Comment 52989

By Undustrial (registered) - website | Posted December 12, 2010 at 11:47:31

America gives a lot of aid in absolute terms. This is no surprise, as they have around a third of the entire planet's GDP. In relative terms, they give a much smaller percentage than virtually every other rich nation. Of that aid, much of it is military, and a very large chunk of that goes to very unsavoury regimes involved in serious human rights abuses. Of the aid which isn't military, it has a host of silly, self-serving restrictions, and is greatly outpaced by what countries like America get in debt repayment from these cripplingly poor countries (around 12:1). And in any case, do we let axe-murderers off because they do charity work?

You'll celebrate America for foreign aid, but not Cuba (which gives more medical aid than almost anyone else). You'll say that the west is "right" because of their higher living standards, but when countries like Cuba vastly outpace their neighbours in living standards, that isn't relevant. You accuse nations like Cuba of tyranny without a single look at the number of their neighbours (with full US support) that sport death squads, secret prisons and genocies (Guatemala, Haiti, Columbia). Havana has a lower infant mortality rate than Washington DC - what does that say?

The point is not that either one side or the other is "right". The point is that they're being judged by different standards. The whole notion of "sides" here is a fallacy. It's an issue of policies - some which work, and some which don't. By choosing between superpowers like "heroes" and "villians" in a Saturday morning cartoon, we ignore the obvious: superpowers are the problem, no matter which ideology they follow. Whether it's America, the USSR, the British Empire or Rome invading Afghanistan - it's going to look fairly similar, and end the same way.

Is it such a big leap to judge a nation by a rational standard of behaviour, rather than simply buying the excuses of one government and pointing accusing fingers at all others?

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