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Tepid response from U.S. public to Pakistan flood relief

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When you think of Pakistan, you think, oh yeah, they are training the Taliban, they are the guys who sent a bunch of crazies to kill innocent civilians at that nice Mumbai hotel in India, so how many Americans really want to feel sorry and open up their wallets for poor Pakistan??

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I can understand how the relief would be less due to the poor handling by Pakistani police, military, and government, but unfortunately I fear this is due mainly to the last reason -- the paranoia of the American public that these poor, suffering people are all some kind of Islamic terrorists. They often seem to forget that under GWB Pakistan was declared an ally in the war on terror, but much worse than that, they forget that these people are human beings that are suffering and in dire need of help.

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I thought the problem was that all countries are giving a tepid response.

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@ smithinjapan : The American people are as generous a people as you'd want to meet. Whenever there is a disaster, American money and presence is on the scene. Your criticizing us as "paranoid" is in bad taste. If you're looking for a scapegoat, for the less than adequate amounts of donations actually reaching Pakistan, why not lay it where it belongs. Al-Qaeda, INC. Quit badmouthing my country on this issue, you don't have a leg to stand on.

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P.S. Where's all the Saudi money and aid?

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Less than 1.5 percent of Pakistanis even file a tax return. It gets tiring to send money that gets siphoned off for the well to do Pakistanis who don't care about their own countrymen.

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pamelot: "The American people are as generous a people as you'd want to meet."

Depends on the situation. I agree that by and large Americans (and all NORTH AMERICANS, for that matter) can be very generous, but clearly in this situation they are not, are they?

"Your criticizing us as "paranoid" is in bad taste."

Sorry, not ALL Americans, just a large number of them -- most often Republicans.

"If you're looking for a scapegoat, for the less than adequate amounts of donations actually reaching Pakistan, why not lay it where it belongs. Al-Qaeda, INC."

Sounds like it's not me at all that's looking for a scapegoat, but the aforementioned paranoid Americans who are blaming their lack of donations on AQ and the Taliban. I'm blaming it on the people who refuse to give money for such inadequate reasons (again, paranoia).

"Quit badmouthing my country on this issue, you don't have a leg to stand on."

How do you know? On the contrary, I donated money already (albeit not a very large amount). Have you? What's more, you have no idea of my nationality, do you?

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" I'm blaming it on the people who refuse to give money for such inadequate reasons (again, paranoia)."

Sorry, let me qualify that a little more... I'm blaming it on the people like yourself who blame the lack of funds on terrorist groups, thus victimizing the regular people of Pakistan, whereas in other cases such people might be willing to dole out (more) aid.

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Everyones cash is tight right now. Stop asking for their money. If governments would stop wasting the money handed to them by their residents theyd be able to assist those who are in need. Cant keep asking for everyones money. Sorry.

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How many news reports and magazine articles have we read over the years about how billions and billions of dollars of aid that was provided to Iraq, Lebanon, Palestinians, Egypt, Afghanistan, Pakistan...meant for hungry people, money for water purification, infrastructure...etc...got stolen by government officials and placed in their pockets??? I dont blame Americans for being "paranoid" or suspicious about Pakistan. I guess Americans are getting wise to these shell games that counties in the Arab and Persian world like to play and Americans dont want to throw their hard earned money away anymore. Let the Pakistani rich and the government of Pakistan take care of this crisis....they have billions of dollars in stolen aid money in their accounts. Besides after decades and hundreds of billions of dollars in aid to the Arab and Persian world...what has America (and other countries) got to show for it?? Nothing.

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SmithinJapan: Sorry, not ALL Americans, just a large number of them -- most often Republicans.

Nah, nothing paranoid about that point of view.

Look, the article was lifted from an American news service so it focused on American giving, but the fact is that all nations have been slow to respond. I'm assuming your statement about fear is applying to everyone, but I'm probably wrong.

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Americans are giving, and that is a good thing. Leave it to the media to make it look like Americans aren't doing enough. Where is the obligation for Americans to do anything? Good on the Americans for offering at least some help to Pakistan.

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I personally feel I've given quite a bit over the last few years, but from last November, my company here hasn't made a yen.. I'm living off my US income at 83 yen per dollar? Can't do it. I know where a cool 100 million could come from though.

