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» The Ornery American Forum » General Comments » UN Asshat calls US "Stingy" for "Only" 15 Million in Aid. (Page 2)

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Author Topic: UN Asshat calls US "Stingy" for "Only" 15 Million in Aid.
Richard Dey
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I think FL cost us >US$40M; but the point is that any amount of money we pledge at this point is, as Myers? noted, credit. When the tremors cease, the final cost to us will be in the hundreds of millions -- or whatever it will cost when everybody else has wandered off to worse and more-blathering matters. We always get hit with the final bill. We are always the bottom line. We're still paying for hurricanes in the Caribbean that happened in the 1960s!

And as far as this Norwegian twit is concerned, I repeat: this is as good a reason to get out of the UN as any. They are blackmailers, INGRATES, and hypocrites de luxe.

Where's Annan in all this anyway, packing his silks for an aerial tour of the devastation?

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Daruma28
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quote:
Originally posted by A. Alzabo:
quote:
Remember the depression? All those "greedy, wealthy" capitalists that lived excessive lifestyles just prior to the Wall Street collapse? Yeah, it sure was great for the economy as a whole when those "rich bastards" got their comeuppance..........
I would argue that such wealth concentration is bad, rather than wealth in general, but that's another thread. Tell me if you want to talk about.
Mabye...but not in this thread.

I just find it absolutely disgusting that their are many people in this country, who live in the wealthiest, most advanced nation the Earth has ever seen fail to make the connection with WHY that is...free market capitalism, encouraging entrepreneurialism and individualism have proven to be vastly superior to collectivism whenever and wherever it's been tried.

That's how a small sliver of land with no natural resources like Hong Kong can build an economy larger and wealthier than a billion Chinese living in a vast land abundant with resources stagnating in a collectivist system.

Yet the self-loathing of so many that benefit from living in such a system is mind boggling.

Isn't it funny that no matter how much money the US has given to countries since WWII probably approaches a zillion dollars, yet it's never enough. We're never doing enough.

As long as their are some "priviledged" few that get to "hoard" wealth and live in luxury, we have a problem.

You know, in two days, Amazon raised 2 million dollars in private charitable donations - and they're fast approaching 3 million. That's just Amazon. One private corporation amongst MANY that are voluntarily trying to help out vicitims of a natural disaster half the world away.

People want to call our country greedy and often the basis of that argument is really just another quasi-socialist screed against captialism using strawmen arguments (like a Wall street exec buying his wife a mink coat)...rather than a factual based argument.

[ December 29, 2004, 06:53 PM: Message edited by: Daruma28 ]

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LoverOfJoy
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quote:
So even if he's doing his job badly, he really isn't doing any harm to his cause.
It might not harm his cause in this particular instance, but it might hurt on the next, smaller, lower profile problem.

This event was huge. It's big news. There's no way America would refuse to help a lot.

But if that guy paints himself as the guy who always asks for more, then the next time some country needs aid because of a drought the US may give less than what he suggests. "You need $100k? Yeah, yeah, we know how you are about how much money we should pay. 50k should probably suffice."

I don't think America would ever withhold help simply to spite this guy, but they may distrust him the next time he suggests what our fair share is.

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David Ricardo
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All spin aside, here is the reality behind United States foreign aid:

1) Official United States government foreign aid is relatively small as a proportion of GDP as compared to other advanced industrialized countries like Japan.

2) Private individual United States foreign aid through charitable organizations is very generous as a proportion of GDP as compared to other advanced industrialized countries like Japan.

3) When you add up #1 and #2, you find that total United States foreign aid (public and private) is right in line with the aid given by other advanced industrialized countries like Japan.

Conclusion: The United States as a whole is no more and no less generous than other advanced industrialized countries regarding foreign aid.

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David Ricardo
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BTW, that "Norwegian asshat" never actually mentioned the United States as stingy.

That's because Egeland actually only referred to "wealthy states" and "donor states," but at no time did he ever single out the United States of America. Ironically, when a reporter prompted him to name a list of the specific countries he believed to be "stingy," he pointedly declined to do so at all.

