January 11, 2005

The Tsunami Aid

How many tragedies can the soul, heart and pocket deal with? In looking at the recent Tsunami tragedy, I cannot help but to juxtapose the worlds response to that compared to the worlds response to the constant tragedies of Africa. There is definitely a distinction and difference in the way that the West responds to crisis in Africa and the way it responds to crisis in other parts of the world.

I believe that the West sees Africa and Africans as a people acclimated to tragedy and suffering and hence, there is less a need to help them than there is to help people less acclimated to suffering. They see the suffering and tragedy of Africans to be self inflicted and born from a people who are savage, corrupt, inept and unable to govern themselves. Thus, the West sees tragedy in Africa as an infinite loop that will never be broken. Thus, the souls, hearts and pockets of the West cannot afford to get caught in this endless cycle, in their opinion.

The perception of the African and of Blacks that allows this deference of compassion from the West is the belief that black people are their own worst enemy. If the biggest enemies of black people are themselves or other black peoples, then the only logical solution is to allow them to perish or for them to be infinitely supported, protected and subsidized by white peoples. The West has assumed the former position, although their aid and initiatives to Africa gives the false impression of the latter. Africa is being strangled by Western Debt, while other nations that experience tragedies gets moratoriums on debt repayment and in the case of Iraq, get much of their debt written off.

African peoples are essentially of no interest to the West now that all the cotton has been picked, the Sugar cane chopped and their shoes have been shined by machines. The West has control of Africas natural resources directly or via proxy and the people have been pacified and have forgiven or forgotten the 400 years of destructive influence and actions the Europeans inflicted upon the continent and people. Today, the African people pose no threat to Western peoples for the West to take interest in winning the hearts and minds of African people (whats the gain?). If and when Africa becomes a hotbed for anti-western animosity and terrorism, then the West will either ramp up their efforts inciting conflicts, Africans fighting against each other, taking away their aim on the West. On the other hand, they could try to win the hearts and minds of the African through investments, debt relief and aid. The prerequisite, however, is that the west needs a compelling INTEREST.

One simply has to look at the US and West’s response to Genocide in Bosnia, as contrasted with their response to Rwanda. One simply has to look at its response to the US African Embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania and contrast the response and outpouring with that of the US attacks on 911, where the Western world stopped to help an America that needed no help. People will try to find rationalizations for these different responses, but the biggest unstated rationalization for allowing these tragedies in Africa is the belief that Africa is over populated, as I pointed to in the Op-Ed below.

All the proof that anyone could want is evidenced by the UN efforts, led like puppets by the West, to control the growth of population in Africa. It is no secret that the West believes Africa needs more people like an individual needs a whole in his or her head. This is why they have been progressively promoting means, such as Planned Parenthood and contraceptives, over the last half century, largely with no success. Thus, when tragedy strikes Africa and millions of people lives are threatened by conflicts and disease (like AIDS), the West is slow to react because it has a known motive and history of promoting population growth reduction in Africa. Hence, no matter how tragic these things are, they are for the ultimate good of Africa, in the minds of many. This rationalization is akin to the way that we can accept that loss of American soldier’s lives for a greater good or objective.

In truth, much of the Aid from the West for the Tsunami tragedy is the result of a competition to prove or show which nation is morally superior. When the US was attacked as being too” cheap”, in aid for victims, it threatened our self proclaimed status as the most caring and giving people on earth. That is an image that we covet and need to offset all negative things our nation does behind the scenes, which have causes so many in the world to hate us. Hence, instead of being motivated by pure altruism, or motives are all convoluted with selfish interest and trying to win hearts and minds.


At 2:03 PM, Blogger Faheem said...

Annan has said openly that it appear that nations are engaging in competition to see who can pledge the most money, and he hope that when the time come to make good on those pledges these nations do not faulter. As you noted there have to be a reason for the response to this tragedy versus that of Suffering in Africa. Getting people to admit the difference in degree of those responses is one thing, getting them to say why there is such a difference will tell all.


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