America: Getting there first with the most
American Civil War General Nathan Bedford Forrest’s military philosophy was “Get there first with the most men.” Clearly, that is what our armed forces have done with regard to the Tsunami disaster of December 26, 2004.
By now, it should be obvious to all that the United States, through our public treasury and through our military and through private donations to non-governmental relief organizations, will provide the overwhelming majority of the effective assistance and aid rendered to the victims of the Tsunami disaster. Alone, the cost of providing our military personnel, cargo planes, helicopters, supply ships and hospital ships exceeds $6 million dollars per day.
While it is heart-warming to see so many other nations, such as Australia, pledge large monetary amounts, the most effective relief continues to come from those thousands of GIs handing out potable water canisters, water purification tablets, food and medicines.
The overwhelming majority of those living in the Tsunami-stricken area are Muslims. It will be interesting to see if having such direct contact with our great GIs and the relief they are bringing will have any impact on how the Judeo-Christian nations are perceived across Islam.
But you can bet al Jazeera TV and the liberal, anti-Bush media, both abroad and here at home, will downplay our enormous contributions to relieve the greatest human disaster of modern times. No matter how immediately helpful our armed forces have been and are being on the ground, our enormous in-kind and monetary contributions won’t be deemed enough. We will be called “stingy” because the non-capitalist, non-free nations cannot stand our success.
Despite secular carping by the atheists and the agnostics, we are a fundamentally religious people who believe we are commanded by our God(s) to aid and comfort those less fortunate than we. As Mark Twain said, “Always do right. This will gratify some people, and astonish the rest.”
So why is it that only six percent of the world’s population has the capability and the will to be so generous to those in need? The answer is simple: Our relatively free capitalist economy produces more wealth, more discretionary income if you will, than any other economic system on earth
But what about the economies of the Old Europe and the European Union (EU)? Aren’t they growing and producing income? Yes, they are. In fact, some are growing even faster than the amazing 4.8 percent growth posted by the U.S. economy in 2004.
If that is so, then why can’t those countries shoulder much more of the world’s disaster relief? Not just around the Indian Ocean, but around the world? Because those socialistic economies have committed almost all the revenues they receive to social welfare spending to benefit them. In other words, the people of the socialist economies have exercised their discretion to spend almost every dollar of their “discretionary” incomes for their own benefit, leaving almost no funds to be spent outside their own countries.
The Europeans and our domestic hate-America-crowd are loath to admit that America, through our defense budget, invests in capabilities and resources that make us the world’s first emergency responder. No other nation can do what General Forrest advised: “Get there first with the most men.” But such capabilities come at the cost of about $750 billion per year. Homeland Security is also included in that figure.
Finally, another 2005 prediction: Look for former President Jimmy Carter to denounce the results of the upcoming Iraqi elections. He will claim insufficient numbers of the Sunni minority went to the polls, ignoring the fact that, under Saddam, the Sunni minority ran rough shod over the Shiite majority.
In his self-appointed role as the world’s election monitor, Carter is quick to approve those elections in which the leftists win and loath to praise the recent, first-ever election in Afghanistan or to praise the people’s protest of a Russian-rigged election in the Ukraine. Predictably, Carter will attempt to undermine what happens in Iraq.
William Hamilton, a syndicated columnist, a featured commentator for USA Today and self-described “recovering lawyer and philosopher,” is the co-author of The Grand Conspiracy and The Panama Conspiracy – two thrillers about terrorism directed against the United States.
©2005. William Hamilton.