Thursday, September 08, 2005

The whirlwind and the underdog

I find myself having, yet again, to return to Katrina. I have read many comments in the past few days from people who believe that America, being a rich country, should not be given any help from other countries. Even more upsetting is the view that George Bush’s spending priorities have led to the problem, and he should therefore revise them, and use the money to help the Katrina victims. Even if we accept that American money being used in Iraq be diverted to New Orleans, how long do we think it will take for this to happen? And in the meantime, the residents of New Orleans are doing what? Sipping brackish water as they await their salvation? This is a rather selfish way to think. We sometimes accuse America of valuing the lives of their citizens more than those of other countries, but views such as this are no better. In effect they are saying, ‘sorry, you poor of America. We are not going to give you any money. Wait for your war-mongering president to divert money to you.’ Can you imagine the outrage from the Left if America refused to send aid to alleviate the famine in Zimbabwe because of the policies of Robert Mugabe? We would be told, and rightly too, that Mugabe’s sins should not be visited on his people; why should the poor suffer because of the policies of their leader? These are all valid points, so I wonder why these arguments are not used for the poor of America.

As to the argument that America is rich, so should not be helped, all I will say is this: it is interesting how means testing, normally branded offensive when advocated by the welfare state, is readily deployed in order to deny America any help.

What I find most disturbing is not whether or not these people will give anything to America. Rather, it is the fact that such views are widespread. Whenever there is a disaster anywhere on this planet, America is normally expected to wade in and help. It is quite clear that all the help given by America will not foster the slightest bit of compassion in some people, leave alone gratitude. The human thing would be for America to think long and hard about its standing in the world. Perhaps this may lead her to conclude that there is really nothing to be gained from rushing forward to help other nations in need, but that is not the Christian way.

America will always be America. It will learn lessons from the handling of Katrina. Perhaps one day, Black America will forgive the government. Right now, America is shining the torch of introspection. It isn’t really helping that those who have never wished her well have chosen this opportunity to bare their fangs.


Football. Last night, England played Northern Ireland in a World Cup qualifier. The match was billed as three easy points for England, so much so that it appeared that all England had to do was turn up at Windsor Park in Belfast. Snag was, no-one had bothered to inform Norn Iron of this. So they came and played football. You should have seen the look on the face of Wayne Rooney, the England striker. He was astounded by the impudence of those boys. Why were they not moving out of the way so he could score? Even the commentators were making comments like: Wayne Rooney/David Beckham/Frank Lampard is frustrated because (insert N.I player name) is getting in the way of the ball, or some such crap. Well, what did they think the game was about? Anyway, the game ended, as such games must, with England losing one-nil. I have no further comment, but I feel a Bible verse coming on. It is Proverbs 11.2. And no, I am not going to spell it out. I think it’s time you made some effort. Why do I have to do everything round here?
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