by Charlotte Glover
January 01, 2005
As usual, there are lots of strong opinions, but very few facts in the debate about the US response to the Tsumani disaster. The reason that the world community, political commentators and citizens have been expressing outrage at our President is that his offer of help has been too little, too late. The 35 million dollar figure was an insult to those suffering considering what we are spending in this country. Glad to see that number has been going up daily as Colin Powell is sent out to calm the waters while the President hides in Crawford. Surely a man who can visit a war zone can arrange a flight to Thailand right now.
Consider, for instance, that the Inaugural will cost between 30-40 million dollars according to the Washingon Post. In Iraq, we are spending 9.5 million dollars an hour or 228 million dollars a day for a to date total of 147 billion dollars. Even worse, the percentage of our Gross National Product that goes towards humanitarian and economic aid is at its lowest level in 20 years. We are last among 21 industrialized contries for the percentage of our GNP that we share with the world. Denmark, Germany, Spain, Norway, Sweden, the Netherlands, France, Canada, Australia, Ireland......etc. all give a greater percentage of their available revenues to help others around the world. Surely, the richest country in the world, who uses up a greater percentage of the world's resources than any other, can dig a little deeper.
The people of the United States are a kind and generous bunch and it has been heartwarming to see their response to this disaster. It will take all of us around the world to help restore any sort of normalacy to those countries hit by the Tsumani and they deserve nothing less than our best efforts.
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