January 3, 2005
The Independent (UK)

America Urged to Devise 'Marshall Plan' for Asia

by David Usborne

As American Sea Hawk helicopters began ferrying emergency supplies to the stricken coastal communities of Aceh on the island of Sumatra at the weekend, voices were being raised in the United States for a longer-term engagement in the area to rebuild lost political goodwill.

There is already talk of an updated "Marshall plan" for Asia, similar to the post-war aid for Europe, that would save lives and repair America's tattered reputation across the world.

The helicopters, from the USS Abraham Lincoln aircraft carrier anchored close to Sumatra, were the first harbingers of the largest deployment of American military hardware in the region since the Vietnam War. Scores of US vessels and aircraft loaded with emergency supplies and equipment are heading for areas worst hit by the Boxing Day tsunami from points around the globe.

But America's humanitarian response to the tragedy, which has been ratcheted up rapidly in recent days after an early impression was created of superpower stinginess, was already being described as something much more, a mission to repair relations with the region severely strained since the invasion of Iraq and demonstrate its willingness to use its military might as a force for good.

Foreign affairs analysts said Washington had the chance to reverse a perception held in much of the rest of the world that its global priorities under President George Bush extend no further than combating terrorism and overthrowing dictators. They said the US, by showing a beneficent side of its power, could advance the fight against terrorism by winning back the hearts and minds of populations in India, Thailand, Somalia and in Indonesia, the world's largest Islamic democracy. . . .


Editorial: "Are We Stingy? Yes," New York Times, December 30, 2004

P I Rajive, "Mosque works overtime to take care of Hindu, Christian fisherfolk," Indian Express, December 30, 2004

"Death toll nears 150,000," Guardian, January 3, 2005

Raymond Bonner, "Once-Critical Indonesians Are Grateful to U.S. for Aid," New York Times, January 7, 2005

Roger Burbach and Paul Cantor, "Cynical Humanitarism: Bush, the Pentagon and the Tsunami," CounterPunch, January 7, 2005

Richard Norton-Taylor, "US island base given warning: Bulletins sent to Diego Garcia 'could have saved lives'," Guardian, January 7, 2005

"Some Christian Groups Spread Supplies - and the Word," Philadelphia Inquirer, January 9, 2005

While the sea may have killed tens of thousands, western policies kill millions every year.--John Pilger, "THE OTHER TSUNAMI," New Statesman (UK), January 10, 2005

Alan Cooperman, " Virginia Missionaries Talk of Raising Muslim Tsunami Victims in Christian Home," Washington Post, January 13, 2005

[Prof Chossudovsky, who helps run the centre for research on globalisation, added: "We are not dealing with information based on ocean sensors. The emergency warning was transmitted in the immediate wake of the earthquake based on seismic data." With modern communications,"the information of an impending disaster could have been sent round the world in a matter of minutes, by email, by telephone, by fax, not to mention by satellite television", he said.--Geoffrey Lean, "Revealed: how the tsunami warning was bungled," Independent, January 16, 2005]

Stephen Khan and Justin Huggler, " Deaths 'will reach 250,000' as rebel areas reveal losses," Independent, January 23, 2005

Vandana Shiva, "Tsunami Teachings: Reflections for the New Year," Z Magazine, January 23, 2005

Raj Rajendran and Brett Young, "Indonesia, Aceh Rebels Agree to Work for Peace Deal," Reuters, January 29, 2005

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