Tsunamies are bad, BUT...

Discussion in 'Europe' started by wolf_at_door, Jan 7, 2005.

  1. wolf_at_door

    wolf_at_door Senior Member

    ...but now I think the medias and politicians has been cried their crocodile tears long enough.
    It was a terrible natural catastrophe. Probably more than 200,000 has died. It's good that people collect money and so on... -but 200,000 is just the number of children dying of undernourishment every week.
    -And do not forget that the medias has a ethical obligation in the way they select the news. For each more minute they spend on the tsunami = 1 minute taken away from other catastrophes, like the one in Darfur, for instance. And governmental fiscal contributions follow the medias, cuz the medias are the temple of the voters.

    Ofcourse countries of the "coalition" - with Bush as the leader - are very eager to donate aid to the victims of the tsunami-victims. Big media-stunt; then Bush and company really have their chance playing the good guys, as all intelligent people by now should know, that Iraq has becomed a new Vietnam.
    All the newyear-speach of the danish prime-minister was about the tsunami; a speach totally cleaned of politics. That was a good chance for him to avoid talking of his big mistake supporting Bushs crusade in Iraq.

    ...and, btw, would you honestly think that the tsunami-event would last two weeks in the media, if there was no european or american dead among the probably 200,000 casualties? I don't think so. If all 200,000 were indonesian and indian, the "story" would only have 2 minutes in the news the day the catastrophe happened.
    Cynical? Maybe... but that's the way capitalism and false ideology works in reality. Let's do something about it soon; I hope time will soon be ready for a revolve.

    by other words: it's easier for people like Bush and Blair to cry about natures victims, than the victims they cause themselves. I don't believe in their crocodile tears. I can see right through people like Bush, Blair, and the danish prime minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen, no matter what kinda tricks they try to play me (and no matter how high they can manage to build a wall between me and them).

    That scares them, and that's why we've got something called "police".

    love and understanding,
  2. whispers

    whispers sweet and sour

    i think it would last even if there were no westerns among the dead....its a unique event and that sells........

    yeah 8 millions die from hunger each year.....but they are spread out and don't make a good story .....sad
  3. wolf_at_door

    wolf_at_door Senior Member

    Yes, but it sells better and the money rolls faster, when the media show photoes of a typical european or american family, missing in the tsunami, than if they showed an indonesian family.

    (p.s. from former reply: ...and that's why we've got something called "churches"!!).
  4. Eric

    Eric Member

    I completely aggree.

    It could be chance. Governments and companies worldwide should commit to provide a specific amount of their GDPs and turnovers for development aid.
  5. Myranya

    Myranya Slytherin Girl

    I think it's mostly what Whispers said; it's a unique and sudden event... that has a shock value that 2,000,000 deaths spread out over an entire year lack... I believe that even without Western victims this would've been as big or almost as big... but the shock value works real hard. Of course a part of it is a necessary self-defense meganism... if we were truly shocked by any death from hunger, disease or violence in the world we couldn't live our own lives. But we should do and give more than we do now, imagine how much research could be done if the same amount were given for AIDS research...
  6. migle

    migle Senior Member

    AMEN to all said here, and what wolf says about media talking about the tsunamies again and again reminds me when there a cold wave here in Spain in winter and they speak only about the weather during a long week as the prime news, and the avoid to speak about other subjects really important... it takes on my nerves, it's like, fuck, it's winter now, it's cold, it's normal, fuck, talk about politics, talk about how the government is driving this fucking country...
  7. moominmamma

    moominmamma Member

    I think that this is a difficult one Wolf, as our government was actually shamed into increasing the amount of aid it sent, as the amount of money that the public collected was larger than the first amount offered. Initially I think that Bush and Blair hoped to get away with public appearances of concern without shelling out money, but it was the public that pushed them into shelling out real cash.

    I think that because these places are holiday destinations, more and more people in western countries can relate to them and that is possibly why people gave more generously, and maybe this is a good thing? Perhaps we are becoming more of a global family in spite of our politicians?

    Yes I think it would be better if people supported efforts to eradicate global poverty on a regular basis instead of responding to one off events, but human nature does not seem, in my experience to work like this. But if we know that someone we work with or our children goes to school with is searching for a lost relative in Thailand, then this makes things seem real......Maybe few of us have the capacity to see the big picture all of the time......we can only respond to these few snapshots!
  8. wolf_at_door

    wolf_at_door Senior Member

    I agree with you, moomin. We relate to things we can relate to. When it becomes too abstract, we're not able to invest our empathy anylonger, since to the limited souls, we the human race has been equipped with, empathy is a scarce ressource, like anything else we can possible offer. We're simply not divine - but only humans made of flesh and blood, and we must acknowledge our biological limitation.

    Luckily, we're gifted with an intellectual sense, that makes it possible for us to organize and decide smart solutions. I think we must follow Erics example, and discuss how to implement this great idea.
    If countries put, let's say 1% of their GDP (in my opinion, it should be 5-10%, but that's an utopic demand, I suppose) into a UN-administrated fund, governments can't make media-shows of aid anylonger. -Not if a UN-council decide how to spend the money, year from year. By other words, it's necessary to establish an international organ to distribute the money, and make sure that national interests can't disturb the way the organ will spend the money from the fund. That might be difficult, but democratic control, represented by different NGOs would probably be the best solution (civil and democratic control perhaps don't make things perfect, but it's an equipment to make things better!)
    Beside, added aid will not be bad too, ofcourse!
    It's a splendid idea, imho - let's reflect on that one, so that we can develop it. :)

    love and understanding,
    wolf. :)
  9. Megara

    Megara Banned

    dont buy into that BS. From the start they said there would be significant aid that could potentially reach billions.

