Has it escaped notice that the brunt of the tsunami catastrophe has fallen on the world’s most populous Muslim country? One that has an active branch of al Qaeda?
This is an ideal time for Western governments — especially European ones — to do well by doing good. Conspicuous aid to suffering Muslims can only be to Europe’s benefit in the struggle against Islamic radicalism.
As spokesman in Indonesia for UNICEF said, “It needs to be almost a military campaign. … There need to be airports set up. What we’re looking at is re-establishing a social infrastructure.”
Right now, there’s a vacuum, something abhorred by both nature and politics. If the West does not fill it, bin Laden’s allies will. Sure, that’s a cynical thought among so much suffering, but here’s hoping that someone on Solana’s staff, or in one of the national chancelleries can summon the necessary cynicism to do well while doing good.