Wednesday, January 05, 2005

What's a superpower to do?

Ahh, the internet.... How can this digital giant be responsible for both massive amounts of free porn and millions of private dollars earmarked for Asian tsunami relief efforts? Oh that's right. Good old duplicitous humanity.

The Christian Science Monitor is reporting how the internet, both as a news medium and an outlet for charitable giving, is revolutionizing both how and how much Americans are giving. Wake up, read a news article about the devastation, watch a streaming video about relief efforts, view a few pictures of young orphans, point and click to help those in need. All in your underwear. Welcome to the future.

In the midst of all this, Reuters has released a strikingly honest article suggesting that all the goodwill Americans could muster still would not turn the tide against anti-Americanism in Muslim countries (of which Thailand, Sri Lanka and Indonesia can at least be partially counted). Our nation's course in Iraq, Afghanistan and Israel will always dominate the discussion, no matter how great a PR campaign we might implement. Giving helps show that we're not cold-hearted towards Muslims, but it will never convince them that our cause across the Middle East is just. To think of it their eyes, what if the Taliban had sent millions of dollars of Afghan aid to New York in the wake of the September 11th attacks? Would that have made everything bygones? I would venture to guess, "No." We've got a long way to go before the American name means what it used to around the world.

And speaking of a long way to go, recent events in Iraq don't seem to encourage the national vote later this month. The local governor of Baghdad was recently killed in an insurgent attack, and calls to postpone the election seem to be rising in crescendo. But the Bush Administration has got to stick to their guns concerning the January 30 date. It's not an ideal date, but the facts suggest that there will never be an ideal date. Elections have to happen, and the sooner they do, the sooner we can bring our troops back home. Postponing won't make things better, it will just prolong the violence. The elections must go forward, for the sake of our troops, and for the sake of a free Iraq (from both terrorism and imperialism).

Back home, it's snowing like hell, not just outside my window, but across most of the country as well. Be safe. And have a little fun. Lord knows someone has to.

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