Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Bush to Name Ex-Presidents Bush, Clinton to Asia Relief Effort

It is ironic that the inward-looking Bush has been charged with managing two major international events that happened in the last decade. This terrible tsunami is Asia's equivalent of 9/11. It shocked the world and brought peoples together.

The tsunami relief effort is one of the best chance for the US to establish it's credibility in the predominantly Muslim South-East Asia.

With the toll in Indonesia approaching 100,000, any acts of generosity at this critical stage will help quell suspicion that the US is anti-Muslim. Violence has not been a characteristic of the peace-loving South East Asian Muslims until recently. I sincerely hope that any kindness shown will be returned with opened dialogue and better appreciation of US's position.

On a related note, more critically, this is a chance for the Thai government to work in an fair manner with the Muslim minority in southern Thailand, to demonstrate some value of not seceding from Thailand.

ps. My feelings have been echoed by Tom Barnett over here.


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