When the earthquake hit Turkey last week, Israel–as it often does–immediately joined several Western nations in offering its help. This is no small offer considering
- Israel has some of the most sophisticated disaster relief technology and best trained rescue personnel in the world (especially for “crush” victims)
- As recently as September, Turkey threatened Israel with increased naval presence, and that’s after pledging more aid to Gaza and Hamas and more protection for so-called “aid flotillas”
- Erdogan has purged his military of those thought to be sympathetic to the West, Israel in particular, replacing those in command with Islamists.
Predictably, Erdogan said no. But after a couple of days, and probably facing increased pubic pressure from their own population to “DO SOMETHING!,” something they were obviously incapable of doing on their own, Turkey turned around and asked Israel for help.
For now they just want tents and mobile housing units, not manpower, but let’s see how the next few days go. In the meantime, the whole thing got me thinking about these hostile, verbally aggressive nations and their natural disasters. One question kept popping into my brain:
“Why do we need to help them?”
Before you flame me, right now I’m not asking why we as human beings, or Christians, or “nice people” individually should reach out to help individuals in foreign countries who are suffering. There’s no “we” there. If you want to, have at it, only your conscience can answer that one.
No, for the purpose of this discussion, I’m talking about “we” as in the USA, or Israel, or any other Western nation that is obviously doing better in every possible way than most of these “suffering” countries. Why doesn’t anyone ever pause to ask why they ALWAYS need so much outside assistance?
If, as they claim, their way of life is superior–their “Islamist” approach to governance is so vastly superior to our Western ways, if their cultures are so much more moral and noble and productive, why can’t they take care of their own people?
Why–for example–is every country run by religious zealots (or their sympathizers) almost completely dysfunctional? Even Saudi Arabia–if you took away their oil (which is theirs by accident of birth and geography, nothing more)–they’d have absolutely no means of support. What am I talking about? Even WITH their oil, they are completely dependent upon their *customers* for their “economy.” I mean, what else do they “produce?” What “expertise” do they offer the rest of the world?
And why don’t our leaders ever talk about this openly? Why is it assumed that the only thing that matters is that these countries hold “elections.” Elections? Elections gave the Palestinians Hamas, the Turks the Islamists and Erdogan, Iran Ahmadinejad, and next up, the Egyptians and the Muslim Brotherhood.
Well I’ll say it, why not? We have to help these countries because the systems they choose for themselves are inferior.
I can hear the gasping from here. “DEB! How can you BE so judgmental?! The West is far from perfect!”
Duh. Did I say we were “perfect?” There’s a huge gulf between “perfect” and “festering shit-hole unfit for human survival, never mind sustenance and progress.”
And what if we did NOT come running to aid these people–people whose governments maintain their power largely by inciting large numbers of their population to *hate us* and *want to kill us,* who are constantly judging us “inferior” to them because we let our women drive or wear bikinis or choose their own husbands?
What if we were to say–to Turkey for example–”Hey, keep asking your pals in Iran, I mean, since y’all are so superior to us anyway. I mean, you wouldn’t even want our help, we’re filthy westerners, we might have to send a woman (eek!) or a Jew (double-eek!). So, we’re gonna sit this one out. But hey! We’ll be prayin’ for ya!”
How would that go over d’ya think? No? Bad idea? Why? Why don’t we EVER ask this question? Why is it just *assumed* we’ll help? Where do we get off thinking we have so much to “give” anyway? We can barely help our own Tornado victims anymore, but we offer help to the likes of Turkey?
To me, “helping” them because their gov’t is to hapless and incompetent to help them itself is like consigning them to perpetual tyranny. It’s the same thing as saying “We’ll pick up the slack so they can keep focusing their efforts on giving what little you have to terrorists, lining their own pockets and propagandizing against the West (which is us after all).”
Some say it’s good for “PR,” that the people of those areas are “grateful” to us or to Israel when we save their lives, blah blah. I call bullshit with a bullhorn. Israel saves the life of a cancer-stricken Palestinian baby, and how does the mother (and the general Palestinian population) say “thank-you?” Well the population disparages the mother for having Israelis save her son, and the mother reacts by saying she’s glad he’s survived because she hopes he grows up to be a suicide bomber:
“ “From the smallest infant, even smaller than Mohammed, to the oldest person, we will all sacrifice ourselves for the sake of Jerusalem. We feel we have the right to it.”
I don’t see much difference between the PR effect of saving one life and saving or helping thousands. How a people react to lifesaving help from others tells you everything you need to know about their character (and worth frankly).
So now that we’ve established the fact that they need our help because they can’t help themselves, because their way of governance is NOT superior as they claim, but rather markedly *inferior,* let’s go back to my original question and answer it as if I am asking whether we SHOULD help them?
In a word, NO.