America…carrying the load, again
Ran across this post at Homeland Security Watch regarding why America should help Haiti recover from the quake from a security perspective. The punchline? Because Bush ignored Katrina victims and because all Bush did was ruin our image abroad and because other countries just hate us for our consumption and competition, we need to help Haiti as a PR stunt.
America cannot afford to ignore the plight of people so like those who suffered from the poor response to Hurricane Katrina in 2005. As the nation seeks to rebuild its image abroad, it is becoming clear that the moral authority of the United States and its people rests not upon our ability to project power but on our willingness to extend protection. Put another way: This is a question of compassion, not competition.
Distinctions between homeland security and national security, hard power and soft power blur and fade to insignificance in the face of such a catastrophe. At a time when we have become better known and even resented for our preoccupation with competition and our relentless consumption, this is a time for America and Americans to display the sort of uncommon and uncompromising compassion our unparalleled liberties afford us.
First of all, the response to Katrina was not as poor as conventional wisdom would dictate. The idea that the response to Katrina was an utter failure was largely a political tool used to bludgeon Bush, because, you know, everything wrong in the world is his fault.
Second, the ability to extend protection is not detached from the ability to project power. Large parts of the world are relatively peaceful and much of global commerce works because of the U.S.’ power to keep thugs and tyrants from wreaking havoc. Other countries benefit but leftists just whine about American aircraft carriers and bases being in places where they think they shouldn’t be.
Third, only in the leftist mind is America only a competitive nation with little regard for compassion. Remember the ’04 tsunami? It wasn’t China or France who ponied up the bulk of relief funds (displays best in IE). And Saudi Arabia and Iran aren’t footing the lion’s share of the Haiti relief bill, either. Most Americans are compassionate people and giving people who take it as a given that you extend help when other people are suffering, even if you don’t get anything tangible in return. But to leftists, America won’t help unless we get a decent ROI. Nonsense. I’d like to see how the books of the world’s top charitable organizations would look without American giving.
Fourth, American competitiveness leads to the prosperity that allows the United States to be a giving nation that can help others. The author gives a nod to our liberties affording us compassion. Yeah, like the liberty to compete in a market system and create wealth to the point that a certain percentage of it can be given away without a second thought?
As usual, the United States is stepping up to help out more than any other single nation in a situation where we will get little to nothing in return. And as usual, liberals have to figure out a way to bash the very American values and privileges that give us the ability to do so.