Is America Cheap on â€˜Humanitarian Aidâ€™?
By: Warner Todd Huston
So, we are the “ugly American,” we’re always told. But to whom do they come running when they need help? Italy, France, maybe? Hardly. Still, they love to beat up on the US, and unfortunately our MSM is only too happy to act the echo chamber for anti-Americanism. This time it is Time Magazine that gleefully adds to the din of opprobrium at America with theirs titled, “US Ranked Low in Humanitarian Aid,” wherein, crook and ex-UN chief Kofi Annan has decided that we are cheapskates where it concerns so-called “humanitarian aid” to foreign countries. Yes, after all we’ve done, after all we do around the world in their time of need, Annan and his UN cronies have the gall to call us cheap, uncaring, stingy even, where it concerns this supposed rate of “humanitarian aid” that other countries are so much more generous with. Even Luxembourg beats us according to the novel mathematics employed by Annan and others who want to attack the US of A. Ain’t we Americans just such meanies?
The news that Time highlights is a new scheme to find fault with America enshrined in a novel system of ranking how countries give aid to others.
A new tool to evaluate governments’ humanitarian spending can help countries get aid out more efficiently to those who need it, say former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan and the Spain-based non-profit DARA. Their Humanitarian Response Index (HRI), launched Thursday in London, ranks Sweden as the world leader in humanitarian aid. Norway comes second, followed by Denmark, the Netherlands and the European Commission. The U.S. scores a lowly 16th out of 23.
Our intrepid Time Magazine medical correspondent, Laura Blue, has taken some time away from her important medical news beat to pen this lovely and badly misleading calumny highlighting the claim that the USA is “ranked low in humanitarian aid.” Of course, all this reckoning showing how mean and miserly we are is calculated as if this “humanitarian aid” they are so concerned with is only something doled out by governments. It doesn’t bother to take much into account the many billions of dollars that is raised and distributed by private American citizens. But Blue goes on to lament about our aid programs anyway.
For the U.S., a mediocre ranking reflects mixed performance. While funding is allocated relatively well along international guidelines, much of the country’s aid is tightly earmarked for specific projects or comes as physical goods instead of cash…
So, after failing to take into consideration private giving aside, this absurd new ranking system also discounts the fact that aid from America often takes the form of actual items like water, blankets, medicine, clothing, etc., as opposed to the cash payments that Kofi Annan would prefer? Well with as long a record of graft and corruption that he and his son have, it is no wonder they’d rather have the cash.
Even more ridiculous, this ranking system doesn’t rank aid alone. It ranks political measures just as importantly as it does real aid to hurting peoples.
The U.S. …(is)… bottom of the pack in implementing international humanitarian and human rights laws, having refused to ratify key international treaties. Survey responses – though generally more favorable to the U.S. than the hard-data indicators – also rank U.S. aid lowest in perceptions of “neutrality” and “independence” from political and strategic considerations.
Ah, so because we haven’t bowed to the UN’s political requirements, we are “ranked low” in humanitarian aid!? How does a UN resolution feed a staving kid in Darfur, or help an earthquake victim in Pakistan?
Then our hardy reporter dips into a spot ‘O humor with her report.
The index creators insist their device is not intended as a “name and shame exercise,” but rather as “an incentive” to do better.
Yeah, riiiiight. No, no, no, they insist, this isn’t a “gotcha” report at all… and if you guys have your government give us more cash we’ll be HAPPY to take you off the bad boy list, they are sure to let us know.
Now, back in May, Rosa Brooks of the L.A. Times tried this same tack to make the USA look like cheapskates in “humanitarian aid” (even calling us cheapskates in her article). She also tried to paint American aid to disasters and humanitarian relief as an all government affair, ignoring the civilian efforts to help others. I then stated the same point that today eviscerates the graft laden Kofi Annan with his claim that we are cheapskates.
Someone should remind Mz. Brooks that it isnâ€™t the American way to show its character and generosity via compulsory government spending. In fact, Americans constantly give more money to charitable causes than any other people in history and certainly more than any other nation today.
The same thing holds true here. Kofi Annan is attempting to engineer his attack on American generosity by claiming that only aid given by the US government is applicable to be “ranked” and that our refusal to grovel at the feet of the UN counterweighs the real good we actually do. But there is far, far more to America’s generosity than what the government does. In fact, a true American wouldn’t want the government to give ANYTHING, but would rather rely entirely on private agencies and fund raising efforts.
But, not Time Magazine. They believe as do the America haters in Europe and the tyrant appeasers of the UN, that the many billions of dollars America gives to disaster relief and the banks filled with American humanitarian aid around the world is meaningless because we won’t sign onto the UN’s self aggrandizing “resolutions” and empty treaties.
It’s a good thing that Americans are just too compassionate to all of a sudden stop giving to everyone all at once to show these ingrates just how much they’d miss us, isn’t it? But, there is one thing we could do to even the score. Stop buying Time Magazine.