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A study in contrasts

The tsunamis that devasted much of Southeast Asia happened on December 26, 2004, and the magnitude of the disaster soon started making itself apparent.

On December 27, President Bush briefly interrupted his vacation to order US military forces to the area to provide disaster relief and started the process of funneling US government money into assistance.

On December 30, UN Secretary General Kofi Annan briefly interrupted his vacation to announce that there would be an international conference on January 6 to discuss coordinating relief efforts. High on the list of UN priorities were adequate camps for the rescue workers.

Now, can someone explain to me why Bush is condemned as "insensitive" and "uncaring," while Annan is praised for his "compassion" and "humanity?" Or has the whole notion of words meaning far more than deeds finally taken hold?

J.


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Comments (54)

Pres Bush is not in the lea... (Below threshold)
firstbrokenangel:

Pres Bush is not in the least insensive or uncaring. Sometimes when he talks, he chokes up bringing tears to his eyes and the camera goes off him. This is a truly wonderful individual who we ahould all be glad is president. I can't imagine anyone being in his place, so Jay, just take a rolled up magazine or newspaper and whack these idiots on the head letting them know TO WAKE TO REALITY.

Cindy

At least when Kofi said it,... (Below threshold)
Remy Logan:

At least when Kofi said it, he was suave and debonair. Hey, when was the last time you saw a Kofi-ism watch in a major online magazine created by a billionaire? You know something else? At least Kofi has the respect of the world. I bet you if you were to poll all those poor people they would tell you straight up that they would rather wait for the UN aid next week than get stuff from evil Amerika today.

Ahh, who am I kidding? Team America: F*** Yeah! Same goes for the Aussies, Japanese, and Indians too.

I propose a change to an ol... (Below threshold)
thirdfinger:

I propose a change to an old saw. As I remember, it goes; "Those who can, do and those who can't, teach." I would change it to; "Those who can, do and those who can't, write for the MSM." I consider the MSM a 'suppository' of knowledge.

It's not fair to make fun o... (Below threshold)
minnie:

It's not fair to make fun of President Bush just because he wanted to spend more than twice as much on his inauguration as on relief for the tsunami victims. Those hors d'ouvres are expensive.

And President Bush was clearly sensitive enough to take time out from his own vacation to travel all the way to the embassies of four countries, that probably took most of the afternoon. Besides, I thought "sensitive" was a bad thing, like John Kerry is, remember? So why isn't "insensitive" a good thing? You guys are so confusing.

I know Kofi Annan is a bad man because Rush, Drudge, and Sycophannity all said so, over and over and over, and they're honest men. And if he is bad, then Bush must be good, that's just logic.

Wow Minnie considering the ... (Below threshold)
Eric:

Wow Minnie considering the U.S government contribution is now pushing half a billion dollars that's going to be one hell of an inauguration.

The UN has it's purpose, in... (Below threshold)
bullwinkle:

The UN has it's purpose, international conferences. They had 12 years of international conferences on Iraq, and would have gotten 12 more if it weren't for Bush. While they talk and threaten lightly with no intention of acting as long as the cash flow stays in the positive column, they do what they do best, talk, then talk some more. When there's no chance of income, like Sudan, they don't even bother to talk. The time to try change it has long since passed, it's time to call in the bulldozers and the paddy wagons, arresting the thieves and tearing down the building is the only viable option left if we truly want anything near what the UN was intended to be.

One man is the elected lead... (Below threshold)
ridgerunner:

One man is the elected leader of a free country. His personal finances as well as our national budget is revealed and transparent, out there for everyone to see.
One man is nominated and supported by a system of nation states whose interests are in direct opposition to free people. In order to support him you must agree that depots and terroists are our equal. His personal finances as well as those of the organiztion he represents are hidden.
Every time I see these well manicured crooks who I know are living in luxury off our hard labor I am sick to my stomach.
Now that the rush is on to empty the family cupboards to throw money at south asia I pray our government
is keeping a close watch on moneys spent. We must rescue the perishing. that is our G-d given responsibility. To allow our money to be used to enrich potentates is a sin.

