Press claims influence

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Last updated on June 6th, 2017 at 08:14 am

Colin Powell mentioned a few days ago that the US will probably end up spending billions on tsunami aid. Since then, completely in line with Powell’s remark, we’ve learned that funding has increased to $350 million; yet CNN persists with the view that this was prompted by baiting from the press and UN:

The increase followed criticism that the initial amount was far from enough.

As contributor Alan R.M. Jones writes: “Yeah, that’s it. The US only gives substantial aid when middle ranking UN bureaucrats make ill-considered remarks. If that were true, the US Treasury would have gone bust a long time ago.”

In other charity news, Howard Owens notes the under-reporting of private donations and has this to say about Jeff McNeely, who blamed the toll on “human activities”:

Maybe those who are eager to blame modern man should stop and consider how much worse it would be without modern technology.

The U.S. is sending two naval groups. One of the functions of these ships will be to generate fresh drinking water in large quantities. The ships can also generate power to aid relief work and provide manpower to distribute aid, and security to protect it. Also, FedEx and the U.S. Air Force are providing numerous cargo planes to carry aid to the afflicted countries. And of course, many of the millions being donated are available only because of technolgy and capitalism. Clearly, many lives will be saved because of quick action, rapid transportation and medical advancements—the fruits of capitalism that didn’t exist 100 years ago.

One of the two naval groups sent by the stingy US Navy includes the USS Bonhomme Richard, currently headed for Sri Lanka. Reader Jeremy Garrett forwards some details on the vessel, gleaned from Tom Clancy’s non-fiction Marine: A Guided Tour of a Marine Expeditionary Unit:

According to Clancy, the USS Bonhomme Richard’s sister ship the USS Wasp is listed in Virginia’s disaster preparedness plans as the fourth-largest hospital in the state when it is docked at the Navy base at Norfolk, Virginia.

The USS Wasp and her sister ships have 600+ beds, six operating theaters, eighteen post-operative/intensive care beds, six isolation ward beds, 36 primary care beds, and extensive radiology dental facilities onboard. In addition, they can use some of the bunks for the Marines as hospital beds when they are on shore. The only larger hospital facilities on board ships are those of the US Navy’s Mercy and Comfort, which are hospital ships based on the hulls of oil tankers.

The Marines will also be carrying a significant number of helicopters and various kinds of landing craft. That will be a big help in reaching areas that have been cut off by the tsunami damage. The Marines also have a large capability to make potable water and often end up helping to supply water to other military units during missions. The book was published in the 1990s, but it should still be accurate. Clancy even toured the Bonhomme Richard while it was under construction.

Sounds to me like Bush was busy getting support that could provide immediate help to the area while the critics were bashing the US contributions. I live in Alabama and I can tell you from personal experiences with hurricanes that money is helpful in the medium and long term, but it’s people and resources at the site of the disaster in the first few days and weeks that do the most to lessen suffering for the victims. This is especially true in this case where the large scale of the disaster is overwhelming local resources.

Bush should know what he’s doing when it comes to disaster relief since he was the Governor of Texas through hurricanes, floods, and tornados. His advisors are no novices at disaster relief efforts either.  Bush’s Chief of Staff, Andrew H. Card, coordinated relief efforts for Hurricane Andrew while serving in the elder Bush’s administration.

Personally, I think I’ll trust the judgment of the President who actually has experience in dealing with natural disasters over UN officials and reporters who have never lifted anything heavier than a pen to help out.

Posted by Tim B. on 01/01/2005 at 06:36 PM
    1. Happt 2005, everybody!

      May we all get more of what we want
      enough of what we need
      and just maybe a little less than what we deserve…

      Posted by richard mcenroe on 2005 01 01 at 08:05 PM • permalink


    1. I know its impolite but the fastest reactions in providing aid and resosurces was private industry and the two countries which have not signed Kyoto.

      The slowest were the social democracies of Europe.

      Posted by Louis on 2005 01 01 at 08:17 PM • permalink


    1. As an American, I dream (over and over) of the day the President goes on international television and announces that the US is officially closing it�s wallet to any nation that is ungrateful for our benevolence, in other words almost all nations.

      My dream is even better when America has pledged funds for a natural disaster, were called �stingy,� and then back out of the pledge.  Ideally, the President, in front of the Congress and on international television, would reiterate the amount money we had pledged, announce our withdrawal of the money, play the clip of Mr. �Morally Superior to You� saying what evil people Americans are, and then cite Mr. Morally Superior as the reason the money will not be forthcoming.  And, I want the President to do this again and again every time something bad happens and people feel they are entitled to our money, but then look our gift horse in the mouth.

      During the last four years, Americans have had it beaten into our heads that the world hates us.  We also have had it beaten into our heads that nothing we ever do or don�t do will make the world stop hating us.  Nothing we ever do is good enough, especially in the eyes of Europe.  I have also noticed that the most self-centered ruthless unapologetic bastards around, China, get a free pass.  After all when Bush came to Australia, the Parliament members wanted to shout and protest during his speech.  When the Chinese Something-or-Other Minister came to deliver a speech to Australia�s Parliament, all the MPs were given explicit instructions to sit down, shut up, and behave.  Maybe we should recast our foreign policy to look more like China�s?

