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Credit where it's due.

Discussion in 'World Politics' started by Dr.Who, May 14, 2008.

  1. Dr.Who

    Dr.Who Well-Known Member

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    Well that's the name of this article anyway.

    http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,23693121-7583,00.html

    Here are some paragraphs from an article in The Australian:

    THERE is a certain familiarity to the concomitant series of actions and reactions when disaster strikes in the world. The US stands ready, willing and able to offer assistance. It is often the first country to send in millions of dollars, navy strike groups loaded with food and medical supplies, and transport planes, helicopters and floating hospitals to help those devastated by natural disaster.

    Then, just as swift and with equal predictability, those wedded to the Great Satan view of the US begin to carp, drawing on a potent mixture of cynicism and conspiracy theories to criticise the last remaining superpower. When the US keeps doing so much of the heavy lifting to alleviate suffering, you'd figure that the anti-Americans might eventually revise their view of the US. But they never do. And coming under constant attack even when helping others, you'd figure that Americans would eventually draw the curtains on world crises. But they haven't. At least not yet.

    The resentment that comes from needing the military and economic might of the US translated into the most absurd criticism. Jan Egeland, the former UN boss of humanitarian affairs, cavilled about the stinginess of certain Western nations. His eye was on the US. Former British minister Claire Short was equally miffed, describing the initiative by the US and other countries as "yet another attempt to undermine the UN", which was, according to her, the "only body that has the moral authority" to help.

    I love moral authority as much as the next guy, but the UN's moral authority is a mighty hard sell given that the UN club includes the most odious regimes in the world, such as Burma. And notice how the UN's moral authority did not quickly translate into helicopters laden with food and water?

    When the UN finally does anything of use, it's propelled in large part by US dollars, with the US contributing more than any other country. Those other giants, China and Russia, are not filling the coffers of the UN's moral authority.

    The need to paint Americans as a greedy, selfish, war-mongering superpower cannot be disturbed by facts. It matters not that, in the year before the tsunami, the US provided $2.4 billion in humanitarian relief: 40per cent of all the relief aid given to the world in 2003. Never mind that development and emergency relief rose from $10 billion during the last year of Bill Clinton's administration to $24 billion under George W. Bush in 2003. Or that, according to a German study, Americans contribute to charities nearly seven times as much a head as Germans do. Or that, adjusted for population, American philanthropy is more than two-thirds more than British giving.

    There is a teenaged immaturity about the rest of the world's relationship with the US. Whenever a serious crisis erupts somewhere, our dependence on the US becomes obvious, and many hate the US because of it. That the hatred is irrational is beside the point.

    We can denounce the Yanks for being Muslim-hating flouters of international law while demanding the US rescue Bosnian Muslims from Serbia without UN authority. We can be disgusted by crass American materialism and ridiculous stockpiling of worldly goods yet also be the first to demand material help from the US when disaster strikes.

    The really unfortunate part about this adolescent love-hate relationship with the US is that, unlike most teenagers, many never seem to grow out of it. Within each new generation is a vicious strain of irrational anti-Americanism. But unlike a parent, the US could just get sick of it all and walk away.

    No country has as many or as strident critics - internally and externally - as the US. The US actually promotes such debate. But just occasionally we should moderate that criticism when circumstances demand a dose of fairness. Indeed, why not break into a standing ovation every now and again?

    (For more details see whole article.)
     
  2. The Scotsman

    The Scotsman Well-Known Member

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    well said..... [​IMG]
     
  3. Bunz

    Bunz New Member

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    I am not surprised to see this is written by an Aussie. I have been down there several times and have spent quite a bit of time with Australians. They are great people, and to an individual that I have met, overall really liked America and Americans. They sometimes dont like our leadership(specifically GWB). Often times, and sometimes rightfully so, the actions of the American government that are unpoppular in the eyes of people trumps the important and great things America does, especially in time of need.

    When the Iranians had a major earthquake 5 years ago or so, America was there to help. The current Burmese government is not our friend, but yet we help the humans. Despite probably needing the resources involved for our own war efforts or even humanitarian work right here in America. The American generosity is signifigant.
    I am happy to have my tax dollars go for such a thing, or well will sign my name on the Bank of Saud credit slip.
     
  4. Bunz

    Bunz New Member

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    As a side note, this also reminds me of an email that went around the world shortly after 9-11 written by a Canadian. It basically said, America is an easy target to badmouth, but the goods outwiegh the negatives, and now they need everyone else's help. It was out of Toronto by an op-ed author if I am not mistaken. I would encourage anyone who knows what I am talking about to post it as I would like to read it again.
     
  5. Libsmasher

    Libsmasher New Member

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    Of all the damned nerve! Imagine someone daring to claim "moral authority" for the UN, in broad daylight! :eek:
     
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