Minnie, when you have a poi... (Below threshold)
Patrick Chester:

Minnie, when you have a point could you please get to it instead of ranting all over the place?

Ah, the UN. As an ideal it... (Below threshold)
DJ:

Ah, the UN. As an ideal its a fantastic concept, the problem however, is that its run by mere mortals, albeit mortals who feel they have more morals than the rest of us.

Don't do away with the UN, just change our participation level. Since the UN is supposed to be about "people", and the US has about 5% of the worlds population, move the UN to someplace nuetral (i.e. Geneva), resign our position on the security council, and lower our financial contribution to a level comensurate with our portion of the worlds population.

I wonder how the UN would look at us then if we contributed as much as Italy does now (4.89%) instead of more than all nations (excluding the top 10 contributors) combined. (thats just for the UN's annual budget, not all the special programs).

Is the UN about "people" or is it about "redistribution of wealth"?

I'm starting to think that ... (Below threshold)
Vulgorilla:

I'm starting to think that we should find a terrorist dumb enough (the world's full of 'em) to strap on a back-pack nuke and walk into the UN building and pull the pin. A small tactical nuke, of course, with just enough capability to take out the entire UN building and leave the surrounding neighborhood untouched. I can fantasize, can't I?

No you can't Vulgorilla, yo... (Below threshold)
Mike:

No you can't Vulgorilla, you're an idiot. How about fantasizing about being a sane, sensible individual. Moron.

I don't think there are a l... (Below threshold)
Bill k:

I don't think there are a lot of quotes talking about Kofi's compassion in regards to him briefly leaving vacation.

It continues to amaze me th... (Below threshold)
Brad:

It continues to amaze me that the Right refuses to criticize Bush about anything, and defend his inaction, even when there is no defense.

It's very simple. The U.S. pledged $15 million on December 27, in a press conference by Colin Powell. Not Bush, Colin Powell. Bush was still clearing brush from his farm at that point.

The $15 million was upped to $35 million on December 29.

The U.S. clearly did not take the lead in the relief efforts.

Yes, we're up to $350 million now, but remarks about Bush being "insensitive" or "stingy" refer to the first 72 hours.

As with the aftermath of Se... (Below threshold)
Neal:

As with the aftermath of September 11th, I strongly suspect that we have given the tsunami victims more financial aid than they need. It is at the point of being squandered. Good Americans who barely had enough money to break even at the end of the month collectively gave enough of their hard-earned money to make a lucky few into instant multi-millionaires after 9/11 (yes-"lucky." Our military families and the relief workers weren't so "lucky"). We don't need another instance of where every alleged tsunami victim becomes a disaster relief lottery winner. It's disgusting.

Brad, why criticize the Pre... (Below threshold)
Mike:

Brad, why criticize the President? What exactly is in a number? The first thing GWB did was to order a Navy carrier group to the area to help in the relief and rescue effort. Why isn't that getting any press? Instead of criticizing the US President for not committing $100 Billion (really what number would you have been happy with) instantly, why not recognize the fact that he mobilized the relief efforts with actual people, instead of posing in front of cameras saying the US will give such and such amount to the relief effort.

The fact is that those who can't stand GWB will find any possible way to smear him, no matter what he does. How come the President is not getting his due for starting the actual relief effort itself?

Brad: Applying hindsight to... (Below threshold)
Neal:

Brad: Applying hindsight to criticize the President's actions evidences how vacuous your "argument" is. No one, including Mr. Bush, had hard data on the disaster at that time. For you to imply that the US would only have contributed that amount "if" it had known all of the data is not supported by the facts. Moreover, the amount he pledged even at that early point was still larger than any other donor. You're simply a disgruntled loser from a code-blue state of mind. Get over it; you lost and you, sir, are a mindless loser.

