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December 29, 2004

Comments

Wilfred,

Is Spain sending 12 navy ships and 5,000 sailors?

I hang my head and cry... but only for the loathing many Americans seem to have for their own country, which is by far the most generous in the world.

Remember, kids: If you ever criticize anything your country does, you hate it. Just like if you ever criticize anything your mother does, you hate her.

Stan LS: I don't know if the loan to Indonesia will be forgiven; the story doesn't mention it.

Debt relief was a front-burner cause a couple of years ago. Stanford U published a research article detailing which countries it made the most sense for in the long term. They divided debtor countries into those which had good (or at least good-ish) economies versus those with little or no viable economic superstructure. They said debt relief made the most sense for the former countries, which just needed some help to get over a temporary hump. Indonesia was one of those countries.

Another article, in Foreign Affairs, noted vast improvements in Indonesia's macroeconomic indicators and said its economy could start growing quite nicely if it overcame a few structural problems ("an unreliable judicial system, a weak banking system, and corruption"). What's really awful about this is the article was just recently published - like, two months ago.

However, as tragic as the tsunami disaster is, it didn't directly impact Indonesia's major cities and financial centers, which are mostly on Java. I'm no economist by any means, but it seems to me that if Indonesia gets enough financial aid and infrastructure rebuilding assistance, it might still be able attain the economic growth the Foreign Policy article was hopefully predicting.

That keeps Indonesia in the category of countries the Stanford study said would most benefit from debt relief.

That doesn't answer the question of why make US aid to tsunami-stricken countries a loan rather than a grant, when at least one of them (and possibly all of them) are already candidates for debt relief. It's not as if the Bush Admin is looking for a tax write-off (though if it were, an outright gift is at least as deductible as a bad debt). And, in the face of federal deficits of $400 billion-plus per year projected for the next few years, a $20 million addition scarsely even qualifies as spare change.

But calling a de facto grant a de jure loan makes no budgetary sense, not even in the shell game of Bush economics. So why are they doing so? For political reasons, because Americans "hate" giving money to other countries? But disaster relief isn't the kind of foreign aid Americans disapprove of. Not most Americans anyway; maybe Bush is once again playing to his base, whose notions of proper international relations tend to the zero sum game.

I have to wonder if there is some resistance to giving money to international agencies on the part of the Bush admin. I have to think the four nation initiative that Bush touted (Japan, Oz, India and the US) is also a way to go around the various international agencies. Bush is not playing to the base of people who are isolationist, he's playing to the base of people who do not trust the UN, but he doesn't want to insult what I would guess would be the majority of people who think that the UN's work (through agencies like Unicef and the High Commission on Refugees) is admirable.

I'm just wondering what the High Commission on Refugees have done for the North Koreans in the PRC. I could also mention several situations in Africa but the PRC is more poignant.

Well, except that there are plenty of non-UN NGOs the money could go to, and leave the UN-haters' feathers unruffled.

Maybe not the IRC, which the Right now hates for daring to speak out against our treatment of POWs. And maybe not Oxfam or Drs Without Borders, either, which are also anathema to the Right.

But there's still CARE. (At least I think CARE is still non-controversial.) Plus all those religiously affiliated groups.

The thing is, these NGOs already have an infrastructure, already have expertise, already have contacts, already have personnel in place. Why go around them to set up another infrastructure from scratch? Chances are the 4-Nation Initiative will just eind up funneling the money to an NGO anyway.

Seems an inefficient use of resources, just to keep his base happy.

Maybe not the IRC, which the Right now hates for daring to speak out against our treatment of POWs.

Ah! The righteous IRC:

In a nutshell: Israel wants to use a red Star of David as its symbol, but the Geneva Convention only recognizes the red cross and red crescent as protected symbols. As a result, the international federation only accepts societies that use the cross or crescent. Attempts to amend the convention to allow the Star of David have failed because of Arab objections. Not unreasonably, Israel objects to being forced to use the cross or crescent. Red Cross officials insist, somewhat lamely, that neither the cross nor crescent is religious and propose to mollify the Israelis with a third, neutral symbol—perhaps a diamond. The United States has withheld $5 million, our share of administrative costs, from the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.