This is what he actually said (note the quotation of his actual words):

quote:
"It is beyond me why are we so stingy, really," the Norwegian-born U.N. official told reporters. "Christmastime should remind many Western countries at least, [of] how rich we have become."
He is condemning his own country of Norway in his "we" denunciation.

Watch the full 48-minute broadcast here and judge for yourself. At no point does he ever mention "United States" and "stingy" together.

http://webcast.un.org/ramgen/pressconference/

Conclusion: This is a fabricated tempest in a teapot. The news media just spun the "Norwegian asshat calls US stingy" story out of whole cloth despite the fact that the "Norwegian asshat" in question never said any such thing. He said wealthy countries were stingy, and he never singled out the United States.

P.S. I am as fond of UN-bashing as the next guy, but this is just ridiculous.

[ December 29, 2004, 07:58 PM: Message edited by: David Ricardo ]

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Tezcatlipoca
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This is a charged thread. Seems to be a touchy subject.

I personally do not think that the United States has any obligation as a citizen of this world or an obligation from a humanitarian point of view to give money for disaster relief for these countries. I see no gain or purpose for spending money which is already taxed out of me on people from a different country who will hate me anyway. I expect all money the government gets from my taxes to benefit me and the place where I live. That is the point of taxes. My taxes are meant for me, not for people in different countries. They have their own taxes, let them cover it.

If they want money, they can accept charity. As many people have pointed out, millions are already being raised by non-government organizations, some of which are more than all but one countries donations added together. Let them get disaster relief from them, not from my taxes. If I feel like giving to them, then I will through a charity, not through taxes which I am forced to pay. I fail to see what is so humanitarian about coercing people out of money to give it to other people. Under certain circumstances that is called robbery.

No country has to give these victims anything, only the government they live in has that requirement. It is their own natural disaster, I don't see them pooling together money when a hurricane hits Florida or an earthquake hits San Franciso. Where does this moral requirement come from simply because I happen to have more money than them?

Prove to me that there might actually be a gain from me donating money to these people, and I might consider it. How about God will reward me in Heaven? How about if I show these people goodwill they might possibly think of me in better term? Convince me, don't cry to me.

[ December 30, 2004, 03:03 AM: Message edited by: Tezcatlipoca ]

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kelcimer
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Tez

I don't think these countries are that high on the "hate america" list. They are Asian countries, not muslem.

And we should at least give some to India on account of a certain strategic partnership thingy we want to develope.

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Tezcatlipoca
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quote:
I don't think these countries are that high on the "hate america" list. They are Asian countries, not muslem.
They haven't done anything to show they are a friend to me, so why help them? Just because they aren't my enemy doesn't make them my friend. You still haven't convinced me that these countries are worth anything for me to spend my money on.

quote:
And we should at least give some to India on account of a certain strategic partnership thingy we want to develope.
Ah ha. A reason for helping India. You might be able to convince me, you are heading in the right direction but I need something more solid than something that might not even come to pass. Also, didn't India reject all aid?
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FIJC
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quote:
"They haven't done anything to show they are a friend to me, so why help them? Just because they aren't my enemy doesn't make them my friend. You still haven't convinced me that these countries are worth anything for me to spend my money on."
I have to admit that I really do not agree with your post on this topic. I have no problem with giving substantial foreign aid to those nations devasted by war, natural disasters, etc. The way I see it, when one gives a private donation, they are giving the donation on the behalf of themself or on the behalf of their family. I think of foreign aid as giving a monetary donation on the behalf of the nation, which I think, is important. Regardless of whether or not the United States has something to gain in the situation, we have the moral obligation to help those less fortunate than we. I can agree that some types of foreign aid should come with more strings attached or that we should consider giving out more loans or lessen the amount of aid in certain situations, but in this situation, I clearly think that we, as a nation, have the moral obligation to give what we can to those nations devasted by the tsunami.

[ December 30, 2004, 10:51 AM: Message edited by: FIJC ]

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ATW
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Any retribution from the stingy wealthy countries for the comment should be directed at the UN, which is responsible for what this guy says, rather than the disaster victims who are not.

Hypothetical: what world reaction would be if the US took the money it normally would give to the UN this year and instead spent it on this disaster relief effort.

