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The tsunamis are a terrible tragedy. However, one biproduct of them that might be positive is to take the spotlight off of 9/11. Here's what I mean: 9/11 brought America and (most of) the world together in an amazing way. The unity we experienced felt so good. It was hard to watch Bush squandor it in favor of furthering his his own agenda and use 9/11 to help us remember the fear of that day, also for his own gain. I feel that because of the scope of the tragedy in Asia and the fact that there's no one to blame for it, the unity it has created is purer and will hopefully be longer lasting. I hope Bush will think twice before "wrapping himself" in 9/11 because of it's now relatively small scale and the fact that it's further in the past. Sidenote: When the U.S. up'd it's aid contribution to $350 million Colin Powell made a point of noting how generous America is. That he felt a need to say such a tacky thing really speaks volumes about the administration and the extent to which our image has been tarnished around the world.

hold on a second...

I think Colin Powell's remarks don't reflect anything negative. True, the United States is not winning any popularity contests these days, but I think those remarks were to show to the world, and especially the U.N., that we are not a stingy country.

If you think that is tacky then how do you explain the way the LDS church constantly remarks about how much it donates to calamities through it's welfare program? It's mentioned in every single interview I've ever seen.

Other than the point about Powell I do agree with the rest of your post. We've ridden the 9/11 thing into the dirt.

your tsunami "utopia" theory

there's no one to blame for [the tragedy in Asia]

interestingly, many democrats have found a way to blame the US for the tsunami disaster here.

as for the tackiness of pointing out american generosity, US aid is underestimated and underappreciated around the world [source] perhaps powell thought that he might point that out.

The U.S. is the world's largest donor of [international development aid] -- $16.2 billion in 2003. Japan is second at $8.9 billion.

The .15 percent of GNI figure does not include private aid donated voluntarily by Americans, but is limited to funds donated by the U.S. federal government after being confiscated from Americans. Private voluntary international development aid donated by Americans in 2003 is estimated by the U.S. Agency for International Development to be $33.6 billion in 2003.

The U.S. government's international disaster and humanitarian relief amount in 2003 was almost $2.5 billion. The governments of the entire rest of the world, combined, donated $3.4 billion.

The U.S. government donated nearly 70 percent of all the world's international food assistance in 2003.

The U.S. is a huge donor to United Nations-affiliated humanitarian programs and pays for 22 percent of the United Nations' overall budget.
- - - - - - -
Figures given for the U.S. government's international humanitarian aid almost never include humanitarian aid and works provided by or in conjunction with actions by the U.S. military.

the comment by powell that you call tacky was in response to the UN's jan egeland, who singled the US out as "stingy" for it's initial aid pledge. but when you look at the truth of things, egeland's comment appears to be the one that's tacky. [source]

INITIAL US govt aid was $350 million, in addition to that, private US aid is now over $215 million (est) and growing [source] [pdf].

former international development secretary, clare short, has said the US is attempting to undermine the UN again by forming our own aid coalition with japan, india, and australia. [source] sorry for wanting to get something done! kofi annan was skiing in jackson hole for three days after the tragedy.

powell's comment has fallen on deaf muslim ears. al-qaeda has not "come together" with the nations of the world to respond to the tragedy. as far as i can tell, they haven't donated a single cent. and is there any chance that they will stop calling us the great satan and initiating suicide attacks on our people when they see how much we have donated to the largely muslim nations hit by this tragedy?

not in hell, sadly.

and did you know that it is the strict policy of islam to only give aid to muslims (or non-muslims if it will directly lead to their conversion to islam). can you imagine if a christian organization admitted that it only gave aid to christians? [source]

9/11 had much larger political implications than you seem to want to admit. it was proof to most reasonable americans that extremists want to kill us. the south asian tragedy, while claiming many, many more lives, will have no geopolitical implications. check out the face immortalized on one rescue worker's t-shirt. the tsunami utopia that you have prophesied will be short-lived, then they will go back to killing us.

Are you really insinuating th

Are you really insinuating that the tsunami victims were killing us? With all due respect - what the hell are you talking about? It sounds like you might actually be the extremist.

Oops, our initial aid pledge was actually $15 million. My bad...

more later...

That link is broken, sorry. R

The comment above is mine. The link for the $15 million figure is actually in your comment, in
paragraph 10 (counting parts you quoted). My link is broken, sorry. Reuters reported it, too. Some of your source links second your opinions and link to opinion pieces themselves, which is sort of weak. Maybe you were showing where your opinions came from?
Characterizing my comments as a "utopian prophecy" is
a little over the top.

what the H i'm talking about--clearly explained

thanks, mason. here's the working wizbang link: they have links to several postings/articles that blame the US for the tsunami.