Well Jay, I've thought on t... (Below threshold)
firstbrokenangel:

Well Jay, I've thought on this and it still kills me that Kofi Annan stood there beside Colin Powell - now mind you at this point, we already had money there, boots on the ground, planes, helicopters, doctors, nurses, supplies, portapotties and the USA planned in with Australia, Britian, and others on their own because if we waited for the UN to do anything, nothing would be happening even now. The US isn't just sending 350M; the people of the US are not only sending money - an astronomical amount of money but groups who do this has already reached this region. I heard this morning that the troops were not supposed to bring people back after a drop off but they're doing it anyway to get them to a better hospital. Kofi Annan comes across quietly and obviously dignified BUT he has of yet done a damn thing. He placates while George Bush moves. During the press conference with Colin Powell and Kofi Annan, the reporters only asked questions of Colin Powell - none went to Kofi Annan. By this time we already had supplies, manpower, goods and so much prepared help and supplies to that region. Kofi may speak well but he does not back up his words with action and that's the diff between those two men. Bush is also getting two former Presidents to help in long term financial support so the entire region can be restructed. Never take what Kofi Annan says to heart. EVER! There's a lot President Bush does behind the scenes that we never hear about but you can bet, he is working hard and if you watch any of the work going on over in southern asia, you'd know that fact.

So yes, Jay, when it comes to Kofi Annan and words vs deeds, he is all words, no action, unlike our President who wasted no time in getting help and supplies to the region - while NOT going through the useless UN.

Cindy

Did you know this was the f... (Below threshold)
Jack Tanner:

Did you know this was the first inauguration that cost more than a quarter? They never had one before that eeeeeeevvvvil Bush was elected. However I do agree that it's a waste of money, swear'em in, then back to work.

The President most certainl... (Below threshold)
Brad:

The President most certainly did waste time. Without question, his response was delayed and he did not appear to grasp the magnitude of the crisis. The fact is that other nations did comprehend the magnitude more quickly and committed more funds. Britain, for example, committed $96 million (a nation with one fifth our population) at a time when the U.S. had committed $35 million.

I would also argue that the U.S. only committed as much as it did when other nations eclipsed our official pledges.

The point is not about how much to give--or that this is a competition. The point is that the U.S. is the free world's leader, and did not take the lead.

Applying hindsight is the faculty of a thinking brain.

Jack Tanner: "Did you know ... (Below threshold)

Jack Tanner: "Did you know this was the first inauguration that cost more than a quarter? They never had one before that eeeeeeevvvvil Bush was elected. However I do agree that it's a waste of money, swear'em in, then back to work."

This is also the first presidential inauguration after September 11th showed us that terrorists can hit us in America. Security is going to be ultra-high and ultra-expensive as the inauguration could be a prime target for an attack. I mean, come on. It's not like Bush is pimping all the limos and outfitting everyone in gaudy jewelry.

Brad, President Bush took a... (Below threshold)

Brad, President Bush took a measured approach instead of just mindlessly throwing money at a problem. SO WHAT if our initial funding was "only" $15M. It's not like all that money would have been used immediately or that a greater initial amount suddenly would have made things so much easier for people in the affected regions. Besides, that soon moved up to $35M and is now at $350M. I guarantee you that the sum will continue to climb in the coming weeks and months, and America will be the largest contributor of both monetary and non-monetary aid when all is said and done. So get over your deceitful outrage (which, I suspect, is simply at President Bush in general and has little to do with this situation) and actually do something useful to help those in need.

firstbrokenangel posted: Pr... (Below threshold)
PIMullet:

firstbrokenangel posted: Pres Bush is not in the least insensive or uncaring. Sometimes when he talks, he chokes up bringing tears to his eyes and the camera goes off him. This is a truly wonderful individual who we ahould all be glad is president.

You're kidding.....right?!

Jim I believe Jack was usin... (Below threshold)
Mike:

Jim I believe Jack was using sarcasm.

And Brad, again, do you recognize the fact and give any credit to our President for ordering the carrier group to the disaster area the day after the tsunami? Do actions speak louder than words to you?

