Tuesday, January 04, 2005

The diplomatic effect of American generosity

Brendan Miniter's column in the Wall Street Journal is a good antidote to the shrill polemics of George Moonbat's . . . er, Monbiot's column in the Guardian. Miniter writes that American aid to the tsunami-stricken nations of Southeast Asia is probably driving Osama bin Laden "bananas."

[T]his tsunami is putting on display exactly what United Nations and European bureaucrats are loath to admit: that the U.S. and its military are forces for good in the world. From the wealth and freedom that allow Americans to generously give to those in need to the military infrastructure that enables much of that aid to be delivered, this natural disaster is an advertisement for the type of societies that best serve the people of the world.

The Saudi royal family may write a few checks. Even the Iranian mullahs may be cajoled into handing over a few rials. But broad relief requires tapping the creativity, insight and generosity of a wide cross-section of society. And it is only the free societies of the world that have both the wherewithal and the ability to pinpoint and quickly meet emerging needs. That's something that goes a long way in undermining the message al Qaeda leaders have been preaching for a better part of a decade. America isn't seeking world domination. Tsunami help is coming with no strings attached.


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