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Kit
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waa, waa, waa, we want our money?
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Kit
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You do have a good point though ATW. Don't let our animosity from the guys comments keep us from doing the right thing.

And while he didn't specify the US, the US is most definatly in the category he did specify. "Rich nation" only giving "0.1 to 0.2 % of the GDP" may not be limited to the US, but it isn't that big a category. Basicaly the way I took his comments were, "My country is so generous, the rest of you guys are bad people because you are misers." That may not be how he meant it, but that's how it came out to me. So he's an idiot and a jerk. Oh well, forget him, we've got people to help, and he's a distraction.

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FIJC
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quote:
"And while he didn't specify the US, the US is most definatly in the category he did specify. "Rich nation" only giving "0.1 to 0.2 % of the GDP" may not be limited to the US, but it isn't that big a category. Basicaly the way I took his comments were, "My country is so generous, the rest of you guys are bad people because you are misers." That may not be how he meant it, but that's how it came out to me. So he's an idiot and a jerk. Oh well, forget him, we've got people to help, and he's a distraction."
And the stats that he was drawing this conclusion from did not take into account all of the private donations that US citizens give to various private relief charities, which actually amounts to the billions. Taking this into account, the US would most likely come in first for giving money to aid foreign nations.
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ed
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FIJC:

it's actually really hard to quantify those numbers, i think. precisely how would you compile those statistics, after all? all he can talk about is how much money the US government gives. that's hardly the same thing as how much the US people give.

what surprises me is how personally some seem to be taking this. people, words have only as much power over you as you give them.

ed

[ December 30, 2004, 11:53 AM: Message edited by: ed ]

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FIJC
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quote:
"it's actually really hard to quantify those numbers, i think. precisely how would you compile those statistics, after all? all he can talk about is how much money the US government gives. that's hardly the same thing as how much the US people give."
I agree. The numbers I have seen are directly from USAid and the American Philanthropy Association. The only reason Americans are riled about this is because those statistics the UN compiled and use clearly do not give the full picture of American foreign aid.

[ December 30, 2004, 12:09 PM: Message edited by: FIJC ]

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LoverOfJoy
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Compared to Europe, don't we tax our people significantly less? Some of those governments take half their people's incomes, right? Of course they should be more "generous" as a country. [Big Grin]

Perhaps GDP isn't the best way to guage how much should be donated.

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LoverOfJoy
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What makes it harder to guage is international organizations.

For instance, the LDS church is likely going to donate a lot (both in money and supplies) but how much came from Americans and how much from mormons outside the US?

Many American mormons report on tax forms how much they donated in general to the church but I know many don't. There isn't any breakdown from donations as to how much went to "foreign aid" of some sort.

I'm sure similar things could be said for many other churches and organizations. We donate a lot but it's hard to figure where all those donations actually go to. Not all donations go to a specialized pot.

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Daruma28
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Another aspect that gets completely ignored is tha plain and simple fact that much of foreign aid given by our governmnet to other countries is often subverted for the ruling classes to personally benefit while the people it was intended for continue to suffer from the problems the foreign aid is supposedly meant for.

That is why I too support Tez's view that we should not be giving foreign aid for our tax dollars simply in the name of 'humanitarian' causes. Strategic causes are quite different, but simply humanitarian causes? Since our private charity organizations are more effective, I'd prefer that be the focus, with the only role government plays in is oversight to prevent private charity corruption.

And David, you are partially correct. Apparently I fell for the spin from the CNN article I initially posted....but just because he said 'we' doesn't mean he didn't intend to include the US in it. Given the UN's track record, I have no doubt in my mind whatsoever he definitely meant to include the US in his indictment....afterall, the US is considered part of the "wealthy West."

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Daruma28
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Aside from all this debate, I'd like to call on everyone to contribute to the victims of this tragedy in any way they can. One of our local shipping companies is collecting supplies like tarps, bottled water, canned food etc. to fill up containers to ship to Indonesia. I'm going to donate some supplies today.

