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Thread: American aid to the Tsunami disaster a cruel joke

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    American aid to the Tsunami disaster a cruel joke

    People seem to not be grasping how paltry our contribution is, while Bush is on vacation at Crawford ranch.

    Just how cheap is the US contribution to relief? We spend 9.5 million per hour on the War on Iraq (more in 4 hours than we are spending on relief for the Tsunami victims), and are going to need another 80 billion more (at least. Some say 100b)… More will be spend on Bush’s inauguration… Here's bunch of information to help people overcome the hurdle of believing that the U.S. is generous in this regard. Click the links to read the whole articles.

    Wednesday, December 29, 2004
    It's All Relative, by Dave Lindorff
    Cost of one F-22 Raptor tactical fighter jet -- $225 million
    Cost of the ongoing U.S. war in Iraq--$228 million/day
    Amount spent by Kerry and Bush -- $400 million
    campaigns
    U.S. aid to Yushenko camp in recent -- $30+ million
    Ukrainian conflict
    Estimated cost of Bush's Second -- $ 40+ million
    Inauguration and Ball
    Amount of U.S. tax cuts under Bush -- $1 trillion
    Cost of the U.S. Iraq War in 2004 -- $147 billion
    U.S. reconstruction aid budgeted for -- 18 billion
    Iraq (though never spent!)
    Amount the U.S. initially in aid -- $ 10 million
    to Indian Ocean tsunami victims
    Amount U.S. offered in tsunami aid -- $35 million
    after being chastised by UN official
    (But as noted above, recall that none
    of this is new money. It was just moved
    out of the US AID's pot of emergency aid
    funds, which were being used to aid the
    victims of genocide in Darfur, draught
    in the Sahel and typhoon flooding in the Philippines, etc.!)
    http://www.thiscantbehappening.net/
    Still not convinced?

    December 31, 2004
    Putting It in Perspective
    War and the Tsunami

    By CHRISTOPHER DELISO

    With a death toll rising above 120,000, and large affected areas still inaccessible to rescuers, the Asian tsunami disaster has become a truly global crisis. Millions from all over the world have been affected, whole industries, villages, even tribes destroyed in an instant. Although the human casualties alone are so far of the magnitude of about 40 9/11's, the US government's initial reaction was sluggish at best. It took the scathing "stingy" comment from UN official Jan Egeland to provoke the Bush Administration into taking "the lead," as they are saying now. Perhaps they will. But the question remains, why was it a full 3 days into the catastrophe before they took the initiative?

    The US government initially offered $15 million, but after the Egeland comment increased it to $35 million. The New York Times quite rightly pointed out that the latter was still a "miserly drop in the bucket" from the world's wealthiest nation. The newspaper put the initial offering in perspective, dismissing $15 million as less than what the Republicans will shell out for George W. Bush's inaugural ceremony -a vestigial formality if ever there was one - alone.
    http://www.balkanalysis.com/modules....rticle&sid=480

    Here’s another article about the cheapness of America relative to other much smaller, less wealthy countries:

    That second day after the 9.0 underwater earthquake unleashed more than 30-foot waves of destruction, Jan Egeland, United Nations emergency relief coordinator, bluntly stated that the world's rich nations were normally "stingy" in their response to humanitarian aid. Of the world's 30 richest countries, the United States ranks near the bottom with contributions of 0.14 percent of its gross national product, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. (Norway, with 0.92 percent, is the highest.)
    "The United States is not stingy," pouted Colin Powell, the outgoing secretary of state. There was no mention that the Bush Administration a week earlier proposed cutting back its contribution to the World Food Bank. Nevertheless, following Egeland's challenge, the United States announced it would donate another $20 million in aid, for a total of $35 million.
    By then, Canada, with a population of about 11 percent that of the U.S. and a Gross Domestic Product (GDP) about 6 percent that of the U.S., pledged $33 million. Spain, with a population of about one-seventh that of the U.S. and a GDP about 6 percent that of the U.S., quickly pledged more than $68 million in relief, twice that initially committed by the U.S. Australia, with a population about 7 percent and a GDP about 4 percent of that of the United States, pledged $20 million. Japan, with a population about two-fifths and a GDP about half that of the U.S., pledged at least $40 million; the United Kingdom, with a population of one-fifth and a GDP of about 13 percent of that of the U.S. also pledged at least $40 million. France, with a population about one-fifth that of the U.S. and a GDP about one-tenth that of the U.S., quickly pledged $27 million.
    http://counterpunch.org/brasch12302004.html