Apparently not, you're hell bent on apprearance. The U.S. is the free world's leader you say, and I say, we did exactly what the world's leader should have done. We set wheels in motion to get aid to those that needed it. We didn't wait for a pledge amount, we didn't need it, we were already on the ground helping.

All the while, the world organization that should take a lead in times like this is talking about building state of the art tent cities for aid workers. Yeah, we should be more like that. We should pledge a lot of money right away and then do nothing but talk about what we are going to do with it.

"All the while, the world o... (Below threshold)

"All the while, the world organization that should take a lead in times like this is talking about building state of the art tent cities for aid workers."

Ha ha ha! I read about that. Too funny. One has to wonder if such priorities will lead to another U.N. sex/rape scandal.

Minnie,Go read www... (Below threshold)
Pat Adkins:

Minnie,

Go read www.diplomadic.blogspot.com. Then come back and comment on the UN's effectiveness.

When even Richard Holbrooke realizes something is very wrong at the UN, it must be VERY wrong.

Also remember that Kofi him... (Below threshold)
Dylan:

Also remember that Kofi himself said a couple of days ago that even though countries pledge over $2B for the victims of the earthquake in Bam, Iran a long while ago, the UN did not receive all the money it was promised.

Making pledges is cheap. Bush has already started making good on his pledge by mobilizing the Navy and the Marines. You don't think that costs money?

Lowballing your pledge is also a good strategy to kickstart other countries into giving money. If the US had started off pledging $350M. I think a lot of other countries would have decided that they could drop the ball or not have to give so much. Bush is shrewd enough to make sure that this problem is shared with the rest of the world, instead of becoming only America's problem.

I have a questions for you ... (Below threshold)
PIMullet:

I have a questions for you all. How will you feel about Bush's delayed reaction (again) if it does turn out that 4 -5,000 American's died in the Tsunami as is FINALLY being reported by the news outlets. If the loss of American life is this high, it will surpass the loss of life on 9/11. Will this finally open some of your eyes?

Open our eyes to what Mulle... (Below threshold)
Mike:

Open our eyes to what Mullet? Seriously, what more can be done that isn't already happening? Or are you another one like Brad that think appearances and lip-service speak louder than action?

Give us a break, step off your soap box, and start realizing that the President is doing everything he can to help those in need.

PImullet,Bush coul... (Below threshold)
Pat Adkins:

PImullet,

Bush could not have saved 5,000 Americans, even if he had been on the beaches of S. Asia. when the tsunami hit. Your logic is, well---illogical.

When Bush reacted is irrelevant. The scope of the damage was not obvious for several days after the event happened.

Bush won the election. Get over it!

Brad, PIMulletI'm so... (Below threshold)
Les Nessman:

Brad, PIMullet
I'm sorry, but you are both assholes. Perhaps that is inappropriate and will have to be deleted from this thread, but it is true. Bush immediately did more than any other nation on the entire planet. All the supplies will sit on the docks and rot if there is no way to transport it. Guess who's doing that? The U.S., as usual. America will be one of the biggest, and probably THE biggest, giver of aid. Generous adults to the rescue, again. Even when some do not appreciate our help.
Admit it. You just won't give credit because of your hatred for Bush.

You can't even give it rest during this disaster. You are pathetic.

BTW, today Doctors Without Borders said to not send them any more money. They have enough for now. Yeah, I guess that means the world is being stingy.

Mike,I give credit w... (Below threshold)
Brad:

Mike,
I give credit where credit is due. I'm sure the carrier Lincoln has been a great help to disaster relief (and I write that without sarcasm). However, this was also an opportunity for Bush to come out from his brush clearing and say how awful it was that his Lord and Savior Jesus had decided to open up a can of whoop ass on the Muslim population of Indonesia, and after that pledge money. You know, teh war on terror is not just about using military force but winning hearts and minds.