Yes, the ICRC's position on the Red Mogen David is exactly morally equivalent to a signatory nation to the Geneva Conventions hiding prisoners of war from Red Cross inspectors and failing to meet their obligations regarding prisoner treatment. They're completely morally indistinguishable.

Isn't that the kind of dumb equivalence you'd normally be tripping over your own feet to castigate if a lefty pulled it, Stan?

(And let me just say that as the descendant of a long line of Jews, I find your attempt to equate the two repugnant.)

Phil,

IRC's claim that the cross and the crescent are not religious symbols, while the star of david is, is "kind of dumb" and insults every rational person's intelligence. They have ceased to be a neutral organization and your failure to see that doesn't speak highly of you.

Hence,

And let me just say that as the descendant of a long line of Jews

*yawn*, sorry not impressed.

So what if it's dumb? How is it even close to being the moral equivalent of mistreating POWs or hiding them from the Red Cross? Do you have no sense of morality at all, or are you just trolling, or what?

They have ceased to be a neutral organization . . .

You must use the same definition of "neutral" as Bird Dog.

. . . and your failure to see that doesn't speak highly of you.

Oh, Dearest Stanley, let me relieve you of a burden: I have never, ever, ever spent a single moment or lost a single second of sleep worrying about what you think of me. In fact, if your crappy moral sense allows you to believe that the whole cross/cresent/star thing a) negates all the humanitarian work the various RCs have done around the world, and b) is the same as POW mistreatment, then the worse you think of me, the better off I am.

You must use the same definition of "neutral" as Bird Dog.

A compliment to Bird Dog? Please explain how you hold IRC to be a neutral organization given - Red Cross officials insist, somewhat lamely, that neither the cross nor crescent is religious and propose to mollify the Israelis with a third, neutral symbol—perhaps a diamond.

This I've got to see!

hiding them from the Red Cross? Do you have no sense of morality at all, or are you just trolling, or what?

I think its you who are trolling or just can't put 2 and 2 together. The IRC not being a neutral organization has no business inspecting anything.

Uhm...

In fact, if your crappy moral sense allows you to believe that the whole cross/cresent/star thing a) negates all the humanitarian work the various RCs have done around the world, and b) is the same as POW mistreatment,

a) Strawman
b) Strawman

You going to quote me?

1) I have never, ever, ever spent a single moment or lost a single second of sleep worrying about what you think of me.

Ok.

2) then the worse you think of me, the better off I am.

Hmmm.. #2 somehow contradicts the #1. I thought I had no effect on your well being?

) Strawman
b) Strawman

You going to quote me?

Pardon my French, but merde de cheval. You were the one who specifically offered the cross/crescent/star dustup specifically to counter the suggestion that the ICRC is the new hate object of the right because of their position regarding POW treatment. It was your implication that refusing to accede to Israel's request to use the Star removed their moral and legal authority to decide whether signatory nations to the Geneva Conventions were adhering to those same Conventions. If you now want to suggest that that isn't the case, go right ahead. If you aren't prepared to deal with the logical sequlae of your statements, then I suggest you think a lot longer and a lot harder before you toss them out there.

Tell me which part of the following statement, which I consider a fair summation of your position, you disagree with:

"The ICRC, because it does not allow Israel to use a Red Star of David, no longer retains the authority to inspect prisoners of war nor to hold signatories to the Geneva Conventions to the terms of those Conventions."

(By the way, in its context and given its history, the cross in the Red Cross flag is not religious, it's merely the Swiss flag in inverse colors, reflecting Switzerland's historical neutrality and the organization's origin in Geneva. The mistake was in allowing Arab and Muslim nations to use the crescent, kowtowing to their [somewhat justifiable, given the Crusades] paranoia about the cross being a religious symbol in all contexts.)

The IRC not being a neutral organization has no business inspecting anything.

So what organization has the authority to hold signatories to the Geneva Conventions to the terms of those Conventions? And, again, how is the ICRC not neutral? Look away from the star issue for a moment, and look at what the organization does.

I thought I had no effect on your well being?

I said I don't waste time worrying about it. Your castigations, and your apparently monstrous sense of morality, serve as a signal to others.

I also suggest that you find another tool to supplement what is, apparently, the only one in your bag, the tu quoque fallacy. Not only is it a fallacy, it's boring, stupid and unproductive. It's also the direct cause of about 99% of the responses you get here. (You aren't the only one, either.)

