Today on Blogcritics
Home » Powell Tours Tsunami Zone

Powell Tours Tsunami Zone

Please Share...Tweet about this on Twitter0Share on Facebook0Share on Google+0Share on LinkedIn0Pin on Pinterest0Share on TumblrShare on StumbleUpon0Share on Reddit0Email this to someone

I think Bush is very lucky Sec. Powell is still around – this mission to the tsunami-devastated areas is exactly where his weight and prestige on the world stage is most effective:

    Secretary of State Colin Powell said Tuesday the outpouring of American aid and humanitarian help in the region devastated by the tsunami may also help Muslim nations see the United States in a better light.

    “What it does in the Muslim world, the rest of the world is giving an opportunity to see American generosity, American values in action,” Powell said after meeting with Hassan Wirayuda, his Indonesian counterpart.

    “America is not an anti-Islamic, anti-Muslim nation. America is a diverse society. We respect all religions,” he said

Unless they are trying to kill us, but that’s a separate story.

    Powell said he hopes Muslim countries see the wide range of U.S. aid and involvement around the world, of which the disaster relief is only the latest example. U.S. involvement and cooperation “is in the best interest of those countries and it’s in our best interest,” he said.

    “It dries up those pools of dissatisfaction that give rise to terrorist activities,” Powell added.

    Meanwhile, in an interview with Thailand’s Independent Television, Powell again rejected criticism of the U.S. response as being slow.

    “Who criticized us? It wasn’t the countries in the region,” he said.

    And, Powell said, he called the foreign ministers of the devastated countries right away and President Bush spoke to heads of government and state within 48 hours.

    “So I don’t accept the criticism that some in the media have given to the United States that we were slow,” he said. [AP]

Whether you accept it or not, you were slow, but much to the administration’s credit, after the initial slow response, there has been a marked change of direction which is very positive from both a humanitarian and political (not Republican/Democratic, but U.S.-in-the-world) standpoint. So now we have something approaching a Marshall Plan:

    Thai officials told Powell the thing they most want is U.S. help for a warning system in the Indian Ocean and China Sea and Powell pledged U.S. technical help for some kind of a regional warning system.

    “We’ll do everything we can to contribute,” he said.

    Discussing U.S. aid in general, Powell said, “The United States has made a significant financial contribution [$350m pledged so far], but we have done much more than that.” He cited millions of dollars being raised in private donations in the United States even before President Bush announced Monday in Washington that his father, the first President Bush, and former President Clinton, will spearhead a fund-raising drive.

    Powell also noted the massive U.S. military assistance now swinging into high gear that is delivering food, water and supplies and evacuating wounded.

It is time for us to show once again that we are as good at building as we are at destroying – a lot of people aren’t aware of that.

(Secretary Powell with ABC’s Diane Sawyer in front of “The Wall of the Disappeared” at the City Hall Disaster Relief Center in Phuket, Thailand)

Powered by

About Eric Olsen

  • http://www.templestark.com/blog Temple Stark

    As the saying goes – religions don’t kill, people do.

    An unneccesary shot in a post I otherwise enjoyed a lot and hit the right tone.

    >>”America is not an anti-Islamic, anti-Muslim nation. America is a diverse society. We respect all religions,” he said
    Unless they are trying to kill us, but that’s a separate story.

  • http://www.angelfire.com/ny5/mista/blog Mista

    “America is not an anti-Islamic, anti-Muslim nation. America is a diverse society. We respect all religions,”

    This is the dumbest thing I’ve heard all year(and can only get worse from here), this comes just weeks after the media was reporting polls stating that most Americans favor restricting the rights of Muslims, and is contrasted by many who believe we should put them in concentration camps, the latest example being Daniel Pipes, but he’s far from the only one, the US gov has 600 detention camps currently and is contracting with some israeli prison corporation to build even more stressing that they can have them built in only a year’s time. They’re not spending multi-millions to have them remain empty. Any time Muslim groups do organize to do anything in this country, such as buy land or buildings for community services or cemetaries etc., it’s met with vocal public outcry(across the entire country, I’ve seen it 1st hand in my state of NY), coming from both Dem’s and Repub’s alike. It was like that long before 9-11 too.

  • Eric Olsen

    Temple, a small amount of darkish levity in a sea of despair – I think virtually all are aware that we are at war with a segment of radical jihadist Islam, not Islam itself.

    Mista, where are these 600 detention camps? I am unaware of them. I agree that this is a very difficult time to be a Muslim in America because it is difficult to know where to draw the line between those who would act against this nation, those who sympathize with them, and the vast majority (I hope and assume) who do neither.

  • http://www.angelfire.com/ny5/mista/blog Mista

    here

    If you do a search on US Concentration Camps you should be able to find partial lists, such as this site
    http://www.apfn.org/apfn/camps.htm which includes photos scans and military documents…some of the commentary on this page sounds over-the-top and hopefully it is, but on the other hand Abu Ghraib would have sounded the same way to many without hard photo proof to wipe out any deniability.

  • Eric Olsen

    ah, “contingency plans” – there are contingency plans for just about everything and I don’t see this pertaining to our Muslim population anymore than any other aspect of the population

  • Eric Olsen

    and regarding the second URL: yes, I would say it’s pretty over the top, and Ashcroft will not be the Attorney General for much longer

  • http://www.angel-and-soulmate-selfhelp.com/blog.html Angela Chen Shui

    A very good piece, Eric. Thank you.

  • http://www.blog-bloke.com BB

    The world ain’t stupid, and America needs to downplay the politics and give from the heart.

  • Shark

    Sorta bizarre that this “essay” is basically a big wet kiss given to President Pinocchio and Steppin’ Fetchit, um… I mean George Bush and Colin Powell.

    Jeez, Eric, yer boy won the friggin’ election. Will ya stop with the “marketing”, please.

    ========

    PS: I wonder how many people could be fed by boiling and slicing up Jeb Bush? His neck alone could probably feed a family of four for a week — and would be much more effective than lying, bullshit lovey-dovey speeches about our friends the Muslims.

    Just a thought…

  • Shark

    “We respect all religions…Unless they are trying to kill us…”

    Jeez, what a coincidence: this is the EXACT same thing ‘they’ say.

    hmmmmm…

  • http://theugliestamerican.blogspot.com/ andy marsh

    that’s BS shark and you know it! “they” say they respect NO religion other than their own!

  • Eric Olsen

    thanks Angela

    Shark, who said this is an “essay”? It’s a news story with some commentary on the politics of the situation. Moreover, obviously the link between Bush and Powell has been broken since he resigned – I am saying Bush is fortunate Powell isn’t gone yet.

    And the “they” in question — radical Islamist terrorists — respect no religion (even their own if it isn’t adhered to strictly enough) other than their specific, narrow interpretation of one religion. And to top it off, you are combining what Powell said with my small joke in response to it as if they were the same statement.

    As I am forced to ask periodically: is there a point to all this bile?

  • Shark

    “…is there a point to all this bile?”

    Um, it’s more entertaining?

    xxoo
    S(fiddling while Rome burns)hark