Are you really insinuating that the tsunami victims were killing us? With all due respect - what the hell are you talking about? It sounds like you might actually be the extremist.

try to follow me here: many (perhaps millions of) muslims think we are the "great satan" and want to kill us. most of the countries struck by the tsunami were populated, overwhelmingly, by muslims. we also know that al-qaeda operates in southeast asia. then, one photographer caught a guy helping clean up the mess wearing an osama bin laden t-shirt (ever since september 11th, osama is the muslim world's equivalent of michael jordan). THUS! (i employed my powers of REASONING) to make the assertion that some (perhaps many) of the tsunami victims and survivors are (1) muslim, (2) think we are the great satan, (3) cheered when the twin towers fell, (4) sympathize with al-qaeda and their murderous missions, and (5) want us dead.

ask the CIA. i don't think i'm that far off.

in reality, we shouldn't be debating whether these people want us dead or not. we should be debating whether or not this show of american generosity (excuse the tacky phrase) will soften their hearts and convince them that we can all peacefully coexist. my opinion is that it won't, but i'd LOVE to be proven wrong.

Characterizing my comments as a "utopian prophecy" is
a little over the top.

that was me caricaturing your belief that a "pure (nay--"purer") unity" will encompass the world as a result of the tragedy. it was satire. i thought it was pretty funny, since it should be clear that broad expressions of appreciation are unlikely to come our direction from the muslim world, or even france.

sorry, wrong theory:

Al-Qaeda operates in the United States, too. Remember?

hmmm. and in exactly which part of the world do you think osama bin laden is more popular?

up until recently, indonesia was that close to getting on the list of nations that harbor terrorists. al-qaeda was looking to move terrorist (or, if you prefer, 'freedom fighter') camps to malaysia. these people are getting the same murderous jihad rhetoric pushed down their throats by religious leaders and news media as are arab muslims. the only difference between muslim nations in the middle east and muslim nations in southeast asia is that many of the latter are democracies.

here is the observation that does it for me, on the world reaction (to the american reaction) to the tsunami:

the waters recede and the familiar contours of the political landscape re-emerge - in this case, the need to fit everything to the Great Universal Theory of the age, that whatever happens, the real issue is the rottenness of America. --mark steyn

just like mark steyn noted, people have come out of the woodwork following the tsunami finding fault with america. whether it is our supposed stinginess, our moving to help those in need wthout first having the "moral authority", or our use of the words "america" and "generous" in the same sentence, we can't seem to do anything right.

i recommend steyn's column in it's entirety:

Many Christians feel the same

Many Christians feel the same way about them (as you say Muslims feel about us) want to kill them etc.

Are you trying to break the BS meter on my computer?

Is there any substantial number of Christians who have demonstrated that they harbor similar feelings as those who danced in the streets on September 11th? I think not.

Of course there are Christian

Of course there are Christian extremists. Do you read the newspaper or watch the news?
Our friend Travis just got through saying the tsunami victims just wanted to kill us
anyway. If you guys want to believe entire populations are evil then that is ignorant.
You can't understand the world from an easy chair.

provojoe, you're a moron!

provojoe, you're a moron!

I know you are, but what am I?

Although I disagree with ProvoJoe on the "tacky" comment, I agree with him that the generosity now being displayed by our government may have the beneficial side effect of helping us get back on the side of the "good guys" in the eyes of the rest of the world. That's a good thing, and we all should be happy about it.

Oh, and one more thing...

Someone Without A Login:

You're a Moron and a stupid ugly-head bum-sniffing silly-pants momma-boy pansy-wussy, and I won't play on the playground with you 'cause I don't want cooties and I'm telling your Mom you typed "Moron" on her computer and I hope you get grounded 'cause computers are only for grownups and your Mom is gonna be real mad when she finds out!

still waiting for an example...

Of course there are Christian extremists. Do you read the newspaper or watch the news?

I'm obviously illiterate and blind. I don't remember ever seeing large groups of Christians celebrating wildly around the world when disaster has befallen a Muslim nation or a group of Muslims.

Since you claim to be better read than I perhaps you could toss me a couple links. Thanks.

I meant that it's an equivela

I meant that it's an equivelant ignorant, dehumanizing mentality. I refuse to play the "they are worse than us and there are more of them" game. That's the whole point. Next thing you know you're calling victims like those harmed by the tsunamis, people that want to kill us. That is the "Middle Eastern" mindset, only from an American point of view. Ironically, it's anti-Christian, too.