You were the one who specifically offered the cross/crescent/star dustup specifically to counter the suggestion that the ICRC is the new hate object of the right because of their position regarding POW treatment.'

My point is rather simple. Given their treatment of the star of david and their lame defense of that treatment, they are no longer a neutral entity. Their lack of neutrality impedes on their ability to inspect things in a neutral way.

n its context and given its history, the cross in the Red Cross flag is not religious, it's merely the Swiss flag in inverse colors

I am aware of that, and on this point I'ld agree with you had they never made the crescent one of their official symbols.

And, again, how is the ICRC not neutral? Look away from the star issue for a moment, and look at what the organization does.

I don't have a problem with their humanitarian work, however, when they gave to go in, inspect, and then come out with a certain statement which could be potentially damaging - their lack of neutrality becomes an issue. Specially, when they have extended a certain consideration to Muslims that they refuse to extend to another religous group. Sounds like favoritism, no?

Specially, when they have extended a certain consideration to Muslims that they refuse to extend to another religous group.

"Israel" is not a religious group.

Do you have any evidence -- any, at all, a cite, a quote, anything, throw me a bone here -- which indicates that the ICRC's allowing the use of the Red Crescent has caused them to make judgements concerning non-Muslim nations' treatment of POWs, or concerning any other issue covered by the Conventions, that they would not otherwise have made.

Phil,

Are you claiming that they can keep not allowing the star of david from becoming one of the official symbols of the IRC, while they allowed the crescent and still remain neutral?

clarification request

does the Star of David represent as many people worldwide as the cross or crescent, and if not, as I suspect is the case, where would this request end? Wuld Hindus, Buddhists, Toaists, etc. etc. insist the IRC adopt a symbol of their choosing?

Personally, I think the IRC should choose one symbol and stick with it. Catering to various religions cuts across their mission.

Edward,

If they have never granted Muslims their request for the crescent, that would've been fine with me (and most others, I suspect). However, you can't just grant one request and then deny an equally valid one from another group.

And just to add more oil into the fire:

Israel, for example, is the only U.N. member nation that cannot sit on the Security Council. It is the only nation that belongs to no regional (geographical) grouping at the United Nations. Asia won't have it. Africa won't have it. Europe won't have it. So, Israel dwells alone.

Healy can't do anything about that. But she is trying to do something about the outrageous exclusion of Israel from the community of Red Cross federations. And she has met with the usual reaction: hostility and anger from a cozy club not accustomed to having its mendacity and cynicism challenged. Particularly upset was Cornelio Sommaruga, then president of the ICRC. In a private meeting after her speech, and in the presence of several witnesses, he said to Healy: "If we're going to have the Shield of David, why would we not have to accept the swastika?"

Neutral?

However, you can't just grant one request and then deny an equally valid one from another group.

In principle I agree, but I revert to my question of where that would end.

I agree with you that Israel bears a heavier burden in the world court of public opinion that is its due. I hope that will be changing now that Arafat is no longer there to fuel the flames of hatred. I equally hope the more rightwing elements within Israel do their part to bring a more lasting peace.

Hmm, can't speak for the whole world of conservatives, but when it comes to Israel, I find it far more disturbing that the IRC doesn't adequately self-police the use of its ambulances which have been getting used to move munitions and smuggle spies while simultaneously complaining that they are now not being given free hand to go wherever they want without inspections. You can't cling to the benefits of your historic neutrality if you don't enforce your currrent neutrality.

"I equally hope the more rightwing elements within Israel do their part to bring a more lasting peace."

They aren't really needed. Many times, even when the Palestinians have not made a clear signal that they want to avoid slaughtering Jews, the left and middle have been willing to talk. Anytime the Palestinians really want to abandon terrorism and get a state there are enough people in Israel who will negotiate with them to make what you call the right-wing irrelevant. The reason Sharon came to power was because Camp David was rejected and the intifada resumed in response to it.

Are you claiming that they can keep not allowing the star of david from becoming one of the official symbols of the IRC, while they allowed the crescent and still remain neutral?

I am claiming nothing. I am asking you to support your apparent claim -- and feel free, once again, to clarify that this is not your claim -- that the ICRC is making judgements concerning violations of the Conventions that it otherwise would not in the absence of the crescent/star controversy. Given your apparent willingness to fall back on tu quoque rather than provide such support, I'm going to assume you cannot.

