So I see where the Senate is going to pass a ceremonial resolution on the tsunami today, ladies and gentlemen. Now, if they really cared they would have done this shortly after the tsunami hit when the scope of the disaster was apparent to everybody. But they’ve waited until, what, January the 4th to come up with this ceremonial resolution. Some of you might say, “Well, this is the first day they’re in session.” Doesn’t buy anything with me, folks. If they really cared, they would have called a special session in order to pass this ceremonial resolution about the tsunami. Just making a little point here. Also, you know, all of this is predictable. Two things here. First off, from a guy named George Monbiot in the Guardian. He has a piece here, “The Victims of the Tsunami Pay the Price of War on Iraq.”
He said, “There has never been a moment like it on British television. The Vicar of Dibley, one of our gentler sitcoms, was bouncing along with its usual bonhomie on New Year’s Day when it suddenly hit us with a scene from another world. Two young African children were sobbing and trying to comfort each other after their mother had died of Aids. How on earth, I wondered, would the show make us laugh after that? It made no attempt to do so. One by one the characters, famous for their parochial boorishness, stood in front of the camera wearing the white armbands which signalled their support for the Make Poverty History campaign.” He goes on to complain that the tsunami relief effort would have been faster and would have been more, shall we say, affluent, flush with money, were there no war in Iraq. The sentiment has been echoed by the leader of the Democrats in the House, Nancy Pelosi. On Capitol Hill yesterday she spoke to the press.
PELOSI: The reason that we have a huge deficit is because of the — the tax cuts [sic]. But this is an emergency, this is something that we must act upon. And thank heavens the administration finally saw the light. When you think of the billions and billions, the quarter of a trillion dollars that’s being spent in Iraq, quarter of a trillion dollars, and we’re talking about several hundred million dollars for humanitarian assistance, I think it’s not a small but a necessary price to pay.
RUSH: So the latest attempt to politicize even humanitarian relief picked up by the Democrats. It would have been bigger and better had there not been any war in Iraq. Of course, tax cuts are no good because it puts money in your pocket but deficit spending for humanitarian aid, why, that’s perfectly fine. In fact, we would have had even more humanitarian aid were we not fighting the war in Iraq. That’s all BS. Yesterday, Diane Sawyer — actually this morning on Good Morning America — talked to Colin Powell over in Thailand, and she said, “As you know, there’s all kinds of second-guessing going on that America missed a great opportunity, particularly in an intensely Muslim area to show good faith in the beginning.”
POWELL: Hang on, hang on, hang on, hang on. A little while ago, Thai foreign minister and I gave a press conference and what he said was the first person to call him, the first person to call the Thai government was me, last Sunday night, and I said to him, what do you need?
SAWYER: But other countries were giving more.
POWELL: No, Diane, that’s not right. No, we have to get this right because everybody keeps lingering on this story. The Japanese initially gave a fairly modest amount. It was only at the end of the week when they realized the scale of the disaster, would they go up to 500 million. And so the United States has been in the lead. Our ships were launched, our disaster teams were launched. Task forces were set up; money started to flow immediately.
RUSH: That’s absolutely right, and you cannot underscore the importance of our U.S. military getting in gear, getting in action. You could have all the aid you want. You can have all the relief effort but if you don’t have transport systems and delivery systems, you don’t have any way of getting it there. What? (interruption) Look it, Mr. Snerdley is going crazy in there. “What is with these people?” I assume you mean the press and the media and the liberals wanting to rip the country, continuously? Exactly right, and I’m gonna expand on that theme during the course of the program today visa-?-vis the Gonzales hearings, which are going to start on Thursday, for his attorney general confirmation hearings. Nothing’s changed. Why do you expect them to change, Mr. Snerdley? Why do you think the press and the Democrats are all of a sudden going to start loving America? The whole point here is to find fault with this country as long as it under the leadership of any Republican president not the least of which is George W. Bush.
She’s over there, she can plainly see who’s doing what. She plainly knows what the dollar amounts are, and yet they want to focus on the fact that we were lagging behind. It’s not a fact, it’s a myth that we were lagging behind. We were not leading, that other countries did more. The question that I asked yesterday, “What are the Muslim countries around the world giving? What are the wealthy Muslim countries around the world giving?” That question was finally picked up. Let’s stay with the audio sound bites. Let me see which order I want to start with on that. I tell you what, let’s try #2 and then we’ll go to #3 in terms of audio sound bites, because the question I asked yesterday, “Look, everybody is harping on what we didn’t do, and it is, you know, frustrating but I don’t know…” (interruption) You shouldn’t lose your temper in there over it, Mr. Snerdley, because it’s predictable. It’s predictable, and the same thing that happened to them during the election season is going to continue happening to them as they stay on this path and that is they’re going to lose respect; they’re going to lose audience. They don’t get away with this anymore.