You are out of line making cl

You are out of line making claims like that, you simply don't know. You can't know that actually.
To claim to as a Christian is a grave mistake. They are like the rest of us. How many Muslims do
you know? If you did really know any or cared enough to think about what their lives might be
like you would bite your tongue. Life is not a football game.

post-sept 11 celebrations in the muslim world

i've misplaced my dictionary and my book of mormon for the moment, can i still comment?

marbles asks:

On what evidence do you base your statement that entire populations are taught that we are the Great Satan?

children are taught this in their schools and the people are taught this in their mosques. do you think the palestinians in these pictures are dancing because they like us? do you think the indonesians in these photos are trying to show their unconditional love for americans?

i'm having a hard time figuring out where these very small limited numbers of just a couple of wacko, edge, fringe, marginalized, outlaw extremists got their crazy, unpopular, uncommon ideas! but there are probably so few of them that we don't need to worry about their ideas ever producing disasterous consequences for innocent americans. whew!

as a side note, i hope everyone understands that i am all for sending aid to southeast asia in response to the tsunami disaster. i have donated some myself, despite the fact that i am going further into debt to do it. so, on the issue of sending aid to people whose doctrine is "kill all infidels who do not convert", please don't misunderstand me. i don't hate muslims (or, for that matter, silly americans who find it necessary to act as apologists for the 'religion of peace').

War is hell

You spend a day moving offices and you miss out on a lot. So as to not put 3 or 4 posts in the thread I'll spew all of my thoughts here.

1 - When you see an "I (heart) Osama" shirt on TV, you can guess that the person being filmed doesn't have warm fuzzies for the good ol' US of A. I believe that everybody is entitled to their opinions so go "I (heart) Osama" dude. May you burn in hell with the bastards who think like you.

2 - I (heart) LaurenceB... enough said

3 - I know that there are a lot of partisan hacks here, but this is getting ridiculous.

4 - ProvoJoe - Entire populations are taught that we are the Great Satan. Those same people wear "I (heart) Osama" shirts. In contrast, Americans, because of the liberal elitists in the country, are taught that we must accept everybody. The "I (heart) Osama" crowd don't really care which of us are the accepting people and which ones of us really perpetuate the Great Satan belief so they decide that killing all of us will solve the problem. I'm not saying all Muslisms are like this... just the ones that would wear "I (heart) Osama" tshirts. They wanna see me dead? Fine... I just hope they die first.

5 - Somehow dropping a bomb during a war is an act of terrorism. I think all the Japanese should rise up, create an amazing war machine and come do battle with us over it. Or better yet, just sneak a few nuclear bombs over hear so that they could get even. Oh wait... we aren't at war with them anymore. Must have been those damn bombs we dropped. I think we should go nuke all of Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iranistan, Iraqistan and Sudanistan to make sure that we clear out Osama. Seeing as how we are at war with him and all, we should be able to nuke and get away with it.

6 - To the partisan hacks out there... we really are terrorists. We try and wipe out entire populations, we try and jail or kill and dissidents that might rise up against us, we kill and maim hundreds of thousands of our own people just because we were bored. Get a fricken clue. Trying to equate what we do to terrorists and despots is pretty easy when you look at it. We try and kill at least one retard a year just to prove how thoroughly low we can go.

Why don't all you liberals move to France where you can be happy... except for Laurence... He's cool. I wanna keep him here. He's at least reasonable.

- Grouchy White American Christian Bastard

ps - I went out and danced in the street because I like being the Great Satan. Bring it on ya terrorists pukes.

How about a pre-emptive strike of unconditional love?

I hope you find your Book of Mormon.

How about a pre-emptive strike of correct doctrine?

Instructive reading for Mormons addicted to the psuedo-spiritual narcotic of "unconditional love":

Russell M. Nelson - Divine Love - Ensign Feb 2003

Summary quote:

While divine love can be called perfect, infinite, enduring, and universal, it cannot correctly be characterized as unconditional. The word does not appear in the scriptures.

Then a few years ago, at th

Then a few years ago, at the closing of a conference of the St. Johns Stake, we had had a wonderful conference I thought, and I was very happy on retiring. I was sleeping in the home of the president of the stake, Brother Levi Udall, and that night I had a remarkable dream. I have seldom mentioned this to other people, but I do not know why I should not. It seems to me appropriate in talking along this line. I dreamed that I and a group of my own associates found ourselves in a courtyard where, around the outer edge of it, were German soldiers and . . . Adolph Hitler was there with his group, and they seemed to be sharpening their swords and cleaning their guns, and making preparations for a slaughter of some kind, or an execution. We knew not what, but, evidently we were the objects. But presently a circle was formed and [Hitler] and his men were all within the circle, and my group and I were circled on the outside, and he was sitting on the inside of the circle with his back to the outside, and when we walked around and I got directly opposite to him, I stepped inside the circle and walked across to where he was sitting, and spoke to him in a manner something like this:

"I am your brother. You are my brother. In our heavenly home we lived together in love and peace. Why can we not so live here on the earth?"

