Madinat al-Muslimeen Islamic Message Board
|Charity for the rich|
|12/29/01 at 06:51:34|
|Afghanistan - Compensation and Aid - for whom ?|
It was announced this week that the families of those who died on the 11th September in New York would receive on average $1.6m in compensation (about $5,000m or $5 billion in total), predominantly from the US government but also from various charities established to alleviate the suffering of those most affected from the worlds most wealthy nation. And the compensation for the thousands of Muslims that have been intentionally killed or even "unintentionally" killed in Afghanistan by the American led alliance? Don't hold your breath waiting.
Those who were sickened by the sight of New York Fireman (the new American heroes) planting a piece of WTC debris on Afghani soil (as if Afghanistan had anything to do with September the 11th) quite rightly questioned what they were doing in Afghanistan. The official answer is that they are there to help in the "humanitarian" effort. This type of symbolic "photo shoot" aid at the hands of the fireman, like the yellow aid packs that look very similar to unexploded cluster bombs, is not going to solve the problem. One aid worker in Herrat indicated that 40 tons of aid has recently arrived, but in his words this is like a "drop in the ocean" compared to what is needed, and is unlikely to meet even the short term needs of the 18 km of homeless hungry and shivering in holes in the ground in only one of the many camps.
The UN has received pledges of $690m to help, but it is much easier to commit than to actually pay up, with more than $300m of that committed cash still to be received. The US commitment? The US government envoy on Afghanistan to the UN warned at the end of November that the US considered that the military campaign formed the bulk of its contribution and that it would be up to other allies to meet the costs of reconstruction.
Just like the NY fireman who's motto is that "we always look after our own" the US having established its new political structure for Afghanistan will leave the victims of the bombing campaign to try and pick up the pieces themselves. What price Muslim life? Not a lot by American calculations.
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