By now you’ve heard about this: UN Official Backs Down: Rich Nations Not ‘Stingy’. Here’s my take on it. You’ve got millions of screaming desperate people, and you’ve got one of the nastiest, most uncaring, petty, vengeful leaders in history in charge of the “wealthiest” (borrowed money) nation. Everyone knows he is entirely capable of withholding aid because of this one guy’s remark.
So what do you do? You back down and hope that your honest “stingy” remark — $40 million for aid, $50 million for his inaugural party — doesn’t keep him from helping all those people. It has to be about them. (That’s not how Bush will see it. Maybe we can convince Bush this happened because God wants the world to see how great a leader Bush is… like 9/11. Maybe that would get him to do something to help.)
Ok, I don’t like the guy. Sue me.
Meanwhile, Clinton is filling the leadership vacuum while Bush clears brush in Crawford.
Update - It turns out that the origin of reports that a UN representative said the U.S. was being “stingy” with relief aid was just a lie, made up by the Moonie newspaper, spread by Drudge and echoed through the right-wing media as part of their anti-UN strategic lie campaign. (Thanks to Atrios for the link.)