    another strong article

    http://www.boston.com/news/world/asi...us_generosity/

    In the aftermath of World War II, the US government gave as much as 2 percent of its total gross national product to help countries rebuild. That figure dropped to about 0.5 percent of GNP during most of the 1960s and 1970s, and it fell precipitously during the Reagan administration to its current level of about 0.15 percent of GNP, according to figures compiled by Sachs and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development based in Paris.
    According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, the United States gave $16.2 billion in development aid in 2003, or an amount equal to 0.15 percent of the US gross national income. Norway, with official development assistance of $2 billion, ranked highest, giving 0.92 percent of its 2003 gross national income. France allotted 0.41 percent of its gross national income to development aid in 2003, according to the organization's figures.
    At a global development conference in Monterrey, Mexico, in 2002, the world's 22 wealthiest countries, including the United States, were instructed by the General Assembly to provide 0.7 percent of GNP. But the target of the so-called Monterrey Protocol has been met by only five countries. They are Luxembourg, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, and the Netherlands.
    More?

    While other world leaders immediately put forward action plans and solid donations, Bush has spent most of the past critical week on holiday at his Texas "ranch," riding his mountain bike and avoiding the press. Predictably, only allegations of stinginess increased the White House's initial measly offer of $15 million for the relief effort to a grand total of $35 million.

    But it's unfair to say the Bush administration is stingy -- it just has different priorities. The White House has so far requested roughly $100 billion for the occupation of Iraq in FY 2005, which translates to about $8.3 billion per month, or over $270 million per day (eighteen times more than the administration's first offer of help to tsunami victims). And that's only Iraq. The US military budget request for FY 2005 was 420.7 billion dollars -- double that of China, Russia, the UK, France and Germany combined.
    Heather Wokusch: 'Stingy? Not with WMD and war'
    Posted on Friday, December 31 @ 08:13:59 EST
    http://smirkingchimp.com/article.php...&mode=&order=0

    Discuss 2000, are you eating your words yet? How's that one "ignorant" taste? Can you even admit you were wrong?

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    10 fold increase

    http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmp..._pe/tsunami_us

    The US has now pledged $350 million dollars. I doubt if any other country will even come close. People are always so quick to condem US relief efforts but we usually come through. Hate the US until the check has to be paid then hate us for not paying it all. How much relief did we get from foreign countries during our hurricane season this year?

    GET OFF OF OUR BACK

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    I agree. Be thankful for any help that's offered at all.

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    Yes, this new amount is much more generous, even if it IS less then we spend in Iraq in a day and a half. Even the article you link to stipulates that the increase came
    after some critics claimed that the initial U.S. contribution of $35 million was meager considering the vast wealth of the nation.
    It looks like we were embarrassed into it, and doesn't change that fact that US, within the last two weeks, proposed cutting back its contribution to the World Food Bank, or that our contributions to developing nations have steadily decreased since WWII…

    GET OFF OF OUR BACK
    I'm an American. Don't assume anyone who is critical of the Bush administration (that hyjacked the country) is not American.

    Added after 2 minutes:

    Up I agree. Be thankful for any help that's offered at all.
    Anything is better than nothing. But America tries to pretend we are the most generous country on the planet. Besides, I'm paying a shitload of taxes to my government, @ 20k a year, and I would prefer that more of it went to relief aid than goes into a day or two of the Iraqi occupation! And there's no undoing the fact of the insultingly paltry initial sums we offered. As IF we couldn't tell it was an enormous catastrophe. The concern seems more for the reputation of American than for the actual people in need.

    I'd also keep in mind that the most crucial aid may have been immediate aid when people could still be rescued.

