Tuesday, January 04, 2005
Images courtesy US Navy
The biggest guy on the block always seems to be the butt of the neighborhood jokes, and it is no different with the United States of America. The UN's Jan Egeland (whose organization receives more than 40% of its funding from the US) has chided America for being "stingy" while liberals like Clare Short complain that the US is not only botching matters but has the unmitigated gall to think that it can actually handle a highly complex activity such as disaster relief without the leadership of the UN. Well, based upon the news coming out of the region, I'm sure that hundreds of thousands of starving and injured Indonesians, Thais, and (soon) Sri Lankans will be thankful that George Bush spent more time organizing with several other countries like India and Australia, and planning and implementing an effective relief effort that is actually in the region delivering food, water, and medical help, and less time calling for consultation, biting his lip, and seeking approval from the United Nations.
Diplomad has some very good information on what really is happening in South Asia, and which countries and organizations are having an impact on this historic disaster. Hint: it's not the countries and organizations that are doing the most grandstanding. France, the EU, and the UN are doing a lot of gesticulating, to no avail. The UN, whose disaster management experience has been gained at places like Rwanda, Darfur, Kosovo, and of course the Oil-For-Food program (that starved ordinary Iraqis, enriched Saddam, and lined the pockets of UN syncophants and bureaucrats) has been extremely busy... coordinating things like adjacent suites at 5-start hotels with 24-hour room service and color-matching the various jumpsuits that UN contract employees will be wearing to prevent clashes with other contributors' uniforms. Read their postings over the past couple of weeks to get an idea of the hypocrisy, incompetence, and arrogance which seems to be the only tangible product the UN is capable of bringing to disaster relief.
I am so proud of my country and the US military! No other country in the history of the world can do, and does, so much to help others. No other military in the history of the world has the skills and the capability to project power as quickly and effectively and benificently. Need some drinking water? Here's 200,000+ gallons a day... indefinitely (until our SeaBees and Army Corps of Engineers come in and rebuild your infrastructure... to US standards). Thousands of injured people lying around without medical assistance in devastated hospitals? We'll treat them and get them on their way back to health. "No better friend, no worse enemy."
Unfortunately, some people, like Andrew Sullivan don't get it; everyone in the military would far rather save lives than fight wars. The risk isn't much less. Sure, no one's shooting at you, but flying aircraft off ships over miles of ocean and jungle is a dangerous business and it is almost a certainty that Americans will die during this mission.
Osama bin Laden can talk about the Great Satan, the French can complain and moan about us, the EU can claim to be a "counterweight", and China can call itself the leading western Pacific economic and military power... but those suffering from the tsunami are eating food in boxes labeled "USA", drinking water from US ships, being treated by US medical personnel with US medicines, and watching US construction equipment operated by US citizens fix their infrastructure.
Note to the UN, the EU, and all of the rest of you US-bashers out there: actions speak louder than words. And, to the people calling for the cancellation of the inauguration so that the funds can be used for tsunami disaster relief... get Kerry and the Clintons to send their millions from their campaign warchests to tsunami victims, and then come see us.