As part of their reaction to the “stingy” comments, the Bushies now promote helping victims of the Indian Ocean tsunami as a way to win Muslim hearts and minds. Will this now embark us on a Muslim/non-Muslim donation war? The following comes from Juan Cole’s Informed Comment:
Saudi Arabia Television held a fundraising drive for the victims of the tsunami and raised a little over $30 million on the first day. Saudi Arabia’s per capita income is about $8500 per year according to the Atlas method, and there are about 15 million Saudi citizens. The one-day donation total equals $2 per citizen in absolute terms. Given the difference in per capita income and population, it is as though private US donors gave over $3 billion in a single day.
Of course, I much prefer a donation war over others.