Saturday, June 11, 2005

Charity: O'Reilly Style

Bill O'Reilly Wrapped in Vanity, originally uploaded by Wazdat!.

And What Does O'Reilly Know About Charity?

Sooooo! Bill O'Reilly actually HAS a heart!. He's getting maudlin because suddenly he has discovered that rhere is famine in Africa. Of course it required Tony Blair to wade across the pond all the way to Washington to switch the old ticker on, since O"Reilly rarely uses it. But now his leader Bush needs him to be compassionate, so he switched the old pump on.

Suddenly O'Reilly's characterization of Bush and Blair's work in Africa reminds me of that stereotypical insult about Poles, or Italians, or Ukrainians et al., screwing on a lightbulb.

You see, what with our unnecessary involvement in lraq, how can we now manage the resources to think of taking on the bandits starving the people in Sudan? Mr. O'Reilly, we can't get together the resources to help Africa with our "Coalition Of The Willing". We need Europe, and that entity O'Reilly hates so much - the UN.

O'Reilly hoists himself on his own petard when he mentions how Live Aid foundered on the rock of local tyrants. We barely have an army large enough to handle Afghanistan and Iraq, and the ghastly way we are handling those wars is having a devastating effect on recruiting. This means that we can't even get in to protect the people, let alone feed them.

O'Reilly's crocodile tears for the starving people in Sudan fall disingenuously since at the same time he defends a policy that has left the Iraqis living in the Stone Ages, and turned Afghanistan into a large opium farm. O'Reilly speaks of a Marshall Plan for Africa. Where was Bush's beneficence when he gave Iraqi jobs to foreigners, while he gave away their economy to American and foreign interests? As far as NGOs like Doctors Without Borders are concerned, first make it safe for them in Iraq where at least you have an army there, before you go off on another adventure.

To me the whole thing is a disingenuous "Wag The Dog" tactic. Bush and Blair wish to misdirect our attention from the Downing Street Memo, and so they are cynically using Africa as a prop to hide behind. O'Reilly, who to me doesn't look the charitable type, (Though I'm sure he has a few favorite charities.) is suddenly wearing sackcloth and ashes for Africa. I just wish he could spare a few threads for Iraq and Afghanistan.

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