Outgoing Secretary of State Colin Powell is visiting the areas damaged by the tsunami and noted "an outpouring of U.S. aid for tsunami-stricken countries could begin to reverse the rise of anti-Americanism in the region by demonstrating that "America is not an anti-Islamic, anti-Muslim nation." " Quite true Mr. Secretary, but I would like to bring another point.
For the past couple of years, we have heard nothing from the Muslim community that would indicate that America is welcome, until the feces hit the fan. In good times, America is the land of the infidel, of hatred, of ignorance and of "economic colonialism." But when times are bad, who is the first nation that war-torn or naturally ravaged nations turn--yep, you guessed it, the good old U.S.A.
The natural generousity, the innate kindness to fellow man and the ability to lend a helping hand when needed, even after our nation is trashed, thrashed and called every name in the book reveals the very greatness of our country and our way of life. America and Americans have proven themselves the bigger nation by putting aside politics and providing millions of dollars in relief. Now here is the funny thing, delivering over $352 million in relief will probably cost the U.S. $3 billion or more in resources--costs that will never be repaid. If that is not generosity, I don't know what is.
When the tsunami struck, my first thought was of sadness and heartache for all those who died. My second thought was, how are we going to help those people and my third thought was, after blasting us for years, these countries are going to hold their hand out to us.
Had I been less charitable a person, I probably would have thought, "F you and the horse you rode in on. You only want help from America when you need otherwise, you would prefer to demean the most capable and helpful country in the world. So if you want our help, shut the hell up in good times." But in the end, I did what I could and provided what I could, wishing I had the ability and time to do more.
Powell Pledges Continued Support to Asia (washingtonpost.com)