Roger Kimball writing at Pajamas Media contrasts the big differences in the world’s response (and by "the world’s" he means "America’s") response to two earthquake/tsunami combinations; the 2004 Boxing Day one in Indonesia and the 2011 on in Japan. George Bush, who supposedly hated brown people, sprang into action, getting the US military (mostly the Navy, with its carriers that have huge desalination plants and bakeries, among other things) involved in the relief. Barack Obama sprang into action, on the golf course and at ESPN.  Kimball notes that, in this and other situations around the world, people everywhere are wondering, "Where are the Americans?"

Is this the kind of new diplomacy Obama said he would bring? Supposedly, we squandered all of the the goodwill we’d ever built up. And yet, now the world is wondering why were so aloof. To be sure, American relief organizations are helping out in full force, and that is one of the beauties of the American culture. We don’t expect the government to bear the full burden of charitable help, because frankly there are things the government just can’t do as efficiently.

But what government can do, and has done in the past, it’s not really doing that as much as it used to. Hope and change.

Filed under: DougEconomics & TaxesForeign PolicyGovernment

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