Why does America care about the Tsunami?

Its closer to 300,000 now

If you have a problem, take it to PM.

Yes, I was wrong in mentioning it because no one else had replied to your specific post. Had someone done so I would have been warrented.

I’m sure the subject is totally political: cooperate with us on our “war on terrorism” and you’ll get aid. That’s the administrations viewpoint.

For the congress it’s “vote against this and we’ll use that to demonize you as unpatriotic.”

For Joe Soap it’s just a matter of media attention as it was in Bangeladesh and others.

For the US it’s a “cause” they can hang their hats on (especially convenient in their present state of isolation), for other countries I think they have treated it much the same way they have treated other disasters.


BgDM, you’re a moderator now? Well, the first thing you should do with your moderator powers is to eliminate that horrifying monkey girl man monster which infested your avatar.

NO!!! That’s his trademark!!

OK, sorry. I should have been a little more clear here. What I meant was, don’t take it to the extreme and start bashing the crap out of each other for your views. You are entitled to have them, no questions there. You are entitled to state them, again, no questions there. Just keep it civl was all I was wanting to say.

Um, well. NO! :smiley:


NO!!! That’s his trademark!![/quote]
Looks a lot like a genetic experiment gone wrong. If that’s a photo that would well belong in Ripley’s.

NO!!! That’s his trademark!![/quote]
Looks a lot like a genetic experiment gone wrong. If that’s a photo that would well belong in Ripley’s.[/quote]

The allegator-man’s girlfriend.

EDIT: this is way off-topic, sorry dante.

Why does America care about the Tsunami?

i believe its the same reason the rest of the world cares so much about the Tsunami.

May i ask why America is the key country involved in the question here? i would put it down to human nature and compassion in an uncontrolable situation, rather than anything to do with a country or region.

i am not trying to be political on this, but rather point out that in this situation ALL countries stood together for the same reason. and asking why America did it is a fairly pointless question.


It may also have something to do with the fact that we were ridiculed by other countries based on the stinginess of our initial contribution. :wink:

May i ask why America is the key country involved in the question here?

Because I live in America and in America I don’t tend to hear much about disasters in other countries, let alone the ones in this country. Thats not to say that I dont hear about them. I do. Maybe once or twice.

When I ask “why does america care about the tsunami victims?” Thats precisely what I want to know. As a follow-up question I also asked “Is it just me or does america care about this particular disaster more than others?”

Shbaz already answered my question.

but is it the full answer? not necisarily. is it an answer that would want to be heard? yes.

there could be many reasons.

A) empathy (as shbaz said) because the US has many natural disasters.
but i don’t think this is entirely the point. because my country which has had no natural disasters of any magnitude donated more per capita than the US. i certainly didn’t empathise with the tsunami victims, but i did sympathise with them. (if that makes sense) so yeah it does play a role but IMO not 100%

B) international saving of face. perhaps this is a motive. a few companies own all of the media in the US, so anything they want to get the country behind can be acheived through the media covering it. the coverage here was long finished by the time you posted this thread. so perhaps the US media has made a larger thing about it. and ultimatly increased the support.

C) follow on from B), perhaps the media has no political intent behind what it did, and was not trying to save US international face. perhaps the media was covering it because it was the story which was biggest at the time. iraq is old, north korea is not to interesting yet, global warming doesn’t exist :stuck_out_tongue: the Tsunami changed the speed of the worlds spin, and shortened our days it moved the entire earth. it is naturally a big story.

i think everyone had different motives for supporting the countries involved. the government is more likely to do it to save face. (as that is its concern) the public is more likely to either do it for empathy, sympathy, compassion, or just because that is what is put in front of them by the media. the media… well who knows, its really up to the guys at the tops agendas, so ultimatly it could be political or not.

also with media. the SCALE of the event is somthing worth covering. a small flood in some place that wipes out a small country would not be interesting if it only killed 6000 people and wiped out the country. i think a lot of it is just the scale of the event, and the media liking exciting things. rather than anything else.

i have probably asked more questions than providing easy and concise answers. but in reality everyone has different motives, and nobody can really say black or white why the US cared so much about it.


It’s my impression (correct me if I am wrong, please) that our Australian government was also shamed by the overwhelming contribution by its people. Innitially, it was only prepared to send a small aid package (some few million) but when us “taxpayers” forked out many times that, the government must have felt it was a cause worth keeping their seats over. :wink:

Perhaps the same thing happened in US? It didn’t help much that the US government was spending more on rebuilding what they destroyed in Iraq than what they were prepared to give those who had been struck by a natural disaster.

