David Shuster uses an interesting illustration to demonstrate how paltry the 35 million dollars pledged is:
"Besides, to put the 35 million dollars in context, consider this: To "help" the citizens of Iraq, our government is spending 5.8 BILLION dollars each MONTH. That translates to more than 8 million dollars an hour. Or put another way, the $35 million we have pledged in disaster aid for Southeast Asia is less than the amount the U.S. military spent during the six hours it took on Sunday for the tsunami to cross the Indian Ocean."
And that's the problem: we have seemingly endless money to spend on killing people. In the eyes of the world, we have endless money to spend on all sorts of shit, like movies, ballplayers and inauguration parties (what's the payroll of the Yankees? 200 mill a year?). But we (our Government, not the citizens) start penny pinching when the money is actually NEEDED for something.
Unfortunately, our impression of ourselves - reinforced endlessly by ourselves and our media- is NOT the impression of the rest of the world. And there's a reason for that.
"O wad some Power the giftie gie us
To see oursels as ithers see us!" - To a Louse, by Robert Burns