, rescue and humanitarian aid
Australia: $26M, plus five military transports and 50 specialists
Austria: $1.36M
Belgium: One military transport to deliver UNICEF aid
Britain: 370K (pounds), $100K, plus $481K of materials to Sri Lanka
Denmark: 45 tonnes of supplies, $1.82M
EU: "Ready to release" 30M Euro, 3M Euro already released.
France: 100K Euros ($140,000)
Finland: 500K Euro.
Germany: 2M Euro.
Greece: 17 doctors and staff.
Italy: 2 helicopters and crew.
Netherlands: 2M Euros.
Poland: $336K
Spain: 1M Euros pledged, 19 volunteers
Sweden: Two communications specialists and some tents and radios.
Please note France, Germany, Spain and the absence of Russia and China - countries who've officially arranged a Coalition of the Unwilling in both war and humanitarian aid.
"People do watch and see what we do," he said. "Here's an opportunity to remind people of the good we do, and he [Bush] can do it without changing his policy on Iraq or terrorism."
So until we decide to stop ridding the world of terrorists by means other than empty negotiations, we're going to have to make it up to the world by looking into our crystal ball, determine what our total out of pocket will be and offer it up as penance for Bush not roping into Sri Lanka from a helicopter for a press conference complete with hot coffee and Danish.

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