Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Exhausted Charity

The UN weasel who accused the US of being a "stingy" aid-giver now wants his own private emergency aid fund. Which raises the issue of why the world is not sending aid to Pakistan earthquake relief at anything like the level they pitched in for the Tsunami. I think its because the Tsunami, Katrina and 7/7 have taught donors that their money will end up in the pockets of the corrupt UN, dictators or terrorists, and that the MSM reports of disasters can't be trusted.

The weasel (WSJ subscription):

The United Nations is spearheading the launch of a $500 million Global Emergency Fund to be used by aid agencies at the earliest possible moment, wherever and wherever a crisis strikes. The Fund's goal is simple: within 72 hours, provide aid workers with sufficient funding to jump-start lifesaving relief operations when most lives are on the line.

I sure that John Bolton will listen sympathetically.

Europeans regularly accuse the US government of not spending enough money on aid - they always use a % of GNP comparison, which shows - say - Iceland gives 2% of their GNP (10 sheep), whereas the US gives a stingily 0.14% ($18 billion). Plus they ignore private donations because in socialist Europe, people are so highly taxed that they don't do charity. Finally, the US pays to keep world peace, and that doesn't come cheaply.

All of which is why the US and Australia bailed out the Tsunami victims before the UN had managed to locate decent local 5 star hotels.

So why the comparatively small response to the Pakistan quake? Part is compassion fatigue - we all have just so much empathy. But there are four much more important reasons.

1. We Don't Like Corruption
We haven't forgotten that Oxfam had to pay the Sri Lankan government $1 million to get its aid to help the Tsunami victims.

2. We Don't Like Terrorists
The quaked part of Pakistan harbors al Queda, and Pakistani schools trained the 7/7 bombers. We don't want our donations to go to people who want to kill us.

3. We Distrust The MSM
After Katrina, we don't trust the MSM to accurately report disaster. It wouldn't surprise me to find that they've overstated the earthquake casualties by orders of magnitude.

4. We Don't Trust The UN
After all the scandals.

All of which has poisoned the well for the folks in Pakistan.