I'm not in the least afraid of criticism (I'm married, for Pete's sake). In fact I welcome good, solid criticism with facts to back it.
I've received some critical evaluations of the last couple of posts, and that's fine. I was incorrect with some figures I posted regarding dollar amounts pledged to the relief efforts in Indonesia.
Having admitted that, I want to return to the spirit of the posts. First, Jan Egeland displayed an incredible lack of class when he took the microphone as a UN offcial and called a number of countries "stingy". That was uncalled for under any circumstances. To further his indiscretion, anyone who has even the most passing familiarity with US philanthropy knows that whatever the monetary figure we first pledged, it would soon be increased as we investigated the magnitude of the tragedy.
President Bush is taking heat for not seeking the first microphone he could find on the day of the tragedy and placating his audience with presidential platitudes. The fact remains that he managed to order a naval armada to respond without finding it necessary to see himself on television as he did it. Along with Australia, the US began the relief effort some time before other nations began to arrive, and as far as I an tell the UN is still "evaluating" things.
Lest one criticize Bush for issuing orders without the benefit of a media audience, let us not forget that Kofi Annan kept skiing in the US Rockies for three days following the news of the disaster. And Annan is not one to shun media coverage.