They aren't really needed.

Is that to suggest they won't willingly try to help here?

I am claiming nothing. I am asking you to support your apparent claim

My claim is that the IRC is not neutral. If you want to accept statements made by a biased organization at face value... Well, that's your business.

My claim is that the IRC is not neutral. If you want to accept statements made by a biased organization at face value...

1. I see you do have an additional tool -- Begging the Question! Here's a hint: You cannot use your own statement that ICRC is biased to prove your claim that it is biased.

2. So, no support forthcoming, then?

We are going in circles. Once again:

In a nutshell: Israel wants to use a red Star of David as its symbol, but the Geneva Convention only recognizes the red cross and red crescent as protected symbols. As a result, the international federation only accepts societies that use the cross or crescent. Attempts to amend the convention to allow the Star of David have failed because of Arab objections. Not unreasonably, Israel objects to being forced to use the cross or crescent. Red Cross officials insist, somewhat lamely, that neither the cross nor crescent is religious and propose to mollify the Israelis with a third, neutral symbol—perhaps a diamond.

Do you find any bias in the above?

From Wiki
Israel then requested the addition of a Red Star of David, arguing that since Christian and Muslim symbols were recognized the corresponding Jewish symbol should be as well. This symbol is the one currently used by Magen David Adom, but it is not recognized under international humanitarian law. The Red Cross movement has rejected this Israeli request, reasoning that if Jews (or another group) were to be given another symbol, there would be no end to the number of religious or other groups claiming a symbol for themselves. That would detract from the original intention of the Red Cross symbol, which was to be a single symbol to mark vehicles and buildings protected on humanitarian grounds.

In response, the Red Cross movement is in the process of developing a new symbol, which will be without any religious connontations and also easily recognizable on the battlefield; As of 2004 the most likely candidate is a red lozenge or diamond on a white background. Once the Red Cross movement has adopted the symbol it will then be presented to the State Parties to the Geneva Conventions for amendment of the treaties. However, it will only complement and not replace the existing list of symbols.

However, it will only complement and not replace the existing list of symbols.

Heh.

Stan,

That's not good enough?

I mean, the red cross is not a Christian cross per se, you know. The typical Christian cross has a longer tail.

I can understand that it's close enough (and the cresent is clearly a Muslim symbol), but at a certain point one idea does need to take precedence here:

the original intention of the Red Cross symbol, which was to be a single symbol to mark vehicles and buildings protected on humanitarian grounds.

The more symbols there are, the more confusion there will be.

I know that there's an underlying anti-Semitism at play here, but isn't it better to push for one totally nonreligious symbol than push for the Star?

I mean, the red cross is not a Christian cross per se, you know.

But why was the Muslim request granted?

but isn't it better to push for one totally nonreligious symbol than push for the Star

If they pushed for 1 nonreligious symbol, I'ld have no problems with that. But they are pushing for:

1) A religous symbol - the crescent
2) A cross - I'll agree with you that its not all that religous, but I suspect you'ld have a hard time proving that to muslims.
3) A non religous symbol - perhaps a diamond?

So they are not pushing for 1 unifying symbol, but rather for a symbol #3.


You're not wrong in your assessment Stan. I just don't think your solution will work.

They should push for 1 unifying symbol...a shamrock perhaps...lucky and nonreligious...no wait, the whole Trinity thing...damn...how about a rainbow?

If you're not willing to provide some support -- one item, just one, I BEG of you -- which supports your contention that the ICRC is acting in a biased manner vis a vis its holding signatory nations to the provisions of the Geneva Conventions, I see no further need to engage with you.

Edward,

I'll have no beef if they revert back to the red cross only. That will never happen, though.

Phil,

You refusal to name things for what they are is quite telling. I'll try once again:

In a nutshell: Israel wants to use a red Star of David as its symbol, but the Geneva Convention only recognizes the red cross and red crescent as protected symbols. As a result, the international federation only accepts societies that use the cross or crescent. Attempts to amend the convention to allow the Star of David have failed because of Arab objections. Not unreasonably, Israel objects to being forced to use the cross or crescent. Red Cross officials insist, somewhat lamely, that neither the cross nor crescent is religious and propose to mollify the Israelis with a third, neutral symbol—perhaps a diamond.