Also, here's a useful site for anyone else interested in helping out: http://tsunamihelp.blogspot.com/

This blog has been set up to to consolidate as much information about the Tsunami and aid relief programs into one place in cyberspace to make it easier for the world to help out.

We don't need the government to use our tax dollars for aid to justify our sense of humanitarianism and good will. I think most people in this country can do quite well in that regards on their own, thank you very much.

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carmachu
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quote:
I agree. The numbers I have seen are directly from USAid and the American Philanthropy Association. The only reason Americans are riled about this is because those statistics the UN compiled and use clearly do not give the full picture of American foreign aid.
Lets show the lies of statistics shall we? On another board, someone through up the article(I'll have to drag it back here at a later date).

The mythical UN percentage numbers, Norway gives the recommended 0.7% GNP, which is in real numbers $2 billion. The 'stingy' US, not counting military aid, personel, private agencies and charities, gives "only" 0.15, but in real numbers is actually $15.8 billion dollars.

Now see why US folks are pissy.


carmachu

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Daruma28
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Carmachu, it really boils down to the entitlement mentality that comes with dependance. It's not 'Thank you for your contributions' it's 'why aren't you giving even more.'

To all those people that grumble about the percentage of GDP that America gives to foreign aid and disaster releif, I call on you to put your money where your mouth is and donate to the American Red Cross or some other organization involved in helping the Tsunami victims. Even one dollar per person in the US would be an enormous sum.

If you won't or don't, please....just STFU and spare the rest of us your guilt trip. Just because you voted for a politician that you think would have advocated donating more tax dollars than currently pledged doesn't mean YOU are on some moral high ground to call the rest of our country "stingy" or "greedy."

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KidA
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I don't want to get in the middle of this rather harsh debate. I'd like to offer a few numbers though.

The most generous county thus far in aid to the Tsunami victims appears to be the UK, whose total government aid comes to 50 million pounds, or a little over $96 million. Add to this the 22million pounds ($42.2 million) raised by the public charity, that comes to $138.2 million.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/tsunami/story/0,15671,1381100,00.html

I can't find info on American charities yet. I'm not accusing the U.S. citizens of lacking charity.

KidA gave $25 to the Red Cross yesterday, for which he got a tongue-lashing from Mrs. KidA, because KidA "still" has a substantial credit card debt, and KidA - working as he does for a non-profit theater - is not exactly pulling in mad money.

I think the U.S. does pretty well by other countries in general, though I think we could do more. More importantly, I think we could spend our money better. We pledge billions to stop AIDS worldwide, for instance, and then refuse to teach the use of condoms as part of the prevention program. Wasted money, I think.

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Everard
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Some thoughts on why the US might be criticized for its lack of generosity on this matter.

We are currently heavily involved in military action, and our administration is about to ask for another huge chunk of money for the war effort. This war effort is eating up billions of dollars of federal money. Most people in industrialized nations around the world, and approximately half of americans, believe this war is a bad thing.

On the other hand, there are very few people in the world who believe that helping out in the wake of a huge natural disaster is a bad thing.

There are literally millions of people who will need economic assistance in the upcoming months, as a direct result of this earthquake. The US government has just said "We can offer 35 million dollars to ease the suffering. Meanwhile, we are going to ask for 90 billion dollars to continue a war effort in Iraq that most of you don't believe is justified."

Whether or not 35 million dollars is a reasonable sum for the united states to supply, in contrast to our massive spending on an invasion and occupation, it appears, and is, paltry.

There is a sentiment, legitimate or not, that the US right now is more concerned with spreading its power then doing actual good. With that belief, looking at the numbers for foreign disaster relief, and spending for warfare, it can easily appear that the US is donating far less money then it could, and that the reason we don't send more AID is because we are more concerned about waging war then rebuilding homes.

Whether this is a legitimate belief or not, well, its not an argument for this thread. But I think thats WHY there might be criticism aimed at the US for only sending 35 million in aid.

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KidA
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Ditto what Ev said.

Another great example of this is our post-war aid to Afghanistan. The cumulative total for the past 3 years barely tops 3 billion - while the country countinues to struggle to fight the opium growers and warlords who render Karzai little more than the "Mayor of Kabul."

