Wednesday, December 29, 2004


Stingy? Did someone say "stingy"?
The Bush administration more than doubled its financial commitment yesterday to provide relief to nations suffering from the Indian Ocean tsunami, amid complaints that the vacationing President Bush has been insensitive to a humanitarian catastrophe of epic proportions.

As the death toll surpassed 50,000 with no sign of abating, the U.S. Agency for International Development added $20 million to an earlier pledge of $15 million to provide relief, and the Pentagon dispatched an aircraft carrier and other military assets to the region. Secretary of State Colin L. Powell, in morning television appearances, chafed at a top U.N. aid official's comment on Monday that wealthy countries were being stingy with aid. "The United States is not stingy," Powell said on CNN.

That brings to a whopping 10 cents per capita, our contribution to alleviating one of the great human tragedies of all time. How inspiring. I just wrote a check to Doctors Without Borders for 1000 times that amount, so I guess that makes me Albert Fucking Schweitzer. Yet I somehow still feel strangely unvirtuous.

I must lack the self-esteem of my Christian exemplars in the White House.

More from Xan here.

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