    Remember, it increased from 15 million to 35 million..and then jan englund made his stingy comment. The amount was scaled up once the scope of the disaster became clearer. You dont just go "Ok tsunami in asia, give 3 billion dollars" only to find out that 5 people died. As the deaths have scaled up, so has the aid from the world. This notion that western nations were 'shamed' into giving more is nothing more than a fabricated news story.
  10. wolf_at_door

    wolf_at_door Senior Member

    But still, they knew that hundreds of thousands die every week other places. Why do they suddenly start whine and cry now, not earlier?
  11. moominmamma

    moominmamma Member

    Hmm that is how it was reported in the UK media, and it seems to square with how the UK government behaves under Tony Blair. I would be interested to read any links you can send me to show me otherwise.
  12. Megara

    Megara Banned

    here is a news article from the 27th, before jan engeland made his stingy comment.

    The United States is putting up an initial 15 million dollars in disaster aid including an immediate four million dollar pledge to the International Committee of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, though Mr. Powell made clear that the American response will be long-term:

    "Some 20-plus thousand lives have been lost in a few moments, but the lingering effects will be there for years," Mr. Powell says. "The damage that was caused, the rebuilding of schools and other facilities will take time, so you need a quick infusion to stabilize the situation, take care of those who have been injured, get immediate relief supplies in, and then begin planning for the longer haul."


    make of that what you will. I just see it as unrealistic to expect western countries to throw large amounts of money before damage assement has even been done. HECK, they still dont even have any clue what this has cost. Engelands statements came 2 days after the event, not a week, not a month, but 2 freaking days. He made a stupid statement, which he lated apolgized for saying he was mistaken and that the US, Europe, Japan and others were very generous.
  13. moominmamma

    moominmamma Member

    Thanks for your links Megara. I have looked at what Jan Egeland said and it looks to me like he has a been misquoted...This is a transcript of what he actually said:

    We were more generous when we were less rich, many of the rich countries. And it is beyond me why are we so stingy, really, when we are -- and even Christmas time should remind many Western countries at least how rich we have become. And if actually the foreign assistance of many countries now is 0.1 or 0.2 percent of their gross national income, I think that is stingy, really. I don't think that is very generous.

    I got this from http://conwebwatch.tripod.com/stories/2005/stingy.html

  14. wolf_at_door

    wolf_at_door Senior Member

    I agree, moomin. I don't care if a socialist way of govern means a decreasing economic growth. Each time our economic growth increase, usually more people get depraved in poverty (domestic as well as global), pollution gets worse, and even the rich people suffer, since their lives getting even more empty and pointless.

  15. migle

    migle Senior Member

    Yep, governments are so obsessed with the economic growth that they have used the mass media in order to wash people brains with all this shit about economic growth, so when you try to speak about socialism and that a social government must have debts because they spend money on social measures there are a lot of people who can't understand it and this is the problem with neoliberalism and brutal capitalism.
  16. lawoman

    lawoman Member

    I must agree with all you've said here...

    Sad thing is that we cant do anything about it:(...or we can?
  17. wolf_at_door

    wolf_at_door Senior Member

    What's even more alarming than the governments control the medias is that market logics control the governments. Economic logics is a good equipment for people on a market place, but it's madness when we become the equipment of the market.
    If you wanna exchange your guitar for a sack of my potatoes is fine. But when the price of guitars and potatoes dictate your and mine decisions is a perverted scenario.
    And that's the present scenario. Market forces has colonized politics, if we consider politics in its basic meaning: our minds and our decisions.
    It's a perverted scenario because it doesn't make sense that economy dictate politics dictating medias. Instead it would make sense if common decisions dictated the rules at the common market.

    It's soon election time in my country (8th february), and the result is predictable: the right-conservative block will have four more years.
    But the social-democrats are not without guild, since they have already agreed with the rightwingers what themes to be in campaigns (and thereby what themes to be broadcasted by the medias that they control).
    By other words: people don't really know the difference between the parties, so they just vote at the ones already in power. It's in both the rightwingers as well as the social-democrats interest to maintain the permeating civil political illiteracy. In my country, for instance, MANY people don't know that conservatives are more rightwing than socialists. And I'm not overdoing this example. (most danish citizens actually care more about shopping, than taking a political attitude.)

    Both blocks agree completely NOT to bring up the Iraq-theme. Not even the social-democrats wanna bring up that issue, since in case they win the election, they don't dare to challenge the americans political line. That's danish politics in a nutshell: We got two big opposed political blocks that almost have the same political agenda, and no matter which of them is at power, we haven't really got a real political opposition in this country.
    What a democracy - hurrah - let's export our democracy to Iraq, and let's force our democratic enlightment through with military power - right now!!

    love and understanding,

    p.s. to be shopping happy is to be trigger happy.

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