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carmachu
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quote:
Originally posted by KidA:
I don't want to get in the middle of this rather harsh debate. I'd like to offer a few numbers though.

The most generous county thus far in aid to the Tsunami victims appears to be the UK, whose total government aid comes to 50 million pounds, or a little over $96 million. Add to this the 22million pounds ($42.2 million) raised by the public charity, that comes to $138.2 million.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/tsunami/story/0,15671,1381100,00.html

I can't find info on American charities yet. I'm not accusing the U.S. citizens of lacking charity.

KidA gave $25 to the Red Cross yesterday, for which he got a tongue-lashing from Mrs. KidA, because KidA "still" has a substantial credit card debt, and KidA - working as he does for a non-profit theater - is not exactly pulling in mad money.

I think the U.S. does pretty well by other countries in general, though I think we could do more. More importantly, I think we could spend our money better. We pledge billions to stop AIDS worldwide, for instance, and then refuse to teach the use of condoms as part of the prevention program. Wasted money, I think.

quote:
Whether this is a legitimate belief or not, well, its not an argument for this thread. But I think thats WHY there might be criticism aimed at the US for only sending 35 million in aid.
Do more? *spits on the ground* Does that total moneis include the marine expedition force, the naval group with aircraft carrier and at least one coast guard boat, and some search and rescue plane units, and of course the personal of all the listed?

I think not.

*Shrug* More than likely, we'll top a billion at the end, as the needs and stuff continue. BUT just to be a REAL cynical bastard, I call on the UN itself to cough up a billion dollars, since hey, HOW much did you steal in the oil for food program?

carmachu

[ December 30, 2004, 07:59 PM: Message edited by: carmachu ]

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KidA
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Lovely.
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JLMyers
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quote:
Do more? *spits on the ground* Does that total moneis include the marine expedition force, the naval group with aircraft carrier and at least one coast guard boat, and some search and rescue plane units, and of course the personal of all the listed?
Does no one read my posts? I made this point on the fifth post of the thread.

quote:
What is the cost of the military aid; ships, planes for recon and airlifting food, and supplies, and soldiers to assist in the rescue and rebuilding efforts? Does that get figured in with the 15 mil? I bet not. I bet that is on top of that figure. I have to agree with Darum; F him.

KE

And I still think it is a good point. One which none of the US-bashers has addressed.

KE

[ December 30, 2004, 10:05 PM: Message edited by: JLMyers ]

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KidA
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"What is the cost of the military aid; ships, planes for recon and airlifting food, and supplies, and soldiers to assist in the rescue and rebuilding efforts? Does that get figured in with the 15 mil? I bet not."

Apparently, it does.

"Pledges of U.S. assistance remained at $35 million, but parallel Pentagon spending was spiraling upward and could not be calculated quickly. The relief included the arrival of four C-130 cargo planes in Thailand loaded with food, water and sheltering material, and a large supply of rice and other food and assistance was due to arrive in Indonesia by New Year's Eve, a senior U.S. official said."

http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story2&u=/ap/20041231/ap_on_go_ca_st_pe/tsunami_us


The article also notes "Several European countries far outdistanced the United States in pledges. They include Britain, $95 million; Sweden, $75.5 million; Spain, $68 million and France, $57 million."


Anyway, why wouldn't that figure include those things? It's not like we're writing them a check. The aid figure is the total cost of our aid operations.

I'm sure that the U.S pledge is just an initial amount, and that plenty more will follow - if that makes you feel any better.

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KidA
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Ah, I'm a little slow to put 2 + 2 together tonight. The "parallel Pentagon spending" may include some of what you're referring to.

But then, the same may be true of all the other countries....

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Tezcatlipoca
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quote:
The way I see it, when one gives a private donation, they are giving the donation on the behalf of themself or on the behalf of their family. I think of foreign aid as giving a monetary donation on the behalf of the nation, which I think, is important. Regardless of whether or not the United States has something to gain in the situation, we have the moral obligation to help those less fortunate than we. I can agree that some types of foreign aid should come with more strings attached or that we should consider giving out more loans or lessen the amount of aid in certain situations, but in this situation, I clearly think that we, as a nation, have the moral obligation to give what we can to those nations devasted by the tsunami.

