Thursday, January 06, 2005

The Love You Take Is Equal to . . .

The response of the American government and population to the tsunami disaster in Asia may be having a beneficial unintended consequence. It seems that when you help people out in desperate need, they tend to like you a bit more. Therefore, some hearts in Muslim areas hit by the tidal waves are softening towards Americans. Will it completely restore our credibility in the eyes of Arab nations in the wake of the fiasco in Iraq? No, probably not. But it certainly won't hurt. To me, this exchange says it all:

The region also offers plenty to provoke American xenophobia: Earlier this week, CNN aired a photograph of an Indonesian man who was receiving a U.S. aid package — while wearing an Osama bin Laden T-shirt.
That, I think, is a very powerful image: we (in this case) really are there to help people in need, without regard to politics or religion.

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