$350 million IS
the tip of the iceberg...Colin Powell said, in the aftermath of the UN twit's comments (and, sorry naive people, it is clear at whom he was directing his comments...with these UN people, it is about what is NOT said, just as much as what IS
said.), US expenditures, when all is said and done, will be in the billion dollar range or more...and it has NOTHING to do with the UN twit's comments, nor the left wing carping in the United States.
What is most appaling to me is how China is escaping any criticism or browbeating from anyone. They are the largest country in the region, they are NEIGHBORS with the affected countries, they have the fastest growing economy in the world (between 2 and 20 times the rate of growth of other countries, depending upon the country of comparison) and they come up with a paltry token amount. Germany, France and Russia have also been absolutely pathetic. Spain's amount was impressive; the collective EU amount is still below what was called "stingy" for the United States. Since the EU is determined to be just as good and then one better than the U.S., is the EU now going to pledge $351 million? And how many of these countries have blown their entire wad preamatureley, just to get in a number higher than the U.S.? Will they be there in 6 months? 18 months? 60 months, as Indonesia thinks it will take to be completely recovered? Chances are, after the news dies down and we move on to our next crisis, Australia and Uncle Sam will be the last ones left, as usual.
I am the most impressed with Australia. No criticism of others, no big, grand glorious amounts...just quick relief of the type that was absolutely necessary, where it was needed the most, and a commitment for the long haul. They responded as the US should be expected to if something like this happened in the Americas. They are demonstrating real regional leadership, while they are usually lambasted by the likes of the Malaysians especially, for being too white to be part of Asia. I hope this changes some minds.
When will it stop being politicized, a couple have asked? Well, when the Democrats stop putting their pundits and congressional leaders on television in order to use it to their political advantage...then it will no longer be politicized. Tell Senator Leahy to shut the hell up, or get elected president himself, and then maybe that will stop.