According to Colin Powell, American efforts to provide tsunami aid may help fight terror.
“I hope that as a result of our efforts, as a result of our helicopter pilots being seen by the citizens of Indonesia helping them, that value system of ours will be reinforced,” Powell said.
I suppose I’m hopelessly naive and thought that maybe we were helping people hurt by the biggest natural disaster of my lifetime because it was the right thing to do. I guess the Hammer of Truth was just scratching the surface of just how cold and calculating the government is being with our tax dollars.
The United States bankrolls humanitarian relief in part “because we believe it is in the best interest of those countries and it’s in our best interest,” Powell said. “It dries up those pools of dissatisfaction that might give rise to terrorist activity.”
I guess it makes a hell of a lot more sense than starting wars, but still, it’s kind of icky.
Update: Tom Knapp doesn’t think that U.S. aid efforts are going to be changing anyone’s mind in the long term.
[E]xpecting US aid, governmental or non-governmental, to placate the Islamists is naive too. Jemiah Islamiya won’t be coming to Jesus just because Uncle Sam represented with some clean water and a bowl of Uncle Ben’s Long-Grained Rice. It may cut into their support base some, temporarily (and the tsunami itself certainly cut into their funding). But the people being helped almost certainly do want a hand up, not a hand out — and once they’re on their feet, they’ll likely not want the Americans to move in with their DVD players and start watching NYPD Blue reruns and tracking mud on the neon green Marshall Plan shag carpet.