Brad,I would suspect... (Below threshold)
Pat Adkins:

Brad,
I would suspect the Muslim God is more angry with Bin Ladin/Zarqawi/Hussein for their deeds, than Bush's God is with him. Those three have killed more Muslims than Bush could ever think about.

Think "50 million Muslims freed from dictators."

Pat,Think "freedom's... (Below threshold)
Brad:

Pat,
Think "freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose."

Brad,You're hopele... (Below threshold)
Pat Adkins:

Brad,

You're hopeless.

Brad, how can you be seriou... (Below threshold)
Mike:

Brad, how can you be serious?

However, this was also an opportunity for Bush to come out from his brush clearing and say how awful it was that his Lord and Savior Jesus had decided to open up a can of whoop ass on the Muslim population of Indonesia

Nice attempt at sarcasm. Seriously, you think it is better to come out and say something, than to do something. All that matters to you is the appearance of caring and the appearance of promising aid. Using that theory, the victims would still be starving and dying on the damaged beaches waiting for the UN to build their tents.

'this was also an opportuni... (Below threshold)
Jack Tanner:

'this was also an opportunity for Bush to come out from his brush clearing and say how awful it was that his Lord and Savior Jesus had decided to open up a can of whoop ass on the Muslim population of Indonesia'

It's not often you see this combination of ignorance and religious prejudice in one statement but let me see if I can help. Jesus is the son and God is the father. God is the Creator and if you believe the earthquake was an act of God then it's God not Jesus who is responsible. Both Muslims and Christians are the children of Abraham and worship the same God. Hence the common saying 'we are all God's children. So if you are Muslim and believe the earthquake was an act of God it would be neither a Christian nor Muslim God, since they are one in the same. Nice try at using religion for personal slander though, you fucking moron.

Thank you Jack T. You said... (Below threshold)
Pat Adkins:

Thank you Jack T. You said it better than I did.

Jack, I'd be a fucking moro... (Below threshold)
Brad:

Jack, I'd be a fucking moron if I really thought the thoughts that I was projecting onto our evangelical Commander in Chief. And you'd be a moron for actually attempting to deconstruct an admittedly poor exercise in sarcasm. But don't you ever pause to think that a lot of Born Agains in this country thought those Indonesians and Sri Lankans had it coming?

No, I didn't think you did.

And Mike, pledging money IS doing something. That is, pledging more than 12 cents per citizen, which was all Bush did in the first 72 hours. Again, my original point is that the U.S. did not demonstrate leadership in the wake of this natural disaster. But you guys think Bush is infallible.

Les,I won't attack y... (Below threshold)
PIMullet:

Les,
I won't attack you personally as you did me, for I understand that those with diminished intelligence often resort to personal attacks and name calling.

Please keep in mind that Bush ran on the platform that he was a "compassionate conservative", instead of taking a break from clearing brush and riding his bike, he once again failed to speak out during yet another extended vacation. At a time such as these, when anti-american sentiments are at an all time high, it would have been a good idea for him to have taken the opportunity to have the world see us as benevolent American's once again.

Before you break your arms patting yourselves on your backs, consider this. Of the worlds richest countries, the US ranks near the bottom with contributions of 0.14 percent of it's gross national product (Norway, with 0.92 is the highest). To put it in perspective, we are spending 228 million dollars PER DAY in the ongoing war against the Iraqi people.

Brad, you overlook a couple... (Below threshold)
Jay Tea:

Brad, you overlook a couple key points.

The first is the U.S. Constitution. CONGRESS is the body that authorizes money; Bush can only do so much on his own discretion. After he's had time to confer with the Congressional leadership, he had more flexibility to commit money than he did at the outset.

The second is that, in times of crisis, actual on-the-ground assistance NOW is worth a hell of a lot more than vague promises of money LATER. That's what we did.

