Tsunami aftermath: International political ramifications

First off, if you have not already, please consider donating to the American Red Cross' disaster relief fund. As conservatives who believe that the government is not the answer to all things we should put our money where our mouth is by funding charities privately, plus it a great way to show that individual Americans care about others in this world.

On that note, I do believe a silver lining will come of this. While in now way I am even remotely saying that the tsunami was good for us, I do think that this is an excellent opportunity for us as individual Americans to show that we are a compassionate, caring people. With the negativism and anti-Americanism that is prevalent in many parts of the world, this is an excellent demonstration of what American values really are.

Many have written that the countries affected would have been much better off if their economies and markets were more free, and I agree with them. Much has also been made of the US-UN relations in the wake of the tragedy, from a UN official calling us "stingy", to Colin Powell denying that a rivalry is developing, the UN official who claimed that they were the only ones with the "moral authority" to act, and finally the fact that the US had boots on the ground there working for days and the UN has done nothing but hold meetings and press conferences. But all of this really does not matter in the big picture it just underscores the fact that the UN is becoming woefully irrelevant.

This is where we step in. Its not a rivalry or a power play, it is the fact the US is the most efficient and prosperous country in the world, and we do care and help others. The private donations to the Red Cross at alone, at the time I am writing this, is over $14 million, and total US private aid is estimated at over $200 million. In addition we can get people there quickly and get things done. This alone changes our perception and interaction with disaster stricken countries, and if that is not a "hearts and minds" operation I don't know what is.

This is our opportunity to show what we are really made of.

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