Saturday, January 01, 2005

Are you an American Upset with U.S. Response?

This is an excerpt from "The America I Wish We'd been This Week", an essay at WorldChanging by Alex Steffen. Crossposted at DarkDaysAhead...

The America I Wish We'd Been This Week

This is a personal essay, likely to make some people angry but perhaps to many others seem worth the read. It's about the kind of nation I wish the United States had shown itself to be this week.

The White House just announced that the US will contribute US$350 million to the relief efforts. First of all, let me say that I'm proud that my government is beginning to respond in a way more proportional to the magnitude of the crisis. Then, let me say something clear and unequivocal: it is nowhere near enough.

Rather than go into a whole thing about why I think that, let me instead draw a picture: I wish we were the America that would look at a tragedy like this and, without hesitation, live up to its highest ideals.

Imagine, if instead of offering a few million dollars and a press release, the president had flown to Indonesia, and, standing in solidarity with the victims, had announced that the United States government was going to, say, cover one third of the relief and reconstruction costs, a figure of five billion dollars. Imagine further, that the president took the opportunity to reaffirm the US commitment to compassion and global cooperation in pursuit of freedom and prosperity, as, in another context, another president once did...

Read the rest at WorldChanging