They can continue to hammer the country all they want but they’re not going convert anybody to this. They’re only going to be preaching to the choir that already hates the country and thinks it doesn’t do enough, can’t do enough, is evil, what have you. But the real question is that they don’t ask, “Where are all of the countries that have relationships with these people affected by the tsunami?” Predominantly Muslim countries, where are they? Where were they? Why is no pressure being applied to them? Well, the answer is, “We don’t have high expectations of these people. We have high expectations of ourselves.” Well, we meet our expectations and we exceed them on a daily basis. The first audio sound bite is from Crossfire yesterday on CNN, Frank Pallone, a congressman, Democrat from New Jersey. Chatsworth Osborne, Jr., said to him you, “The Democrats say last week because of the president’s profound insensitivity that we might become unpopular in the Muslim world.” (Laughing.) Might become unpopular in the… (interruption). What? (laughing). You know, it’s almost like these people don’t even remember that 9/11 happened: might become unpopular in the Muslim world.
“Let’s take a quick look to the response from the Muslim world of the devastation in these heavily Muslim countries: Saudi Arabia, 10 million. That’s like an afternoon shopping spree in Paris for a member of the Saudi royal family. Iran pledged $627,000; Qatar, 10 million. The United Arab Emirates, 2.6 million. Kuwait, 2 million. Libya, 2 million. Turkey, 1.25 million. What does that tell you, Congressman Pallone?”
PALLONE: Well, I’m not going to comment on the stinginess of the Muslim countries but I do —
OSBORNE, JR.: Why not.
PALLONE: Well, because I’m not particularly fond of some of the countries that you put up there, frankly, but I would say this, and that is that I think the president did wait too long. I mean, President Bush waited for three days before he made a public announcement and the initial amount of money he pledged was very stingy I thought compared to what was really needed. But I mean as Paul said, now he’s certainly out there saying he wants to provide whatever public assistance is necessary.
RUSH: So, you see, it’s just a political opportunity, and everything is a political opportunity to these people. You shouldn’t be surprised by this, but at the same time it’s not worth getting all upset about. This is not 16 years ago or 12 years ago where this kind of stuff had some impact. This is a backlash type of behavior on the part of the press and these Democrats. The American people are giving personally. In fact, you’ve probably heard this by now, the medical aid group Doctors Without Borders says they got enough. They don’t want any more money. They have more than they can distribute now, and this has upset other aid groups. This is called an unusual step. Doctors Without Borders, their branch offices in France and Germany, said they had $40 million and 20 million euros respectively, enough to finance emergency medical aid projects they were supporting in Sri Lanka and Indonesia. “Their decision surprised other aid groups and drew criticism that it could undercut an unprecedented wave of private giving to provide relief to the region devastated by the tsunami. ‘It’s the first time we are led to take this kind of decision,’ said the Doctors Without Borders director General Pierre Salignon.
“‘This might seem to run counter to the mood of general mobilization, but it’s a question of honesty toward our donors. We don’t want to continue to lobby the public for projects that are already financed.’ The spokesman for the Doctors Without Borders German branch said it had adopted the same policy. ‘What shocks me is that you’re taking the risk of pulling the carpet under the feet of other organizations of aid. Many groups still need more money,’ said Jean-Christope Rufin, head of the French aid group Action Against Hunger. ‘It’s a bit irresponsible. We’re all in the same boat in humanitarian aid.'” They all want their donations. It’s how they earn their living, by the way. They siphon a percentage of the donations off for their lifestyles. It’s one of the great scams in life, folks: Get into the fund-raising business. When you look at the administrative percentages of all these charitable dollars that are taken in versus the outflow, you wonder. If a hundred percent is given and 70% goes out, what happens to the other 30%? Well, you have some legitimate expenses and so forth and so on but a lot of it gets siphoned off by the people that run these organizations and they pay themselves. And so it is unique that Doctors Without Borders say, “Hey, no more. We have more than we can hand out now,” but that’s an interesting turn on all this. Meanwhile, people continue to flood the region with dollars, charitable dollars and so forth, and the Democrats want to continue to poke holes at President Bush for his lack of concern or sensitivity or what have you when yet again we are leading this effort in the world.
RUSH: I want to go back to the Nancy Pelosi sound bite. Again, this is from her. It’s a press appearance yesterday on Capitol Hill, and this is what she had to say again about tsunami aid.
PELOSI: The reason that we have a huge deficit is because of the — the tax cuts [sic]. But this is an emergency. This is something that we must act upon. And thank heavens the administration finally saw the light. When you think of the billions and billions, the quarter of a trillion dollars is being spent in Iraq, a quarter of a trillion dollars, and we’re talking about several hundred million dollars for humanitarian assistance, I think it’s, you know, a small but a necessary price to pay.