Do you find any bias in the above?

Population bias?

It's silly to say that the Crescent isn't a religious symbol, but it's also silly to say that since the religious symbols of the two most populous world religions are enshrined, you have to let in a symbol for every religion. If the Star of David is included, how could you possibly argue against a Tilaka, a Darwin Fish, an Omkar, whatever crazy symbol North Korean Juche use, and so on? And once you have 15 symbols, doesn't that kind of defeat the purpose of having a recognizable non-combatant symbol?

A purple heart is fine with me. Maybe a purple heart. But no green clovers.

Whoops. . should be 'maybe a yellow moon'. I really do like the purple heart.

It's silly to say that the Crescent isn't a religious symbol, but it's also silly to say that since the religious symbols of the two most populous world religions are enshrined, you have to let in a symbol for every religion.

Why not?

Originally only the Red Cross (being the flag of Switzerland reversed) was to be used as a symbol of the Geneva conventions, but Muslim nations (primarily the Ottoman Empire, later Turkey) objected to this, and as a result an additional symbol (the Red Crescent) was to be provided for. Later Persia (now Iran) managed to have a red lion and sun (the lion and sun being the symbol of Persia) added to the list of available symbols; though the symbol no longer being used by Iran has fallen into disuse in favour of the Red Crescent, Iran has in the past reserved the right to take it up again at any time. source

Muslims were accommodate with a crescent. Even Persian muslims were accomodated with their own symbol, so your population theory goes out the window with that one.

Here's a fact:

The crescent is still used today while the last country to use the red lion and red sun was Iran in 1980.

Another fact - Magendavidadom has been denied admission to the Red Cross since 1949

No, the population theory is still strong. They just screwed it up for Persia.

"Why not?"

Because it defeats the purpose.

To summarize, here's my preferred solutions in order:
1) Something else
2) A cross and a crescent
3) A cross and a crescent and a star of david

I can support the order with some kind of logic, the principle being the fewer the better, and if you're going to pick religious symbols, go by population. You like 3 over 2, and maybe over everything. I don't get the logic.

Interesting side-note, the red cross comes via the Swiss flag, and the Swiss flag is descended from a war flag, which is why it is square -- not rectangular. It shares this features with only the flag of the Vatican.

Stan, you never responded to the comment about how to many symbols would be confusing. You feel that every group should have their own red-cross symbol? You see no problem in having many different symbols?

For what it is worth, I think having the diamond as a neutral symbol would make more sence and I think most of the people who do the work would agree. But things are the way they are, and instead of making the same mistake again it make sence to not add more symbols. You may notice that the persian moslims *stopped* using their lion and went for the crescent (a symbol picked up by the Turks to distinguish themselves from christians who used the cross IIRC) too.

The worlds third largest religion, hinduism, has no problem using the red cross symbol. If you feel that religions can choose their own symbol, does that mean that you would feel better if they chose their 'graphically strongest' symbol (aum is their number one, but quite complicated), the swastica, to represent their red cross organisations?

Why not get the whole controversy over with and simply paint a red bullseye on all those ambulances?

And your refusal, Stan, to provide any actual evidence for claiming that the ICRC is acting in a biased manner regarding its judgements concerning the actions of signatory nations under the Geneva Conventions, and instead keep dragging out the same quote about the Red Crescent, is telling as well. It tells me you don't really have an argument, and are trying to achieve something through irrelevant repetition after your first tu quoque ("Ah! The righteous IRC") blew up in your face.

"but it's also silly to say that since the religious symbols of the two most populous world religions are enshrined, you have to let in a symbol for every religion."

You don't think much of Hinduism?

Phil what is with the hypertechnical question? Do you know of cases where the ICRC is biased with respect to non signatory nations?

They don't police their neutrality well enough to protect their allegedly nuetral vehicles from being used to transport munitions and uninjured troops. That is enough for me.

They don't police their neutrality well enough to protect their allegedly nuetral vehicles from being used to transport munitions and uninjured troops. That is enough for me.

And that's the argument for excusing the IDF for firing on any vehicle bearing a red crescent on the grounds that it may be only "allegedly neutral". *sigh*

Obviously, a vehicle bearing a red cross/red crescent is neutral and it's wrong to use it to carry munitions (or uninjured troops, though there may be some wiggle factor there - how "uninjured" does a soldier have to be before the ambulance can't carry him or her?)