And it seemed to me that I felt in myself, welling up in my soul, a love for that man, and I could feel that he was having the same experience, and presently he arose, and we embraced each other and kissed each other, a kiss of affection.

Then the scene changed so that our group was within the circle, and he and his group were on the outside, and when he came around to where I was standing, he stepped inside the circle and embraced me again, with a kiss of affection.

I think the Lord gave me that dream. Why should I dream of this man, one of the greatest enemies of mankind, and one of the wickedest, but that the Lord should teach me that I must love my enemies, and I must love the wicked as well as the good? (George F. Richards, Conference Report, October 1946, p.140)

Besides loving God, we are co

Besides loving God, we are commanded to do what to many is a more difficult commandment—to love all, even enemies, and to go beyond the barriers of race or class or family relationships. It is easier, of course, to be kind to those who are kind to us— the usual standard of friendly reciprocity.

Then are we not commanded to cultivate genuine fellowship and even a kinship with every human being on earth? Whom would you bar from your circle? We might deny ourselves a nearness to our Savior because of our prejudices of neighborhood or possessions or race—attitudes that Christ would surely condemn. Love has no boundary, no limitation of good will.

Elder David B. Haight, Conference Report, November 1982

righteousness alert!

president hinckley is bordering on apostasy? you had better warn him!

i, too, have neglected to pray for osama bin laden's continued health and success. i will have to spend this weekend in solemn soul searching as a last ditch effort to stave off apostasy.

or maybe he felt a need to em

or maybe he felt a need to emphasize the amount because the United NAtions of evil constantly spoke out that our donation was not enough. 9/11 is not now, nor will it ever be "small scale" as you insinuate. Rest assured 9/11 happened - it was huge and it was terrible and it probably will not the last instance of terrorism we experience. Don't rest on your laurels.

liberals are dumb

liberals are dumb

Responsibility? go to

Responsibility? go to
for more info on that.

When you have 3 US presidents (Bush, Clinton,
Bush) standing together for a photo op,
that's suspicious.;)

and who does the US think the

and who does the US think the "great Satan" is?
i'm still looking for evidence that al-Q
truly exists. anyone have any?
i'm also still looking for proof (hey, even
a little evidence would help) that ObL was
involved in 911. anyone have any?
i'm still wondering why the US went to
Afghanistan, then Iraq. anyone know why?
i started getting some real history a while after BYU.
try as a starting point, then
skip over to
of course you don't have to believe it all--
it might help open eyes, though.
japan wanted to surrender long before the US
dropped the bombs. the allies slaughtered
lots of germans, esp. after the war--dresden
was far from a shady case. germany wanted
peace with the west, long before the war

This is how i explain it. Pre

This is how i explain it. President Hinckley is always introducing people to the Church and doing away with other's misconceptions, and though in that process he states the facts of what we give he stops far short of saying "we are generous". The furthest, I believe, he would likely go is to say that the members are generous, which shows humility and class, unlike Powell's comment.

awesome post travis!

awesome post travis!

The link to WizBang at the top is broken though ... did they remove the story or something?

That's not reasoning that's w

That's not reasoning that's what I call backwoods generalization. The world isn't that simple. Al-Qaeda operates in the United States, too. Remember? "Perhaps millions" simply doesn't cut it.
Or is that more satire? Many Christians feel the same way about them (as you say Muslims feel about us) want to kill them etc., and they both blame each other for the "first" offense.
It's a catch-22 that you are foolish to be involved in.
Enought of France-bashing already, that's so 2003.

I'm flattered

I'm flattered

All I said was there are Chri

All I said was there are Christian extremists.

Firebombing kills 100000

You are doing it right now. You do it when you don't care about the Iraqi casualties. You do it when you ignore the terrorist acts committed by our government(see Fog of War). You fail to see that our country has exhibited worse behavior than the countries we are fighting against. I remind you that we are the only country to have used WMDs in anger. Every time that you accuse the terrorists of being terrorists and don't accept it as a part of the developing nature of war and an act committed by both sides, you are hating Muslims the way you say that they hate us.