The third point is this: as a devout, born-again Agnostic with a deeply-ingrained suspicion of organized religion, cram your anti-Christian bigotry up your ass -- sideways, preferably. The leading charities are predominantly Christian on this, and I'm even considering sending them some money. Do you think the people needing the assistance care about what holy book is in the pocket of the person giving them food and blankets? I'm sorry they don't pass your standards, but there's a Constitutional prohibition against religious tests of any sort -- and that includes the idea that Christians aren't "fit" to do things. Deal with it, you schmuck.

J.

Brad, how ignorant are you?... (Below threshold)
Mike:

Brad, how ignorant are you? Why is lip service more important to you than ordering a Naval Carrier group to the disaster area to immediately begin carrying out relief. The US is leading this effort. If is wasn't for us, the food aid would be rotting on docks and in airport hangars.

The fact is, you don't like Bush, and will use every opportunity to smear him. And I don't (nor many others who voted for him) think Bush is infallible, start a thread about illegal immigration and I'll rip Bush apart. You assume people think he is infallible because your hatred of Bush corrupts your view of all those who support him. He is doing all in his power right now to aid those in need, that is leadership.

'But don't you ever pause t... (Below threshold)
Jack Tanner:

'But don't you ever pause to think that a lot of Born Agains in this country thought those Indonesians and Sri Lankans had it coming?'

I would only if I were a hateful anti-religious bigot.

We started out with $15M? T... (Below threshold)
Darby:

We started out with $15M? That's a lotta dough. We upped it to $35M? Thats more than a 100% increase. That's still a lot of money. Now we're giving or are we loaning? Giving it seems, $350M that's what? 1000% increase? You're arguing over what exactly? The amount of time it took to get to $350M? a week? A few days? God damn people, hundreds of thousands of people died. Entire Cities were wiped out... And your arguing over a few days? Grow up. The fact that we have people there, and we've sent money or are sending money should be enough evidence that the United States has the testicular fortitude to do what needs to be done to help the less fortunate.

If you don't like the amount, then I suggest you match the American goverments donations dollar for dollar. When you can do that, then you have the right to bitch, whine, and complain about how much money is being sent.

DRB

Mike, I disagree that witho... (Below threshold)
Brad:

Mike, I disagree that without the U.S. the food would be rotting on the docks. I am pleased that we have increased our pledges and that Bush has asked two former Presidents (one of whom is hated as intensely by the Right as W. is by the Left, I might add) to coordinate our effort. The fact that Bush was slow out of the gate in comparison with the rest of the world cannot be excused by lack of information about the magnitude of the disaster or by the Christmas holiday. He was slow to react, and that's that. But he reacted, and let's hope our efforts have a positive effect on the low opinions the Muslim world has of America. I'm done with debating the point.

Its no use arguing with the... (Below threshold)
Richard Johnson:

Its no use arguing with these Bush-haters. These are the same
people that were posting on the Democratic Underground that
Bush had somehow caused the tsumani. They get an idea in their
heads and its there forever, regardless of reality. One thing is
clear, though. If you want to hear people talk you call the UN, but
if you want to see action you call the US military. Bush callled the
US military.

For the record, I have neve... (Below threshold)
Brad:

For the record, I have never posted a comment on DU. But go ahead and sterotype me as you please; it's obviously easier to think I am a bigot than to second guess your own version of reality.

I too have never posted on ... (Below threshold)
PIMullet:

I too have never posted on DU.

'it's obviously easier to t... (Below threshold)
Jack Tanner:

'it's obviously easier to think I am a bigot than to second guess your own version of reality.'

It's definitely easier when you repeatedly make ignorant comments attributing your own bigotry to other people.

Ah, America the great Satan... (Below threshold)

Ah, America the great Satan is at it again I see, offering aid to devistated countries without allowing the UN the glory for itself. Evil, evil Americans!

And the UN is such a fair, unbiased, uncorrupted body that will surely be able to delgate any funds raised in an appropriate and balanced manner. Yep, no doubt in my mind about that.

