"As with the United States' last coalition of the willing, the Bush administration has made it clear that it expects the rest of the world to play an assisting role. U.S. Undersecretary of State Mark Grossman told reporters yesterday,"Our expectation is that the European Union, the United Nations and other countries will also join in this…Although…we make a substantial contribution, more than anyone else in these emergencies, this is certainly not for us to do alone."
That sort of sentiment would be justified if Grossman's assertion that the U.S. gives "more than anyone else in these emergencies" were true of its contributions to the tsunami relief. But it's difficult to understand how the U.S. is leading the relief effort while Spain, a country with only a sixth of the United States' population, has already pledged twice the amount promised by the U.S. to date.
It's telling to note that during much smaller past crises, previous administrations were more ready to open their wallets. As the Post reports, "After Hurricane Mitch in 1998, when about 9,000 people were killed and 3 million were left homeless in Central America, the United States provided $988 million in relief assistance."
For the record, the admin is ponying up $35 million (up from an initial $15 million). Just so you know, that's still less than the amount that will be spent on W's inaugural gala. Just thought you might need another reason to hate these schmucks.