City of Roses
I certainly wouldn't say the United States is stingy. I believe the United States is a very generous nation when you consider all the private contributions being made everywhere. Millions of American families chipping in what they can. Sandra Bullock gave a million. Linkin Park even set up their own charity, Music For Relief. And I am satisfied that the administration is now giving $350 million. There's much generosity in this nation.
I believe, rather, it is just how and where our money is being spent that's the problem. Somehow, I actually feel the problem is opposite of stingy. Rather, we spend a lot, and a lot of what is being spent is not strictly devoted to the basic qualities of life, but rather a senseless war that never had to happen.
To have a feeling of exactly how obsessed the administration is with the war and military spending, Bush is about to ask for $80 billion more as "emergency" funding for Iraq, That'll push the total cost of the war above Vietnam. Pentagon’s spending has went up 41 percent in the past four years to $425 billion this year. Discretionary spending has virtually doubled since the Clinton Administration (and let it be known that I too was sharply disappointed with Clinton's role during the Rwandan tragedy.)
I defend my initial remark before the contribution rose to $350 million in that it was a rather disingenuous offering when it is worth less than four hours of war in Iraq. Of course it still startles me that $350 million is barely over a day and a half of war in Iraq, and to see all that money that could have went to funding schools and provide a living wage for a third of Americans below the low income kill and haunt thousands, but I do give the administration credit there. But I still believe that initial $15 million and then the $35 million follow-up was very disappointing.
It saddens me to see the world community in comparison being dissed here as well. After all, look at Australia. They've given $750 million (I think it's approaching a billion now). Germany has given $674 million. Japan has given half a billion. And for those lashing out at the U.N, pledges are around $4 billion now.
And Tim, if you're choosing to go down the road of calling me a murderer of millions of children because I embrace the scientific community, I just find that sad. I absolutely believe there is faulty science out there, I also believe there is much reasonable, sensible results that must be taken seriously. If you're just going to believe everything the Junkman says, who admits himself he does not think anything of the environmentalists or listens to them, that's one heck of a problem. It's about time we hear both sides together and come to terms of what science is unanimously considered rational and what is not, so we know what we can use to find patterns and look for alternatives and solutions in the years ahead. Is that murder if we only listen? I think that's responsible thinking. Apathy is irresponsibility.
While we're on that road, which Huan Yi and Balladeer are also treading, you don't think I don't care about the other atrocities we've witnessed in recent years?
I wasn't born yet during the Khmer Rouge years between 1975-1979, but that doesn't mean I feel grieved for the many slaughtered then.
I hadn't become really opinionated until the year after the time Rwandan president Juvenal Habyarimana's plane was shot down in 1994 and sparking that mass genocide of hundreds of thousands, particularly Tutsis, when I turned 12, but that doesn't mean I wasn't grieved by the atrocities.
And I certainly have grieved over the fact there are indeed brutal men like Saddam Hussein who would kill his own people by the hundreds of thousands. You think I don't care or feel that?
As far as abortion is concerned...well...it is a very sensitive issue and I don't want to go into it. Personally I've come to believe it is a sensitive issue women should decide the fate of. I believe that issue really isn't any of my business, other than just I have my own little opinion and that I am sympathetic with the opinions of those who oppose abortion.
Anyway, after we talk of all those atrocities, I still can't get over how, nevertheless, anyone can advocate such a senseless war in Iraq, a war which its original claims have already been proven false, that has already killed, if not the estimate of over a hundred thousand, tens of thousands of men, women and children, not to mention has ruined the peace and everyday lives of innocent Iraqi families with life-afflicting injuries and waters poisoned with uranium deposits, which even those in Bush's cabinet admit conditions there will worsen in the months ahead, with not even an exit strategy in sight, thus will likely lead to the deaths of tens of thousands more, which, by the way, is not making the world safer, but is only incitng more terrorist instincts. There are those who are so adamant over such atrocities that happened before yet allow Bush and the administration to mirror and repeat these dark histories through this bloody senseless war. Frankly, I just don't get it, I don't believe it.
How do I respond to all these atrocities, from Khmer Rouge, to the Rwandan genocide, to Saddam's massacre, to Bush's senseless war? Being the pacifist I am, I vow to myself I won't ever pit myself and the grievances I feel from these everyday tragedies to instincts and desires for revenge, etc. For I remember how I felt on September 11th and the weeks following the tragedy. I didn't react in anger, like some did, saying things like "OH MY GOD, WHO DID THIS, WAIT UNTIL I GET MY HANDS AROUND THEIR NECKS AND...". I reacted in sadness and sorrow, knowing that there are troubled souls in the world who even think of harming the innocent.
All the same I knew I had to put myself in the shoes of someone like me in the place where those troubled souls came from. What would he think, what would he say? I believed and still believe with all my heart that if 9/11 taught me something, it was the need for the world to come together, like we did briefly after the tragedy, where I supported Bush during that time, and work to break the mirrors and see to it we set aside our differences and work to see these tragedies don't repeat themselves, through all adversity.
Of course that didn't happen, and Bush and his colleagues thought of the lesson of September 11th differently. And the violence happening right now in Iraq is exactly that mirror I speak of. I feel somehow so many innocent Iraqis down there are experiencing a 9/11 of their own virtually every single day since March 2003.
This brings me back to my post where I asked if the tsunami is a religious issue as well. Melanie Phillips (who leans right by the way) said that the real way to go about approaching the tsunami disaster is "to accept what nature throws at us and then to bring as much aid and comfort to the bereaved and suffering as we can."
I believe Melanie makes a great point there, and though I added it is also necessary to work to understand the science behind the storms, as that isn't an unfaithful gesture, her positive message is exactly what I like to hear. I apply that same philosophy to such tragedies like those mentioned. Rather than duplicate a tragedy, I believe in simply reaching out to comfort those in need and build communities.
In the end, all I can say is, I just don't understand it. I just don't. And I'm going to stop there in case I begin to cry blood.
"You'll find something that's enough to keep you
But if the bright lights don't receive you
You should turn yourself around and come back home" MB20