If only they could have been convinced to sign Kyoto while they felt generous… Junk Science or not, it is a step towards more breathable air.

aussie hasn’t done this yet even. they are only gonna do it when the US does.

pity really. i wish countries could think for themselves a bit more.


It could be because of empathy but judging on America’s history, I doubt it. You may well ask why an American was the first to land on the moon. Because the Americans couldn’t stand being outdone by Russia. None of the rest of the world was bothered who was first but as always America wants to be seen as the world leader.

IMO it’s just a damn popularity contest with people trying to out-donate each other. Do we really need to hear about how much each country is giving? No, all the people care should about is whether the people who have suffered are actually being helped.

Oh, I hear ya, buddy. I have to walk from Central station to Chippendale in Sydney every morning for work. Man, I sometimes think of hanging the shame of it, and wearing a gas mask. The pollution is really really bad. I used to smoke, and when I quit, I began to smell things again. The city really smells bad. It’s almost an incentive to take up the habit again, just to dull my sense of smell… but there’s no point in being a smoking environmentalist…

Howard is showing he bends to overwhelming pressure - Tsunami crisis was where his government showed this, much like US. But I guess it was tied up with other issues as well: their relationship with Indonesia is a factor in the reasons why he has troops stationed in Aceh. I don’t want to count my chickens, but I foresee that he might use the aid fact as leverage when it comes to discussing pre-emptive action the region. Onthe other hand, if he had signed the non-agression pact, Australia would never be able to step in to help Australians who are up on drug smuggling charges and face the death penalty. Indonesia is a sort of double-edged sword, and the government really has its hands full dealing with so many delicate issues.

You make a good point Paul_C.

I think Indonesia and Aceh is a significant part of the story. I was in Summatra at the time when Australia was in full swing leading(?) the E Timor peace keeping mission (1999 I think). I was stood in a burger king in Medan being told by this man that he thought I was Australian and that he was a leader of a militia who had a downer on all australians (this was a seriously threatening conversation btw). In part this was because apparently Howard had said he wanted Australia to be the “United States of SE Asia” or something like that. Australian feet on E Timor was a sign of impending colonisation and control. The situation in E Timor, I think, was to some extent seen as similar to the situation in Aceh.

I would not be surprised if the desparately needed humanitarian efforts in Aceh are colored by a political prism of internal politics within Indonesia and international politics. Infact if people have followed the news about Aceh, we have already seen this happen since the aid effort began.

Sorry for double post, but this is a different and relevant point.

Why politics cannot be kept out of subjects like this -

If a government pledges aid, it is pledging money which comes from people who pay taxes - ie Public Money. To get elected, political parties have a better chance of election if they promise to lower taxes (and maintain the quality of public services). As a result, the government will try to spend as little as it can on aid (or anything else for that matter) UNLESS the public give them a sign that this is in accordance with public sentiment. Paul_C referred to the shaming of the Australian government by the contributions by the Australian public, thereby increasing the goverment’s pledge of aid. A similar thing happened in the UK.

The political aspect of humanitarian aid and charity cannot be ignored. After all a sizeable part of our tax contributions go to those less fortunate than ourselves - it’s called National Social Policy, not Charity and yet it is essentially the same thing

Thanks for the info. Yes, the above point is a valid one, and also reflects what could be going on with the US.

Keep in mind re: East Timor, however, there is this issue surrounding the Greater Sunrise Oil and Gas fields. Dealings with East Timor have not been amicable, lately. I suppose the Australian government feels ET should be greatful to us for supporting its independance, but this does little to make up for the fact that we are robbing their only natural resource.

The history with Indonesia over this dispute is also a complicated matter. Australia used to have to deal with Indonesia over the boundaries, and nothing ever was conclusive.

The US has got its own hands full at the mo with Iraq, too - let’s not forget. It’s my impression that Dubya (sorry - I have no respect for the man) knows the US cannot afford to continue its occupation much longer, and needs outside financial support in order to “rebuild” Iraq.

The Tsunami disaster was one we could not prevent - the Iraq war was one we could. In this respect, the US would look silly if it ignored a true humanitarian cause.

Of course its political, just look at all the donations that got scam from the 9/11 funds