Monday, January 03, 2005

W takes charge on the tsunami crisis

CNN reports:

http://www.cnn.com/2005/US/01/03/tsunami.presidents/index.html

Well done. As an American who has spent much of the last ten years living in Europe and Latin America, I'm not sure many Americans appreciate the extent to which the President of the United States is in a very real sense the President of the World. During the Cold War people often used to speak of the President as "the leader of the free world". There is a great story about RFK during his 1968 presidential campaign getting a phone call while in the shower. He threw a towel around his waste, barged wet and half-naked through the middle of a roomful of campaign aides, and cracked: "Make way for the future leader of the free world!"

With the collapse of the USSR, an American president is no longer the leader of the free world; he is the leader of one global community. When something like the recent tsunami hits, the world looks to the White House to do something about it. After some slowness, the White House has placed President Clinton and former President Bush in charge of raising funds. Well done.

Among the many relief agencies, see:
http://www.cafod.org.uk/

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