Hey, I don't have to stereo... (Below threshold)
Richard Johnson:

Hey, I don't have to stereotype you guys. Your nutty comments
do the job for me. Go to any news report, they all say the same
thing. The US has been all over this thing from the get-go. The
four nation coalition that Bush set up has been on the ground for
days setting up hospitals, ferrying supplies, etc. Where is Europe?
Spain and the Netherlands are just now getting a planeload of
supplies moving. The UN? Their biggest effort so far has been to
set up a command post. (In a five star hotel with 24 hour catering,
of course) Yet all you clowns can do is complain that Bush didn't
make the right statement at the right time. Bush was slow, you
say? Well, if Bush was slow then the rest of the world was
positively glacial.

So you two specific people weren't among those numbnuts on
the DU. Big deal, your'e all the same. Searching a huge forest
for one tree you can criticize.

Wow. Read the 'Six degrees ... (Below threshold)
Les Nessman:

Wow. Read the 'Six degrees of Brad&PIMullet' post above.

Let's just cut to the chase.

The U.S. will be the biggest provider of aid, again, to countries that cheered 9/11. We will be the biggest supplier of shipping, again. Same with food, money, planes, water treatment plants, etc..etc..ad nauseum, again. Just like always, the grownups will do the work, the childish will bite ankles.

Bush was quick to respond; he ordered the most important part of the relief effort, our navy, to head to the area the day after the disaster struck.

PIMullet, I am glad you do not attack me personally. I appreciate that. However, you are still an anti-American asshole, as shown by your postings here. Now, it's not the end of the world. You can still change your ways, but that is just the way it is for now. Someday you may think better of America. btw, would you rather have .92 % of Norways gnp, or whatever % America is donating?
Yeah, thought so. The victims needing aid really can't take percentages to the bank, but they can take money to the bank. What counts is how much actual, physical money, aid and food is provided.

Kofi Annan heads the larges... (Below threshold)
MrTeacup:

Kofi Annan heads the largest humanitarian organization in the world - his compassionate credentials are fairly well-established by now. The US has no intention of withdrawing from the UN. It is an organization that is the crowning achievement of one of America's most beloved presidents and its charter was written by our own State Department. It is a towering monument of enormous historical importance that America led the world in creating. Of course, everyone knows this, which is why everyone also knows that the current anti-UN, anti-Annan talk is merely retaliation towards certain UN officials who took a pro-Kerry stance during the election, and in particular, political missteps by Annan when he publicly opposed the Fallujah offensive.

Bush, however, has campaigned as a "compassionate conservative", and after failing to find WMDs and significant links to al-Qaida in Iraq, the war in Iraq, the war on terror and our foreign policy in general has been almost completely predicated on humanitarian goals, with little to show for it. The Bush Administration is working hard to regain credibility abroad, and retains a slim hold on it at home. It would be disastrous for the administration to appear disingenuous about its humanitarian motivations.

Again Brad misses the point... (Below threshold)
Mike:

Again Brad misses the point. Brad said:

He was slow to react, and that's that.

Is it? Brad when should Bush have signed the order to get the Carrier group to the effected area, before the tsunami hit??? Give us a break already. The only thing Bush didn't do was get in front of a camera and say something. And what would that have done anyway, nothing, with the exception of forcing people like you to find something else to complain about. For some reason, words and appearance are more important to you than actions.

I know I already commented ... (Below threshold)
firstbrokenangel:

I know I already commented and have not yet read any of the others - yet - but I still think we should send the UN people back home from whence they came and bulldoze the building into the closest river there in NTC because the UN of today is not doing the actions (including NATO forces) that it started out to be. They sure have moved off their charter so it's time to make a new one. If Bush couldn't wait for the UN to go to work, we'd all be dead by now, by God!!!! That's why the tsunami money is NOT going through the UN and President Bush and those who are indeed in this coalition of the helpful are the ones who are directly there in the hard hit and detruction of the tsumani; they are pooling their resourses and every day it get's better. Now if we gave that money and all the other american money to the UN, they'd still be sitting on the butts. It's time to get rid of the UN all together.

Cindy




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