Democrats & Liberals Archives

Where Is America?

I called my Mom after the tsunami hit. Singapore was spared any serious damage, but the initial news reports were sketchy, so I figured I should let her know we were ok. A full twelve hours after it struck, she still had no idea anything had happened.

While CNN International already had the graphics and theme music produced, the US media was still reporting the event as a single news ticker item.

So it was with disappointment, rather than surprise that I kept checking the daily newspaper in vain for an official statement from President Bush. And the initial pledge of $15 million in aid seemed pretty inadequate, given what I was seeing on the news.

President Bush really missed out on a chance to be the hero - to gain some real respect and soft power that could be traded for worldwide goodwill and assistance in our counter-terrorism efforts.

While the US may eventually provide more aid than other countries, what will be remembered around the world is an America that appeared to ignore this terrible crisis until international public outcry became too loud to ignore.

Watching the news today, I saw rows and rows of hundreds of bloated bodies, rotting in Thailand's tropical heat, lined up at makeshift morgues being sprayed with disinfectant, while sobbing loved ones staggered about peering into fetid-smelling body bags searching for missing wives, husbands, sons, and daughters.

I saw a man wandering through the ruins of Banda Aceh in Indonesia sobbing, "Where is America?"

Posted by American Pundit at December 30, 2004 2:37 AM