The political uses of disaster

By using the tsunami disaster as a partisan public relations weapon, the left has committed the obscenity of exploiting the deaths of over 100,000 people for partisan political gain. It just highlights the bankruptcy and hypocrisy of modern liberalism, both domestically and internationally.

"I think a lot of people are asking exactly why you waited three days on vacation in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, before you decided to fly back to New York in the face of this extraordinary crisis. Could you give us a full explanation of your thinking on that? Secondly, what kind of signal does that 72-hour delay send to the nations to which you are now appealing for greater help?"

I find it interesting that it was a UN official's comment that put the focus of this disaster on Bush and the 'stinginess of America'. Which then morphed into a partisan attack on Bush about not making a public statement on the tragedy quickly enough. Yet we hear nothing about the favorite agency of the left, the UN, or it's Secretary General's same amount of 'slow uncaring response'.

Mr Anan's response was poetic, if not precisely illuminating: "First of all, there was action. It wasn't inaction. We live in a world where you can operate from wherever you are. You know the world we live in now. You don't have to be physically here to be dealing with the leaders and the Governments I have been dealing with. You don't have to be physically here to be discussing with some of the agencies that we have done.

"I came back here because we have reached a level that I wanted to have meetings with all the people that I have met with today. So, we have taken action. And I don't have to be sitting in my office to take action."

Unfortunately, the left, and sadly, much of the media, find it much more interesting to distort the news in order to attack a Republican President than they do actually finding out what can be done to help. The death of thousands is merely another opportunity to bash Bush. This is a sad statement on the state of liberal morality.

MR. RUSSERT: It's now up to $350 million, but was the initial response too timid?

SEC'Y POWELL: No, I don't think so. These things have a life cycle. Last Sunday we all started to receive word of this tragedy, and it looked like several thousand lives were lost. The enormity of it had not yet hit. But what we do in circumstances such as this is our ambassadors on the ground immediately offer aid, which they did. It's not much, $100,000 in each of the countries, but it shows that we are committed and engaged. By last Sunday afternoon, evening, I had started calling all the foreign ministers of the immediately affected nations and on Sunday evening, and then getting them all finally on Monday morning with time changes, I said to them the United States was following; "Let us know what you need. Please let our embassy know what you need," and reached out to them. So they knew we were committed right away, on Sunday afternoon.

The president then, Monday and Tuesday, called heads of government and state, said the same thing. The first request we got for aid was from the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent. On Sunday they asked for $7 million. The United States immediately gave them $4 million of the $7 million. That's a pretty good start. On Monday we upped it to $15 million. By Tuesday, when things were starting to jell a little more with respect to what was needed, we upped it to $35 million. And then we waited to get some assessments in. But while waiting, we dispatched teams, we diverted ships with food, we launched our military forces from our Pacific Command. The Bonhomme Richard has been launched. The Abraham Lincoln carrier was launched. So we really started to move out. msnbc

Posted by Eric Simonson at January 4, 2005 1:44 PM