Kuwait’s Generosity

Let me begin by thanking President Bush for enlisting the efforts of his father and Bill Clinton in encouraging more Americans to donate to tsunami relief efforts. This can do spirit stands in sharp contrast to the pettiness of Tucker Carlson, quoted and properly criticized by Juan Cole:

CARLSON: Well, I got the sense from the remarks from people we’ll say in the background from the White House of two things, one that they thought the president really was waiting to figure out what the scope of the aid would be and that when he figured that out he’d say something about it. And, second, that this is sort of an unfair attack since, for instance, Kuwait, a Muslim country and a very rich one has pledged only $2 million and nobody is criticizing Kuwait or, for that matter, Saudi Arabia, which I don’t think is going to come through.

I wonder if Tucker dons his George Will style bowtie for Sunday church services only to give $5 to the collection plate so he can sneer at small children who give $1 each week. This attack on the government of Kuwait is not only petty, it’s stupid. The U.S. economy’s $11 billion per year GDP amounts to over $37,000 per person since we are a nation of 293 million people. Our $350 million government grant amounts to $1.20 per person. Maybe Tucker should check this source, which has Kuwait’s GDP at $41.46 billion and its population (including non-nationals) at 2.26 million. OK, they are giving only $0.90 per capita but their per capita GDP is only half ours. I guess Tucker could argue that Kuwait’s GDP per citizen equals ours, but then he’d half to admit that their $2 million in assistance comes to $1.80 per citizen.

I would say CNN should fire the petty and ill-informed Tucker Carlson but then that would leave Bob Novak to do all of the shows for Crossfire.

Incidentally, Dr. Cole takes to task some oped by John Farmer as Dr. Cole more accurately portrays the generosity of Saudi Arabia and other Muslim nations that Mr. Carlson and Mr. Farmer so ignorantly attack as allegedly being cheap.