Sunday, February 20, 2005

Tsunami relief: If these rivals can work together, why can't we?


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Former President Clinton and former President Bush put their political differences aside yesterday in Ban Nam Khem,Thailand to show America’s bipartisan support for humanitarian aid following the 26 December tsunami.

If these former political rivals can work together to solve survival issues in four Southeast Asian countries, let’s Lead Our Leaders to forget their past differences and work together to find solutions to our five survival issues: polarization, terror, deficits, wealth inequalities, and environment/energy

.The grace that these former political adversaries displayed to better the lives of our global neighbors is a positive sign to our chilly allies in Europe that the welfare of people matters more than political grandstanding. The neediest countries hope the reticent European governments will now step up to the plate to help.

The former Presidents were clearly moved during their tour of damaged coastal towns in Thailand. They continue their tour this week to devastated areas in Indonesia, the Maldives, and Sri Lanka. Shaken by a show of mean spirited politicking running up to our November election, our friends abroad were reassured to see this example of American bipartisan effort. So many nations depend on the support of the American government for their very survival. Their needs are great - we can't let them down.

President Bush asked his father and former President Clinton to lead the U.S. effort to provide private relief to victims of the tsunami.

The magnitude of the disaster – which killed a quarter million people and displaced over 1.6 million more – has generated the largest international relief effort in history.

"When it comes to helping people, politics is aside," Bush said. "I’ve enjoyed working with President Clinton." If former Presidents Bush and Clinton can suspend politics for people, why can’t our current legislators do the same?

"On issues about which there can be no debate, there should be no problems," Clinton said. There’s no debate when life is fragile, evil is looming, and challenges abound. Please vote here to Lead Our Leaders to secure our future.


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Plan how you may help those who want desperately to help themselves, but can find no practical way to do so. Lou Henry Hoover, 7 November 1931.