Tuesday, January 11, 2005

War-Mongers Vs. Compassion Mongers

From a Mark Steyn column, via The Australian:

(American Actor Leonardo DiCaprio is) ... believed to have given $US1 million ($1.32 million) to disaster relief, as has Sandra Bullock. Michael Schumacher has given $US10 million.

For purposes of comparison, Herr Schumacher's donation is the same as that of oil-rich Kuwait. As for even oil-richer Iran, its Government has earmarked $US627,000 for disaster relief.

For purposes of further comparison, that's barely a twentieth of what was raised at the Sydney Opera House concert this weekend. Today's all-star cricket match between a World XI and an Asian XI at the MCG will do more for the beleaguered Muslims of Banda Aceh than Libya, Syria and Egypt combined.

In fairness to the Saudis, they've just upped their pledge to $US30 million. But for purposes of one final comparison, consider this: a single Saudi telethon in 2002 managed to raise $US56 million. That was for widows and orphans of Palestinian suicide bombers, those deceased as well as those yet to blow. It seems nothing gets the wealthy elite of Riyadh and Jeddah adding the zeroes to the cheques like self-detonating on an Israeli bus.

I gave up worrying "Why do they hate us?" on the evening of September 11, 2001. But, if I were that Osodden bin Loser guy watching the infidels truck in water, food, medical supplies and emergency clothing for villagers whose jihad-chic T-shirt collection was washed out to sea, I might ask myself a more pertinent question: "Why do they like us?"

The path of the tsunamis tracked the arc of the Muslim world, from Sumatra to Somalia; the most devastated country is the world's most populous Muslim nation, and the most devastated part of that country is the one province living under the strictures of sharia.

But, as usual, when disaster strikes it's the Great Satan and his various Little Satans who leap to respond. In the decade before September 11, the US military functioned, more or less exclusively, as a Muslim rapid reaction force – coming to the aid of Kuwaiti Muslims, Bosnian Muslims, Somali Muslims and Albanian Muslims. Since then, with the help of its Anglo-Australian allies, it's liberated 50 million Muslims in Afghanistan and Iraq.

That's not how the West's anti-war movements see it. I found myself behind a car the other day bearing the bumper sticker, "War Is Costly. Peace Is Priceless" – which is standard progressive generic autopilot boilerplate, that somehow waging war and doing good are mutually exclusive.

But you can't help noticing that when disaster strikes, it's the warmongers who are also the compassion-mongers. Of the top six donor nations to tsunami relief, four are members of George W. Bush's reviled "coalition of the willing".

Do you think the world will count the United States contributions to Tsunami Relief as "Foreign Aid"? Do you think they will count the money it costs to send an aircraft carrier, 90 helicopters and 13,000 troops to the region (in the midst of a war) as Humanitarian Relief.

You know, I just had an evil thought. Maybe, while we're there we ought to just "occupy" every single country and exploit their resources.

Hey, I like it.