RUSH: Folks, it just continues to amaze me. The dollars spent in Iraq are worthless. The dollars spent in Iraq could be spent better elsewhere. The question is, Ms. Pelosi: How much money is too much money to end genocide? Why are you liberals so stingy when it comes to ending mass murder, like was going on in Iraq? Why are you so slow to act in ending mass murder, whether Iraq, Rwanda, Sudan, or elsewhere, but yet a natural disaster strikes and if you don’t have all of the aid and as much money amounts as you want on day one, then you launch into a political attack on President Bush. I explained yesterday that the president did this right. You don’t dump a huge sum of money in that part of the world or any part of the world in the midst of a natural disaster until you first find out how it’s going to be spent and to make sure it gets to where you intend it to go. I gave you the example yesterday, the Nicaraguan earthquake in the early 1970s. There was massive aid that poured in there, and guess what? The vast majority of it ended up creating the Sandinista communist regime led by Daniel Ortega.
So Bush was right to take this slow; parcel the money out, let it be seen where it was going to go. I mean, you’ve got Third World pimps ramping up. You’re going to have people move in there to try to siphon this money. You give big amounts of money like this and just pour it in there without a well-thought-out distribution system and most of it’s going to get stolen. If not stolen, most of it is not going to get to the intended victims. But all that aside, you know, that’s just common sense. The eagerness to make everything a partisan political issue when this is nothing but pure humanitarian aid. There is no motivation behind this and even presidents Clinton and Bush last night in all their television appearances made the same point that I made yesterday: There are no strings attached to this. This is not being done to help our image anywhere. Frankly, that’s not the concern that we have here. If we were concerned about our image in places, we’d pull out of Iraq. If we were concerned about our image in places, we’d let the French run our foreign policy, or the UN. That’s not what our concern is under this president.
This is a pure humanitarian effort, and we don’t care what the end results are. There are people in need. We are a compassionate society and country, and, voila, we are in there leading the effort. Why is it, why is it you Democrats want to harp on the fact that you think Bush waited three days? Dare I remind you, Bill Clinton waited 90 days while 800,000 Rwandans were being slaughtered. Bush couldn’t stop the tsunami, but Clinton could have taken steps to try to stop that slaughter, but where were you? You don’t say a word about it. Our military jumped into immediate action to help distribute some of the early goods that were en route. I keep wanting to say it’s amazing but it isn’t. It’s predictable how the liberals insist on putting a negative spin on such a terrific response to human tragedy, and I’ll tell you why. They just can’t stand this country looking good when they’re not running it, because that means to them that their chances of getting power back are delayed even more.
Bad news for America continues to be good news to the Democrats; good news for America continues to be bad news for them — and if we look good in a humanitarian relief effort, which we do, who cares what the recipients or anybody thinks about our image. The fact of the matter is we’re doing the right thing and we know we’re doing the right thing and what anybody else thinks about it is not the point, and if it is the point it’s destined to lose as a policy. We don’t do these things to gender public opinion. You can’t do it that way. You have to do what’s right. You have to be comfortable with your self-knowledge that what you’re doing is the right thing, because your own self-knowledge is all that matters — and we as a nation collectively as one must have that same attitude. If there are strings attached to this then we’re gonna end up being disappointed because we’re giving the aid not to help people but to help ourselves and we don’t help ourselves giving this aid. That’s not the point. We’re trying to help people who have experienced devastation, which is what we’ve always done whether they are being devastated by brutality and dictatorships and thugs and mass murderers, in which the Democrats are not quick to action and in fact criticize when we do jump into action to liberate people from oppression.
They didn’t want us opposing the Soviet Union, they don’t want us doing anything about Cuba, they don’t want us doing anything about Iraq. They’d just as soon leave Al-Qaeda alone. You know, there’s this story out there, ladies and gentlemen, that Zarqawi, al-Zarqawi’s been arrested. It hasn’t been confirmed yet, but based on what the Democrats are getting ready to do on Thursday during the confirmation hearings of Alberto Gonzales, I’m just waiting for the first Democrat to stand up and say, “Release Zarqawi! He was arrested illegally. We have no right. Where are his protections under Geneva Conventions? He better not be tortured.” These are people that blew us up. These are people that continue to kill us in Iraq. These are people that have the utter intention of doing more of the same — and guess who comes to their aid? The Democrats in this country. It’s the liberals and Democrats who are trying to make sure that prisoners of war are, for all intents and purposes, released and not held. It’s parallel universe time once again. It’s the Twilight Zone. So here we have mass murderers, and there’s no amount of money the Democrats will authorize comfortably to get rid of those mass murderers and free those people, but let a tsunami come along and if we don’t act the first day, then this country sucks because it’s led by Bush.