Politics is More Powerful than Tsunamis

A recap of the last day’s tsunami news:

  • Nearly 70,000 people are confirmed dead.
  • Sri Lanka’s government has turned down aid from Israel, preferring to see people die than accept money from Jews.
  • Sri Lanka’s rebels would apparently prefer to see people die than defer to their own government.
  • The U.N. is using the deaths of thousands to grind its axe against the stingy West, which backs 99% of its operations.
  • Greenpeace is blaming the tsunamis on global warming.
  • Atrios is using the crisis to make cheap political points against President Bush.
  • The Democratic Underground blames the tsunami on Don Rumsfeld and the earthquake on evil American corporations.
  • Daily Kos is using this as an occasion to make the same absurd point made by Atrios.

Clearly, politics is stronger than even Mother Nature.

Update (1313): A reader points out that my original Kos link was to a comment made by a reader. Fair enough. I’ve altered it to show a post made by the site’s proprietor.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. LJD says:

    It is really appalling, and a serious insult to the families of those who have died, to use this disaster for ANY political gain.

    Beyond the unfounded, “sky-is-falling” liberal guilt trip, the U.S. does far more than any other country in the world to help those in need. But it is never enough, much less appreciated.

    Where was the outpouring of foreign assistance during our hurricanes/ floods/ wildfires/ etc.? Yet, we still give, all the while being somehow blamed for the tragedy.

  2. Bill K says:

    You know, there is enough political talk out there that you didn’t have to misrepresent the Daily Kos thing. First, it wasn’t Kos that said that. Second, it wasn’t even a post – – it was a comment by somebody. Third, if you read the post that the comment was in there is no talk about politics. Just talk about grief in regards to the pure number affected, as well as links to donate to charities.

    The first six examples are good, the seventh is unnecessary and misleading.

  3. kenny says:

    The story about Sri Lanka rejecting Israeli is a crock. They’ve asked the Israeli IDF not to send the 150 strong team but a smaller team is being sent out( and the Israelis are sending out supplies).

    The reason for this ?
    “The government, led by President Chandrika Kumaratunga, admitted that it was not ready to manage the foreign medical teams and emergency supplies arriving in the country three days after disaster struck the Indian Ocean island.”


    I believe that they’ve also asked the canadians and british to wait until they send out teams.

    Still, It’s more fun to make wild accusations of anti-semitism

  4. Bill K says:

    Totally disagree with the point, but much better :-).

  5. dw says:

    I’ve seen two other sources that confirm the Israelis weren’t turned away wholly by Sri Lanka, and that a smaller team of Israeli doctors were due into Colombo today.

    And all this talk about politics, but zero mention of Myanmar reporting zero casualties. No, wait, they’re listing 90 now. There has been some talk that the military junta is being awfully quiet about the damage and death toll.

  6. carpeicthus says:

    In addition to the other egregious mistakes listed, Greenpeace may be loony, but they did NOT “blame the tsunami on global warming,: at least in the link you provide. They said the effect may have exacerbated the damage, something entirely different.

    Jeez, you don’t have ANY political interest in this, do you? Must be fun to pretend to hold yourself above the rest.