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    I know an Australian guy that comes into the bar and plays "99 red balloons" over and over again. First, everybody hated the song. Now, everybody hates the guy.
    "If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, it expects what never was and never will be. - TJ


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    There's also been some interesting criticism of the Bush administration's aid "coalition" as an attempt to undermine the UN.

    Bush 'Undermining UN with Aid Coalition'

    By Jamie Lyons, PA Political Correspondent

    United States President George Bush was tonight accused of trying to undermine the United Nations by setting up a rival coalition to coordinate relief following the Asian tsunami disaster.

    The president has announced that the US, Japan, India and Australia would coordinate the world’s response.

    But former International Development Secretary Clare Short said that role should be left to the UN.

    “I think this initiative from America to set up four countries claiming to coordinate sounds like yet another attempt to undermine the UN when it is the best system we have got and the one that needs building up,” she said.

    “Only really the UN can do that job,” she told BBC Radio Four’s PM programme.

    “It is the only body that has the moral authority. But it can only do it well if it is backed up by the authority of the great powers.”

    Ms Short said the coalition countries did not have good records on responding to international disasters.

    She said the US was “very bad at coordinating with anyone” and India had its own problems to deal with.

    “I don’t know what that is about but it sounds very much, I am afraid, like the US trying to have a separate operation and not work with the rest of the world through the UN system,” she added.

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    I hardly think this is the time or the place for political one-upmanship. Use your time to think about how YOU can help out and not criticise others for THEIR help. You should be ashamed of yourself.

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    Actually, I contributed a few hundred dollars early on, and my criticisms of the US govt's stinginess with my tax money are appropriate and relevant. The U.S. didn't do enough in the first week, and is only acting now out of embarrassement (someone just told me that the internet contributions were more than the U.S. contribution). Jeb Bush is being sent for Bush family self-promotion and to set him up as a viable presidential candidate… The so-called "coalition" is another political stunt.

    You should be ashamed of yourself.
    No, I don't think so. I think you owe me an apology.

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    [quote="[b]alienslime's ass sucks buttermilk[/b]"] Besides, I'm paying a shitload of taxes to my government, @ 20k a year, and I would prefer that more of it went... /quote]

    Fudge Bred,

    Day before yesterday you said you were unemployed So are you paying currently or did you mean this in the past tense ? Knowing you're a stickler for facts I thought you might like to review this one. I'm becoming a fan of yours and would hate to see the quality of your posts slip. You're doing a lot to improve the foreign impression of American literacy I salute you

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    Well, Store, this year I worked 8 months and paid taxes the whole time. I worked 10 years uninterrupted before that. Technically, since I haven't got it back yet, they are using my money. Thanks though. Oh, and they even tax my FUCKING UNEMPLOYMENT, so I guess your Fudge Bread is in your mouth, and you're gagging on it, gagging, gagging, that's what you do. And, before you go there, I've paid more into unemployment than I will receive. So don't go gagging again.

    You're doing a lot to improve the foreign impression of American literacy
    Yeah, Europeans and other non-Americans usually are pretty happy with my politics until they go and say some overarching crap about all Americans, which one of my X-girlfriends keeps doing. She says we're self-centered and don't care about family and so on. Load of crap. Like I pointed out somewhere else, the American people have been proportionally far more generous to the relief aid than has our govt., though it has now slowly got off it's haunches.

    I just figured out where you go wrong with me. You think just because I side with certain people on certain issues, I must, like you, enclose my mind within a particular framework of allegience. No.

    Your thing where you keep trying to get me for being unemployed is pathetic. If I weren't planning to move to Thailand and teach English, I'd already have found a new job. Doof.

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    Quote Originally Posted by alienslime
    Your thing where you keep trying to get me for being unemployed is pathetic.
    You're reading too much into my intent. I was just trying to help you clarify. Just thought that would be better than to ridicule you.

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    Dude, get real and be honest with yourself, at least. If you can't fathom your own motives, your going to misread everyone else.

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    So sez the dude with the "Big Hat , and No Cattle." The last thing I need is a cyber forum agenda

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    Me just read the news and the Yanks have pledged 315 Million dollars.

    Why all the crying, girls?

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    Because they they don't want to admit that America is the greatest country on the face of this earth.

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