Wednesday, January 05, 2005

A tsunami of opinion...

I have extracted this from two sources...

The population, GDP, and Income per head figures come from CIA (as reliable as they are...)

The casualties and aid numbers are from NZ Herald earlier this week.

It is my understanding that the aid grants are governmental only and do NOT include private donations.

It is also an experiment to see if this blog system will support a table of this size...

Nation.........CasualtiesPopulationGDP USD...Inc/Pop...Aid....AID/Pop...Aidx10^5/GDP
Indonesia94,800123 mill758 b$3,200- -
Sri Lanka30,00074 mill73.7 b$3,700- -
India15,1601,065 mill3,033 b$2,900- -
Thailand5,00064 mill477 b$7,400- -
USA3,000 (9/11)293 mill10990 b$37,800350 m$1.1953.185
Japan-127 mill3,582 b$28,200500 m$3.931.396
UK-60 mill1666b$27,70096 m$1.60 5.760
Australia-20 mill571 b$28,55046.5 m$2.3258.144
Canada-32.5 mill959 b$29,80033 m$1.0153.441
Qatar-0.8 mill17 b$21,50025 m$31.25147.058
New Zealand-4 mill85 b$21,6007 m$1.758.236
Italy-58 mill1,550 b$26,70095 m$1.6386.129
Sweden-9 mill238 b$26,80080 m$8.8893.361
Denmark-5.4 mill167 b$31,10054.9 m$10.1673.287
Saudi Arabia-25.8 mill288 b$11,80010 m$0.3873.472
Libya-5.6 mill35 b$6,4002 m0.3575.714

The idea for the comparison was prompted by a post to another forum altogether, by a gent with whom I have crossed swords on a number of occasions in the past but that is another story.

What is interesting are the different opinions one finds - just on this one topic - wandering through blogland. One which I am trying to confirm through OldWhig has the Libertarians through the auspices of the Ayn Rand Institute reportedly threatening legal action against the President for making Federal grants that are unconstitutional. I hope that these reports prove false, for no other reason than the impact that success would have upon the international efforts in Asia.

In other instances there are misguided people (in my opinion that is, and one is the gent I mentioned above) who believe that Muslims should look after their own, without help from the US.

There were also three local comments, nothing unique I suspect...

First was the castigation meted out to the US administration for its initial reported Federal Grants to the cause. Here I have a measure of sympathy for Bush, given the meagre knowledge I have of governmental machinations. He must have been in a real bind between the extreme right of the neo-cons and the obvious generaosity of the US people to others in time of need.

The second drew attention to the toll in Sri Lanka, some 10 times that of 9/11, in a country with a population of about 1/3rd of the US. That has to hurt, and hurt hard.

The third related the size of the US Federal grants to the cost to date of the war in Iraq. I confess, I was strongly tempted to make a great noise on this myself. Reflection led to the realisation that US aid will probably continue in this area for many more years to come.


Aleksu said...

Nice to have you back in the Blogosphere!

It amazes me that some people are comparing the Tsunami with 9/11.

There was loss of life in both incidents, but that is about it.

One was a murderous terrorist attack, the other, a natural disaster.

One killed over 3,000 people; the other is up to 150,000 and counting.

The Thai that said "this is worst than 9/11" must have been in shock. For it was not a terrorist attack. And it is understandable if he was in shock.

But somehow it was Colin Powell who tied it up with that sentence about "the Tsunami will improve the USA record among Muslims".

He meant it took a Tsunami that killed over 150,000 people and destroyed the livelyhood of millions to mend the lies that led to the war in Irak?


Run for the hills, the Palestinian issue is still out there, I don't want to imagine the size of the Tsunami that will mend that one.

The probligo said...


Add the death toll in Iraq to the 3,000 of 9/11 puts the latter in context I think.

The death toll in Palestine is also miniscule by comparison with the tsunami disaster.

So, looking at it that way, man's ability to murder is still under some kind of restraint - perhaps. It does not, by any stretch of my imagination, excuse any of those murders.

There was a list of "disasters" published here - including the reminder of two disastrous earthquakes in China both of which killed in excess of 1 million people.

It says much, however, that there are poeple of power who see nothing more than the opportunity to profit - by any means and way possible - from the misfortune of others. Will the world of Islam be misled? I very much doubt it...

I guess that it is events such as these which just drive me closer to my belief that I am no more than a very small piece of nature. As such I have little to no power over the future.

So I shall just sit back, relax, and watch flowers grow and clouds pass by...