      We are running a massive deficit in the US.  If Europe and the UN are going to complain and attack us when we doing something nice, maybe our money could be better spent at home.

      Posted by EvilDave on 2005 01 01 at 08:18 PM • permalink


    1. I didn’t think it would take only 2 months after the election, but the press has officially reached “whistling past the graveyard” status regarding their (non-)influence with the Bush administration. Claiming imaginary victories is all they have left.

      Posted by PW on 2005 01 01 at 08:37 PM • permalink


    1. Maybe it’s a battle between the MSM and the blogosphere to see who can raise the most money.  The MSM gets the government to contribute, because only politicians are afraid of them, is their idea.  So they want to claim that as theirs.

      In the meantime, apparently, the government unbidden is sending all sorts of actual stuff immediately, stupidly not realizing that they could just wire a bank transfer.

      Posted by rhhardin on 2005 01 01 at 09:09 PM • permalink


    1. <blockquote>One of the two naval groups sent by the stingy US Navy includes the USS Bonhomme Richard, currently headed for Sri Lanka.</blockquote>

      I presume that the Sorry Lankans have made sure that there are no Jews aboard the USS Bonhomme Richard.

      Posted by Uncle Bill on 2005 01 02 at 02:14 AM • permalink


    1. Bush is an effective manager. The response of an effective manager to a crisis is to order immediate measures from those feasible and apparent, and task subordinates to work out alternatives for going from there. Once the subordinates are busy, the manager kicks back and stays out of the way.

      Leaping up, emoting, and shouting out random (usually contradictory) orders is the sign of an incompetent, self-important, micromanaging ass. Too bad that seems to be the gold standard for politicians; it means Bush gets criticized when he doesn’t deserve it because he doesn’t fit in.

      Ric Locke

      Posted by Ric Locke on 2005 01 02 at 03:49 AM • permalink


    1. Uncle Bill � They’re welcome to try.  Reminds of the story of the Phantom pilot with 6th Fleet in the 70’s, when the Soviets (Hey, guys!  Remember the Soviets!?  They were the future!) used to send their Bear bombers to try to overfly the carriers.  The Phantom pilot would pull up alongside the Bear and hold up a handwritten sign reading, “Sweat, Buddy, I’m Jewish!”  At least one Bear actually broke off and fled…

      Posted by richard mcenroe on 2005 01 02 at 04:21 AM • permalink


    1. Clearly, a new meme is forming: George Bush is a Slave to World Opinion

      Posted by Norman on 2005 01 02 at 05:11 AM • permalink


    1. The USA and its citizens are being vilified by the press because it is fashionable in their social circle.  We need to forgive them the way Jesus did when he said �Father forgive them, for they no not what they do.�

      Not a “Politically Correct” statement, tough, get over it!  Lets move on and continue to do what is right.  We are a great nation and the hope of the world.

      Posted by Genetoo on 2005 01 02 at 06:02 AM • permalink


    1. “Charity ends where a gun begins.”  The monies sent by the U.S. govt. have been forcibly appropriated, not voluntarily donated.

      Private donations for foreign disasters, famine, etc. annually exceed anything the govt. pays out.

      So the issue is not only the ingratitude of people like the UN idiot, but the spending of dollars taken by force from the American people.

      The root, however, is the same: the ethics of self-sacrifice, both religious and secular, which is rooted in the hatred of the good precisely because it is good.

      Get a clue, folks.  America is hated for Her virtues by those who envy Her achievements.

      Posted by John Galt on 2005 01 02 at 07:57 AM • permalink


    1. Just finished listening to Kudlow subbing for Brinker on “Money Talk” on, like, 500 high-power AM stations here in the USA (Albuquerque, NM for me).  Kudlow read most of your reader’s letter about the _Bonhomme Richard_.  It was probably heard by about ten million people.

      Kudlow struggled to properly credit where he got the information.  But just before 5:00 MST, while talking to Hindrocket of, he remembered: “Tim Blair… That’s where I got the story about the Bonhomme.”

      Thanks to Clancy, Garrett, Blair, Kudlow and Brinker for such wide-spread info about the amazing things the USN can do for good in the world.

      (Former Squid) Reese

      Posted by reese on 2005 01 02 at 12:17 PM • permalink


    1. Leaping up, emoting, and shouting out random (usually contradictory) orders is the sign of an incompetent, self-important, micromanaging ass.
      -Ric Locke


      …I take it you don’t miss Bubba much, either. 🙂

      Posted by rosignol on 2005 01 02 at 12:33 PM • permalink


    1. Sorry,

      That’s .


      Posted by reese on 2005 01 02 at 01:50 PM • permalink


  1. “After all when Bush came to Australia, the Parliament members wanted to shout and protest during his speech. When the Chinese Something-or-Other Minister came to deliver a speech to Australia�s Parliament, all the MPs were given explicit instructions to sit down, shut up, and behave.”

    That’s because we knew the Chinese guy wouldn’t manage whereas, in George W’s case, we knew that he has what it takes to deal with the pompous blub-blubbing ratbaggery of a dopey Greens politician.  Ah.  It was lovely to watch!


    Posted by Janice on 2005 01 02 at 06:06 PM • permalink