Obviously, a vehicle bearing a red cross/red crescent ought to be deemed neutral until proven otherwise, and it's wrong for soldiers to fire on such a vehicle unless that particular vehicle is being used for a non-neutral purpose at the time it is being fired on.

In another thread, I believe it was Stan who claimed that "one-sided condemnation" was all the proof he needed that the person supported the behavior s/he was not condemning.

Obviously, a vehicle bearing a red cross/red crescent ought to be deemed neutral until proven otherwise, and it's wrong for soldiers to fire on such a vehicle unless that particular vehicle is being used for a non-neutral purpose at the time it is being fired on.

Completely wrong. That would be the standard if they were policing themselves well and there were only one or two instances of treacherous use in the whole history of the organization. In reality there are reports of such uses at least once a month. By failing to police their neutrality and allowing themselves to be used to attack others, they lose the benefits of their alleged neutrality.

Sebastian: n reality there are reports of such uses at least once a month.

In whose reality? Can you actually document this? (Note: reports of IDF or US soldiers firing on IRC vehicles and subsequently claiming that the vehicles were non-neutral will not be considered "documentation".)

"You don't think much of Hinduism?"

Where did my opinion of any particular religion come up? I said less is better. 2 is better than 3, both of which are better than 12.

Jesurgislac, if you can't be bothered to follow the news, I can't be bothered to help you--especially when you eliminate the IDF and the US military as sources. Who is going to be reporting it then? The Muslim militants who hide in the ambulances? The Red Cross which likes to pretend it couldn't ever happen? Whatever. I'll chalk it up to, "can't be bothered to inform herself about the world". Try Nexis or Google.

Sebastian: if you can't be bothered to follow the news, I can't be bothered to help you

Woo. Thanks. I guess that's an unanswerable followup to any request for a citation to prove your facts: just respond that the person who asked should be following the same news sources you are and interpreting them the same way.

especially when you eliminate the IDF and the US military as sources

Ah. I take it that means your sources claiming that the IRC vehicles are "regularly" used for non-neutral purposes are always the soldiers who fired upon those allegedly non-neutral vehicles. Do you always take an alleged criminal's word for it that he's innocent?

Jes,

"Do you always take an alleged criminal's word for it that he's innocent?"

Do you always take the side of people who commit terrorist acts that they aren't terrorist?

Just wondering?

Look. I can't reconstruct three years of two hours per day of reading news sources for you. It isn't possible. You can believe that I'm making it up if you want. You can do research of your own if you want. This particular issue isn't important enough to me to redo the research just to satisfy a person whom I know from experience is not likely to be satisfied by cites to news sources. You have google capability. I would suggest playing around with search terms including 'ambulance' 'misuse' 'terrorist' and such. You will find thousands of links and you can evaluate them all you want. I'm in the middle of doing more research about Social Security, an issue I care more about than the fact that the Red Cross isn't good at policing its own neutrality in the Middle East. You are the same person who thinks that I'm not taking the problem of the administration of means testing seriously enough when I was willing for the sake of argument to give you the entire budget of the IRS. You can't be satisfied, so I am not going to bother.

Dutch,

For what it is worth, I think having the diamond as a neutral symbol would make more sence and I think most of the people who do the work would agree.

Fine let's just switch to one neutral symbol.

You may notice that the persian moslims *stopped* using their lion and went for the crescent (a symbol picked up by the Turks to distinguish themselves from christians who used the cross IIRC) too.

Iran did not stop using their lion in 1980 because they were asked to do so, or because they wanted to make IRC's life easier. I suspect it has something do with the Islamic revolution, but they reserve the right to revert to the red lion and sun symbol in the future, so I am not sure what your point is.

Phil,

And your refusal, Stan, to provide any actual evidence for claiming that the ICRC is acting in a biased manner regarding its judgements concerning...

This is ridiculous. I've already shown the IRC not to be neutral. They have tarnished their image and I don't have to go through each and every of their statement to know that their credibility is diminished.

Your refusal to answer a simple question is very, very, very telling.

so I am not sure what your point is My point was that less was better. Are you going to answer the question in my post too?

dutch,

If you feel that religions can choose their own symbol, does that mean that you would feel better if they chose their 'graphically strongest' symbol (aum is their number one, but quite complicated), the swastica, to represent their red cross organisations?