Moral obligation? And what code of morals are you talking about? Is there some law in our government that says I must help my fellow man if I don't want to?

All this talk of moral obligation is starting to sound like it is from some religious organization. If you are talking as if you are from a religious organization, why don't you give your money through a religous organization. As far as I can see it you are basically forcing your idea of morals into my pocket, and taking my money without my approval. Would you like it if I wrote a check for you to the Satanic Club, because I felt you had a moral obligation to, even though you aren't a member?

Taxes are not meant to be used for humanitarian aid, charity is. But your religous morals where it belongs, with religous organizations. The government is not a religous organization, that that is not it's purpose. I don't care how morally justified you feel with taking my money and giving it to other people so they will feel better, it is still stealing. If you believe that it is the right thing to do then you are simply a moral relativist.

And you still haven't given me a solid reason for helping these countries. Why don't you appeal to my brain instead of my heart. I might be a cold-hearted calculating bastard, but you can still get money out of me if you make it seem worth my while.

quote:
We are currently heavily involved in military action, and our administration is about to ask for another huge chunk of money for the war effort. This war effort is eating up billions of dollars of federal money. Most people in industrialized nations around the world, and approximately half of americans, believe this war is a bad thing.

On the other hand, there are very few people in the world who believe that helping out in the wake of a huge natural disaster is a bad thing.

So? I believe that spending all that money on the war is worth it, because I see benefits to that investment. I don't see a benefit to the investment of helping a group of people survive simply so they can drain more money from me later. I choose not to be responsible for those people, they need to be responsible for themselves. That is, unless you can convince me that spending billions on them would be to my advantage.

I don't care what you think about the war effort, that is not the issue in this thread. The issue is why bother helping these people when they can offer nothing back? Can you convince me that they actually do have something worthwhile to give me?

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Richard Dey
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Kelcimer doesn't "think these countries are that high on the "hate america" list. They are Asian countries, not muslem." More than half the victims will be Muslims.

Anti-American, Anti-Christian, Secessionist, Homophobic, and rabidly Islamic: that describes Aceh. That's what prompted my snide comment about Allah's Will Be Done. Malaya is not poor. And Ceylon is a pile of gems promoted on three channels of television.

I'm hardly cheap, but the real losers here are the Nicobars (which we should not resettle with one penny of American funds); they are flat, they should never have been settled, and India just HAD to have them because they expanded India's maximum easterly and southerly statistics. It was hubris, and it has proved deadly.

Can we now buy into this sorrow? Can we 'take advantage' of a tragic situation? Can we win the hearts and minds of Muslims of the Indian Ocean? A few billion later we may have an answer: no.

We can't buy friends. I held my nose and wrote a cheque to a bank in Thailand that I know can use it well.

We are not stingey. We use private funds for charity -- and that's the sensible way for charity to be used. I don't trust these huge relief organizations that ignored Uganda, have ignored the Sudan, and squabble it all (squander it all?) in fancy NY restaurants.

Little stories add up. My father crawled naked across New Guinea in 1945 only to be denied a cup of coffee by the Red Cross because he'd lost his dog tag in an air crash. Sorry. I'd give to the pink swastika before I gave to the red cross.

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Daruma28
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Just please note Richard that there is a world of difference between the American Red Cross and the almost viruently anti-American International Red Cross (but I didn't know they were that way even in 1945?!?!?)
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Jon Camp
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As noted here some of the USA's private donation pledges are already over $127 million -- on top of the $35 million pledged by the government. Additionally, as has been noted, we've already got supplies headed that direction by sea nad by air which is in addition to the cash assistance, and there are also 7 water purification ships on the way.

Add all that up and I think we're probably already over a billion with more continuing to be given and pledged over time.

But our government didn't pledge it as straight cash assistance, so I guess it doesn't count. [Roll Eyes]

Some other links:

Bellicose Woman
Daniel Drezner
Glenn Reynolds
CNN Money Report

Edit: From the CNN page alone there is nearly $70 million in cash pledged, plus additional offers of medicines and other assistance of goods that haven't been quantified in hard numbers as to cash value yet. When it all shakes out, I wouldn't be surprised if the US provides somewhere in the neighborhood of 35% of ALL contributions, just like we normally do, all by ourselves.

