Olympic Mettle

Thursday, May 15, 2008

As China prepares for the Olympics, it must also consider its approach to the foreign press. Minky Worden, media director at Human Rights Watch and editor of China's Great Leap, and Ian Buruma, journalist, author, and professor of Democracy, Human Rights & Journalism at Bard College, discuss China's changing media strategy and other issues surrounding the games.

Ian Buruma and Minky Worden are participating in a panel tomorrow at the Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs. Details can be found here.


Ian Buruma and Minky Worden

Comments [18]


Jon, you give no source for your generalized assertions (tho you accompany them with plenty of agit-prop).

So I don't know if we're talking about people who "donate" to help hurricane victims in other countries or "donate" to build their pastor's mega-church or what.

And even poor people in this country are rich compared to most of the world.

Good lord, we have FOOD. Instead of approaching our phenomenal wealth with arrogance, perhaps we could do with just an inkling of humility, and gratitude for an accident of birth.

Nothing lasts forever.

May. 16 2008 10:22 AM
Jon P. from Hewitt, NJ


Actually more lower income people donate money in this country then upper income people. That’s right, people worried about making ends meet and putting food on their table are the ones that give the most. Do you worry about putting food on the table and still donate time and money to a charity? Imagine that, the “people” of America actually do care contrary to what the rest of the world thinks.

May. 15 2008 04:52 PM

>>American citizens donate more money

Of course, they're rich. What PERCENTAGE of income do we donate? I suspect it's on a level with the developed world.

More important, IMHO, are those who donate their bodies, time and expertise. These probably make more of an impact, and are part of why many people like Americans, but hate our Gov.

And strategic food/water/supplies drops might keep the beneficiaries of your tough-love around long enough _to_ protest. You can bet the military's friends are getting aid.

May. 15 2008 04:05 PM
Jon P. from Hewitt, NJ

Fact: The United states donates more money then any other country in the world. As the richest country, we could afford to give more. But at the end of the day we still give the most.

Fact: Even though everyone considers Americans to be greedy and not caring, American citizens donate more money to charity and natural disasters then any other citizens, anywhere in the world. So much so that no other country even comes remotely close. No one can say as citizens that we should feel guilty for not giving enough.

So how much more are we expected to give? Invade Burma? You can lead a horse to water… Unfortunately it will come down to riots. Burma has been a military ruled country since the early 60’s. Its time for the repressed citizens to take maters into their own hands. They have to be the ones to stick their heads out. It’s their country. We don’t need to support another Iraq…

May. 15 2008 12:20 PM

Here's what we received from each country:

Who's giving - and what

Foreign countries have responded generously to Hurricane Katrina. Donor nations and their contribution:

Country Support
Afghanistan $100,000
Armenia $100,000
Australia $7.6 million
Azerbaijan $500,000
Bahamas $50,000
Bahrain $5 million
Bangladesh $1 million
Belgium Medical/logistics teams
Canada 2 helicopters, 32-person rescue team, evacuation flights, medical supplies
China $5.1 million cash and relief supplies
Djibouti $50,000
Finland Search-and-rescue team; 3 logistics specialists
France Tents, tarps, MREs, water treatment supplies, cleaning equipment
Gabon $500,000
Georgia $50,000
Germany MREs, high speed pumps, forensic experts
Greece 2 cruise ships
India $5 million
Iraq $1,000,000 cash
Ireland $1,000,000 cash
Country Support
Israel Tents, first-aid kits, baby formula
Italy Generators, water pumps/purifiers, tents, med supplies

May. 15 2008 12:02 PM

Japan $200,000 cash and $844,000 in relief supplies, $1.5 million in private donations.
Kuwait $400 million in oil, $100 million cash
Maldives $25,000 cash
Mexico Transport vehicles, 1 helicopter, ambulance and medical teams.
Mongolia $50,000 cash
Nepal $25,000 cash
New Zealand $1.4 million cash, search and rescue teams
Nigeria $1 million cash
Norway $1.54 million in relief supplies
Qatar $100 million cash
Republic of Korea $30 million cash and in-kind donations
Saudi Arabia $5 million from Aramco, $250,000 from Agfund
Singapore 3 helicopters
Sri Lanka $25,000 cash
Taiwan $2 million cash, medical supplies
Thailand Forensic experts, blankets and food
UAE $100 million cash
Venezuela Up to $1 million

Source: State Department

May. 15 2008 12:01 PM

Other countries DID give help during Katrina. The administration refused about $800 million in medical, technical and food aid. More administration bungling.

