Weekly insights into our crazy world.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010



For those of you who just read my blog and get no other sources of news: There has been massive flooding in Pakistan. An "Act of God" has unleashed deluge after deluge on the country, destroying everything in its path. The statistics are staggering. The most rainfall in 80 years. 2,000 people dead. 1.4 million acres of farm land destroyed. Eight million people displaced. A fifth of the country is still underwater. Even TEN THOUSAND COWS HAVE DROWNED!!!

But...no matter how loudly we scream about the misery in Pakistan...NO ONE seems to care. Which is unlike other natural disasters. In fact, earlier this year I blogged about how impressive private American response was to the earthquake in Haiti. (Remember, even one of the JONAS BROTHERS went to Port-au-Prince to help?) Trust me, no one from the DisneyChannel hit series CAMP ROCK is flying to Karachi to help this crisis. Don't believe me? Let's check the statistics. So far, US relief agencies have raised $12 million dollars to help Pakistan. These same organizations donated $500 million to Haiti...some 40 times more!

Why the big disparity in aid? Well, let's face it, some countries just are popular and some are not. Everyone loves the JAMAICAN BOBSLED TEAM. No one loves terrorist camps in the TORA BORA MOUNTAINS. Everyone loves happy kids playing at DISNEYLAND. No one loves seeing brainwashed children chanting in fundamentalist Islamic MADRASAH SCHOOLS. Get my point? So when we get news that the cave where OSAMA BIN LADEN lives might be wrecked, we tend to celebrate instead of writing a check to OXFAM.

And it's not just Americans. Pakistan's neighbor INDIA hasn't sent much aid either. The two countries have severed relations after Pakistani nationals were convicted of killing 100 people in a downtown Mumbai hotel. And while other Islamic nations like Iran and Indonesia have 'observer status' in the ARAB LEAGUE, Pakistan's turbulent politics have ruined this relationship as well. The bottom line is: Pakistan has no friends.

However, SAMUEL WORTHINGTON of the charity InterAction disagrees with this notion. It's wrong to view a nation only through the eyes of skewed media. He reminds us that Pakistan's population is now at 170 million, making it the sixth largest nation on earth. More people live in Pakistan than in Russia, Japan or Mexico. Yet the whole nation "tends to be labeled through a very small subset of terrorists." Worthington asserts that the vast majority of Pakistani people, "Whether they are lawyers or farmers, they are just people who simply want to live in peace. Their story doesn't get told, but it needs to be told, especially when they're suffering."

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