[ December 31, 2004, 01:48 PM: Message edited by: Jon Camp ]

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Jon Camp
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Was going to edit in an update, but it tells me I can't, so:

UPDATE: Reuters

US Govt now pledges $350 million in cash assistance.

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canadian
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Most countries are willing to be more than generous once the extent of the need is known. Canada's intial pledge was 5 million which has now grown to 40 million. I wouldn't be surprised if that amount is more than doubled in coming weeks as the real severity of the damage becomes more apparent.

Just like the US and UK, we also have enormous sums being donated by corporations and citizenry.

It's too bad that some representatives can't keep their mouths shut. It reminds me of a story a girlfriend told me.

Her mother saw a homeless man sitting outside a gas station, so when she went in to pay for her gas, she also bought a sandwhich for him. She came out and gave it to him. He opened the packaging, turned the sandwich around in his hands and handed it back.

"I don't eat ham."

My point is, be grateful for what you are offered. There's nothing more distasteful than looking a gift horse in the mouth, or complaining when you get one.

Just for some balance, I'll add this:

Maybe giving with a poor and stingy spirit is almost as bad as not being grateful. The truth is, none of know when we might need a little help ourselves. A miserly resentment to giving of ourselves is pretty low.

[ December 31, 2004, 04:18 PM: Message edited by: canadian ]

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DonaldD
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Aw, canadian, you just beat me to this thread...

Since its inception, I've been chuckling at this thread as another example of US navel-gazing. I think every western country saw itself reflected in Mr. Egeland's statement; Canadian's went into hand-wringing mode ("Why are we so stingy, boo hoo") and US'ers (at least as far as Ornerites are concerned) seemed to fall back into a jingoistic "attack the messenger" pose. But only the US, it seems, has the hubris to believe that "we", spoken by a Norwegian, means the US specifically.

At any rate, I think the guy did a great job - with one turn of phrase, yes, he pissed off a lot of people, but he also put the funding issue front and centre on all the major media, in such a way that people just couldn't ignore it.

His gaffe may lead to increased donations and commitments, but it's almost certain that he got the ball rolling earlier than otherwise would have been the case.

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Daruma28
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Donald D, your hypothesis is ridiculous.

If this guy never said a word, I state emphatically that not one iota of donations and aid offered by the US or any other Western country would be a penny less than what is already been promised and/or delivered.

I certainly didn't make my own donations with regards to ANY kind of guilt trip or statement by a UN asshat, and I doubt anyone else did either.

And if anyone tries to posit the notion that Bush has been "shamed" into upping the ante, they are just using this disaster to take another partisan potshot.

Fact is, as Canadian alluded to, when a disaster first occurs, an immediate amount of money is promised at the outset (like the US's initial 15 million pledge), with increases invariably forthcoming as the extent of the damage and casualty count is accurately assesed. And that can be demonstrated by simply looking at our countries track record of disaster aid throughout recent history, regardless of which party occupies the White House.

Anyone who thinks this UN Asshat should be commended for providing motivation is simply projecting their own ideas that the US and other Western countries are not humanitarian oriented and will only do so if shamed into it. [Roll Eyes]

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WarrsawPact
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Oh my God...

And the winner is...

That's *really* tasteless.

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JLMyers
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quote:
And if anyone tries to posit the notion that Bush has been "shamed" into upping the ante, they are just using this disaster to take another partisan potshot.
Daruma,

Nice preemptive strike. [Wink]

KE

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carmachu
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quote:


His gaffe may lead to increased donations and commitments, but it's almost certain that he got the ball rolling earlier than otherwise would have been the case. [/QB]

Bull****.


Folks and countries arent going to fork out huge sums on no data: Powell And Jeb Bush(whose experience in florida is a help) also went over to assess.

No sense giving money to the UN whose habit of stealing is well known.

Personally as the situation continues to be asssessed, I fully expect even more money to go out.


carmachu

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