CREW (Citizens for responsibility and Ethics in Washington) investigated the offers of foreign aid from, among other countries and agencies, the UAE, China, Greece and Poland.

"Of $454 million in cash that was pledged by more than 150 countries and foreign organizations, only $126 million from 40 donors was actually received. The biggest gifts were from the United Arab Emirates ($100 million); China and Bahrain ($5 million each); South Korea ($3.8 million) and Taiwan ($2 million)."

May. 15 2008 11:58 AM
barry from Manhattan

Guns Blazing??
What are you talking about?
Just drop the stuff off
Helicopter it in from the ocean side.
Deliver it and leave, if they want to shoot it out with well armed UN troops then blast em.

Collateral Damage that may never happen....what about all the folk who die today because of your looking away.

Let em riot?
They just did that and got murdered for their trouble.

Who will Lead?

May. 15 2008 11:56 AM
barry from Manhattan

No body died in New Orleans from lack of clean water to drink.
I know the Feds dragged their ass on New Orleans but the fault of the poor planning falls squarley on the shoulders of the City and the State.
Every single person knew that the day would come when the levee would break yet they were amazingly/stunningly unprepared.
The state and city squandered and stole federal funds for years. There is a lot of corruption in the US but Louisiana is way up there,"talk about good ole boy"
The state of Louisiana is still blocking Federal funds that belongs to home owners.

May. 15 2008 11:50 AM
scnex from harlem

it is interesting that you here about the responsibilities of other countries, yet as a evacuee of new orleans I would have to say where was the tonnage of supplies, like water when my fellow citizens were dying? where is the international community here...

I need not talk about the media polarizing the color line.....

May. 15 2008 11:28 AM
Baby from Forest Hills

Still a lot of problems in Darfur!!

May. 15 2008 11:23 AM
michael winslow from INWOOD

So what you're saying is for the UN to go into Burma with guns a blazing to make sure the Burmese government provides aid to their people?

This is a disaster!

So what do you say to the starving women, children and men who get killed in the collateral damage?


What about DARFUR? I guess everything is ok there now.

If Burma doesn't want to help their people then their people die.

When Bush turned his back on New Orleans would want the UN to storm the gulf coast?

Of course not.

So what do you do?

You let the people of Burma riot!

May. 15 2008 11:22 AM
barry from Manhattan

Wow! The silence it deafening
Is it the fundraising or what?

May. 15 2008 11:19 AM
barry from Manhattan

I wonder what would Obama do, or what will he do when he is President. Because you can be sure that situations like this will come up again and again.
Who will Lead?

May. 15 2008 11:18 AM
barry from Manhattan

Another test of the UN, but guess what? China will block it.
This will take a coalition of the willing to just do it because it is the right thing.
Who will lead?

May. 15 2008 11:16 AM
barry from Manhattan

There is no excuse for the UN not pressing to evoke the "right to protect"
I believe it was Daniel Shore who tried to blame the piss poor handling of the Iraq war on the lack of Will in International Community to intervene in The Burma Fiasco.
Stop pointing fingers at Iraq and do the right thing.
Which in this case is just override the Junta in Burma and deliver aid.

May. 15 2008 11:13 AM
Baby from Forest Hills

Because they were paid to.

May. 15 2008 11:04 AM
michael winslow from INWOOD

Why did the US State Department remove China from the list of world's worst human rights violators?

May. 15 2008 11:00 AM

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