Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Why America Is Slow To Help Pakistan

The recent torrential rains and floods that struck Pakistan and caused widespread death and destruction have raised an important question:  why -- after the outpouring of emotion after the Haitian earthquake--are Americans not leaping to their checkbooks in a sympathetic rush to send money to victims and NGO's supporting the relief effort?

There are a couple of reasons.  Firstly, Haiti is geographically, right next door--it is in not only the Western Hemisphere, but the Northern Hemisphere.  Proximity matters.

Secondly, I think there are many Americans--count me among them--who would like to see the oil rich Arab nations step up to the plate with their cash on this one--you know, the ones who use Pakistan to develop young Jihadi terrorists the way Major League Baseball uses the Dominican Republic to grow baseball players.

Finally--and this one probably lumps me into the category of misanthrope--I find it hard to reach for the checkbook to send aid to a country that has so prominently figured IN the worldwide Jihad, providing succor to Al-Qaeda and the Taliban, with an intelligence service that has played on both sides of the fence for years.  Yes--Pakistan is strategically important to us, and maintaining influence there is critically important.  But I'll leave that relationship to the US government to manage.  I manage my charitable giving, and I simply can't get the pen to meet the check on this one.


"The Hammer" said...

Screw 'em.

Anonymous said...

Your sentiments are completely understandable. But there is something unsettling about the whole of it. It's a little like not rescuing a drowning child because the father is an a'hole.

I've read that a great amount of contributions are coming from extremists groups that are showing the Pakistani people they are the apparent "good guys." An overwhelming outpouring of support from U.S. citizens would send a strong message of compassion, but alas, it won't happen.

NavyAustin said...

Hamas and Hezbolah do a lot of "good" in Palestine - basic welfare, food, medical - and they make sure that the recipients know who is providing it.

Surveys say that about 2/3 of Pakistanis "hate" the U.S. This may be true. I am sure that most in the region have serious doubts about the motives of ANY outsider, particularly a western power.

And at the end of the day, will we be able to sustain any effort? It has been said that you can rent, but never buy, an Afghan's loyalty. Probably true of their neighbors, too.

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