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Tuesday, October 11, 2005 

Of Course, America is to Blame for Response Issues in Asia Earthquake

(Independent Online) The United States, which was under pressure to increase a pledge of $500,000 (£280,000) considered almost derisory by many Pakistanis when it was made over the weekend, announced it intended to give $50m in emergency aid.

The gesture, intended to make up for the resentment caused by an initial pledge which, along with the British offering of £100,000, was labelled as "peanuts" by Qazi Hussain, the leader of the Pakistani opposition party Jamat Islami, was greeted as a major boost to the struggling relief effort.

But, in a clear echo of the international response to the Boxing Day tsunami in south-east Asia, the generous donations of private businesses and individuals have caused eyebrows to be raised over government pledges which, initially at least, were regarded as relatively low.

Britain: £1m
United States: £50m plus helicopters
European Union: €3.6m plus aid workers on the ground
United Nations: $100,000
Kuwait: $100m
South Korea: $3m
Malaysia: $1m
Australia: $4.2m
Sri Lanka: $100,000

There are some things that really bother me about the premise of this article, and the facts that are given in it.

First and foremost: Notice how much money the US is giving? It is more than the entire world governments combined. That alone should say something, yet we are condemned by the world for never helping enough.

But more glaring than that. The Pakistanis, and other countries are complaining about how much we are giving them, and how long it is taking? We are being blamed for the response to a natural disaster, in another nation, only 4 days afterwards? Exactly who’s responsibility is it to take care of this? You cannot have it both ways, either we take care of it, and institute our will upon you, or we assist lightly, and you remain soviergn.

The last thing I would like to note: This is my money (and every other tax payers) that the Government is just giving away. The Pakistanis hardly have a right to complain that my government will not readily give away more of my money quick enough! Our Government does not have its own funds, it is all money that we, the citizens have earned. I should think the better resonse would have been to say thank you, and then ask if we could possibly spare more if needed.

Again the world wants the US to give more of itself, in selfless sacrafice. The world wants our money, but not our politics.