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I have not given money to the Pakistani relief effort and make no apologies for not doing so. I gave about $80 I think to Haitian Relief Efforts, one donation on my own soon after it happened and one as a funeral remembrance. There are many Haitians who live in my area (Boston area) and they are good citizens - many work very hard in nursing homes and other health providers, and I have had interacted with them quite a bit the last few years, due to relatives in nursing homes. Charity is charity - it is done of free will. In my cast I felt a sense of moral responsibility towards the people in Haiti I don't fell towards the people in Pakistan. I don't think that makes me a bad person.

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SuperLib: "Look, the article was lifted from an American news service so it focused on American giving, but the fact is that all nations have been slow to respond. I'm assuming your statement about fear is applying to everyone, but I'm probably wrong."

The article doesn't talk about all nations, only the US, and heaven forbid I go off topic. I have no doubt that in the case of other nations that the paranoia that racks the minds of a lot of those I mentioned affects SOME of the nationals of others, but I think the number per capita would be much lower. In the other nations, my guess would be that the other factors -- poor response by the Pakistani government and military in particular -- play more of a role than they do with US donations. Until you can point out evidence that that's not the case... well... As for the 'Republican' thing, I was just taking a poke at the other poster... even if it is true.

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lakechaplainer: "Charity is charity - it is done of free will. In my cast I felt a sense of moral responsibility towards the people in Haiti I don't fell towards the people in Pakistan. I don't think that makes me a bad person."

It doesn't; in fact, you are a gracious person for giving to those in Haiti. The people who are 'bad people' (and I'm only paraphrasing), if you will, are those who WOULD give aid but won't because of the fact that Pakistan is a Muslim nation and/or feel they are aiding terrorists if they do.

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The image Pakistanis have of the US apparently is not that good. And the opposite is probably also true. Other traditionally free giving countries hold back, like the US, as they are suspicious of where the money will end up. Also, I think, after the Haiti disaster, people feel there is a limit to what they can spare. We seem to be going through a time with one disaster after another. People make choices in where to donate their money. Their choices being governed by politics, personal feelings and their cash flow, among others. A moral responsibility is something we have towards all human beings, which unfortunately is understood by so few. Whether one's selective behavior in donating money to those in need makes one a bad person or not, or is justifiable, is a matter of conscience and we don't need to see excuses for that here.

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Depends on the situation. I agree that by and large Americans (and all NORTH AMERICANS, for that matter) can be very generous, but clearly in this situation they are not, are they?

"The U.S. government has been largest donor to the flood relief effort, allocating $200 million to date." So I guess even if the U.S. is the largest donor in the world it's still not quite generous enough.

I'm blaming it on the people who refuse to give money for such inadequate reasons (again, paranoia).

Considering conservative voters donate more blood, time, and money (proportionate relative to income and in volume) than liberal voters I'd say you're blaming the wrong people. Considering one cannot dictate how the Red Cross and other charities dish out the money they receive I think it's fair to say that conservatives have probably contributed more to the Pakistan flood relief effort than non-conservatives as well, although whether or not they agree with this practice is subject to debate.

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2008/03/conservatives_more_liberal_giv.html

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TheQuestion.

Usually countries first make big "Pledges" to the media but the actual money being donated is normally quiet a bit less than the Pledge given.

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The biggest government donor so far is the US, followed by the UK, Saudi, Germany and the EU but whats been given so far is a drop in the ocean. Though not so many have actually died in the floods, there are many millions homeless, open to the elements and at risk of disease. There will be many more deaths. Never mind your politics, if you give money to the red cross, unicef, christian aid or whoever theres every likelyhood it will end up feeding and clothing those most in need.

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the paranoia of the American public that these poor, suffering people are all some kind of Islamic terrorists.

Wiki leaks basically showing circumstantial evidence that the Pakistani's haven't really be allies to NATO when it comes to Afghanistan certainly isn't helping things, then on top of that it is well known that the majority of the Pakistani civilian public views the US as an enemy and so when you combine that the US doesn't really trust Pakistani's when it comes to the Taliban plus the fact that everyone in the US think that the majority of Pakistani believe the US is an enemy its kind of like **why should I help these people? Especially when the US government has already given hundreds of millions of dollars in aid to Pakistan for the relief effort and you know what I don't blame them. Nor do I think it is wrong of them to not donate

they forget that these people are human beings that are suffering and in dire need of help.

I disagree, I think they do realize they are human beings but they are most likely thinking we have already donated enough or done are part.

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