Tuesday, December 28, 2004


Tsunami Generosity (or lack thereof)

I will digress from my usual analysis of Indy Media in this post to look instead at what I regard as one of the biggest cases of global hypocricy to date.

I have been looking at numerous sites which detail the amount of aid being offered by countries to areas affected by the tragic tsunami of a couple of days ago. Needless to say, as previously discussed, little of this information was yielded from Indy Media who had far more important things to talk about.

At this stage it is being reported that :
America's initial response is valued at around US$15 million, with the prospect of more to come.
The 25-country EU will deliver US$4 million in emergency aid as a start.
The EU, so critical of America's role in the world and so confident of its own, is apparently unable to put its money where its mouth is right from the start

Hell, even Australia gave over US$7.5 million right from the word go.

It's even more interesting to note that (only) Eight US citizens are known to have died in the tragedy. That's eight, despite which America is donating all that money. Not because they will see a return on it, but because it's the right thing to do. It is also part of ongoing policy:

The United States gives out $13.3 billion tax dollars in direct Foreign Aid annually according to this article which has a whole lot more to say on the matter.

Let's see who else is contributing to the solution:

Israel is flying three aircraft with doctors, nurses and medical supplies to Sri Lanka, which suffered thousands of fatalities from a weekend earthquake.

The army spokesman said the delegation comprises 150 rescue and medical personnel -- specialist doctors, nurses and paramedics.

It plans to assemble a medical facility comprising of emergency, internal medicine and pediatric departments as well as a laboratory and X-ray facilities.

It also brings water, food, tents, blankets, mattresses and generators, the army spokesman said.

I doubt the victim countries will say no unlike Iran who preferred their babies suffocate to death after an earthquake rather than accept Israel's offer of assistance.

Update: I may have spoken too soon...

Sri Lanka refused to accept Israeli relief team of 150 doctors, nurses, medicines and equipment ready early Tuesday to fly complete field hospital to stricken country. Colombo which has no diplomatic relations with Israel would only accept supplies. Israeli planes took off with medical equipment, tents and other supplies - without desperately needed medical personnel

Evidently Sri Lanka's leaders needs to love their children more than they hate Israel.

Update #2: The Vatican is now blaming Israel for not helping Sri-Lanka. Can you believe it?

Update to Update #2: The Catholic World News (cited in Update #2) has issued a retraction as " a crucial error in translation caused a serious misinterpretation of the news". The Vatican are now off the hook, Sri-Lanka most definitely is not.

I'm not suprised by any of these selfless offers of assistance, but I doubt any thanks will be expressed on Indy Media who will continue to hate, while remaining part of the problem instead of solution.

Indy Media whose members seem to believe they are saving the world, could be raising money, passing the hat around or organizing fundraisers instead of condemning the US, Israel, Australia. I have already given. Are they? Of course not, but they're organizing plenty of other stuff instead. I'm sure the families in Sri Lanka, Thailand, India... Will thank them for their worthwhile contribution to humanity.

I'm unimpressed.

I think you'll find that EU countries will individually donate money in addition to a central EU fund. Add this all up and then see how much EU countries have donated...

And no, I'm not gonna do it for you.
U.S. 32 million. Here is what other countries are giving, contrary to what was previously posted.

Canada Asian tsunami relief effort 32.8 million US dollars, Defense Minister Bill Graham announced late Wednesday.

Germany donated 27 million dollars, France around 20 million dollars, and Saudi Arabia 10 million dollars.

The Portuguese foreign ministry said Thursday it would provide eight million euros (nearly 11 million dollars) in emergency relief, while French Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin announced Paris was ready to spend 20 million euros (27 million dollars) more to prevent epidemics.
'The UK is among those nations leading the way, with the government's £50m fund making it the largest international donor.'

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