What's so complicated about om? It's not as if the symbols are drawn on the ambulances by hand. See here.

What's so complicated about om? It's not as if the symbols are drawn on the ambulances by hand.

I am no graphical designer, but a strong graphical symbol should be simpel, preferrably enclosed, symmetrical is an advantage, and should preferrably consist of only one item.

With a help sign like this it should be easily recognizable from a distance and in this case also easily applied on a variety of material (emergency hospitals, identification bands for helpers, etc.)

Which answers your question. Will you answer mine now?

I am not the person who has refused to answer questions, Stan. You're confusing me with you. I have asked you the same question four times, and each time, you've refused to answer it. Telling, indeed.

Phil,

I have asked you the same question four times, and each time, you've refused to answer it.

I already answered it. IRC has tarnished its image and I do not consider it to be neutral. It's like this. Michael Jackson has never been convicted of molesting children, but I wouldn't let him watch my kids.

dutch,

The worlds third largest religion, hinduism, has no problem using the red cross symbol. If you feel that religions can choose their own symbol, does that mean that you would feel better if they chose their 'graphically strongest' symbol (aum is their number one, but quite complicated), the swastica, to represent their red cross organisations?

I don't know much about Hinduism, but I'ld imagine that their connection with the swastika is centuries if not thousands of years old, hence it doesn't matter what my feelings are.


I don't know much about Hinduism, but I'ld imagine that their connection with the swastika is centuries if not thousands of years old, hence it doesn't matter what my feelings are.

The question was wether you would think it an improvement for the IRC if they used the swastika, not about what your feelings were about *them* using the swastika in general.

The question was wether you would think it an improvement for the IRC if they used the swastika

What do you mean by "an improvement"? If the Hindus asked to use the swastika as their symbol, then I believe it would be a valid request.


Dear Sir,


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We are registered with the Social Service Department of the Government of Sri Lanka.

The joy of Christmas was celebrated on the 25 of December 2004 and the nation of both the Christians and the non Christians slumbered with dreams of hope and tranquility and peace and harmony expecting the dawn of the following day with the same Christmas cheer. December 26th dawned as any other date till the clock moved to the hour 09.25.It appeared that the hour of the wrath of the Devil had surpassed all laws of nature. As most people who lived in the coast, being fishermen thought of the ocean as their fertile grounds of lively hood. They knew every inch of it. They knew when it was calm. They knew when it would be rough. They knew when it would give them a rich harvest. They knew when it would be lean.

Alas! Was the much loved ocean possessed. The waves rose to a height of about 40 feet and demonized ocean raged gushing columns and columns of water on to the land at speed of about 600 miles per hour, causing death and destruction. Trees were uprooted, houses destroyed, all lives whether human or animal snuffed out. In the twinkling of an eye the water started to recede carrying its victims back to the depths of the ocean. On its reverse journey the entire ocean waters receded to many kilometers and the water- less seabed was visible to great distance. Within a few minutes the same water gushed back again leaving in the mid ocean all that it carried, to take its toll a second time. All that left behind on the coast line of the once resplendent Isle were dead bodies of all ages, fallen trees, broken roads and bridges, damaged houses over turned vehicle and even a train carrying more than 1500 people reduced to match sticks. The people that survived had lost all their possessions except the garments they were wearing.

By 06.00 hours of the 04th. 43,500 dead bodies have been recovered of whom many have been interned in mass graves even without being identified, probably because there remains none to identify for not only the entire families but also their friends have all been victims.

The second phase of the tragedy is now raising its ugly head by way of diseases Epidemics which are certain out come. Shortage of food is serious. Children and nursing mothers need nourishment. Many hundreds of people are presently living if places of religious worship school buildings and other community buildings where toilet facilities available are not mint for such emergencies hence grossly inadequate to cope a situation of this magnitude.

Since all equipment used by the people to carry out their professions such as boats and fishing tackle of the coastal fishermen, the buildings and all and sundry of the village shop keepers, The one car taxi or one bus owner of his vehicle the machinery of the village smith has been destroyed and they need to be rehabilitated.

The magnitude of the disaster is too great for the Government alone to handle. Many NGOs and religious institutions have put their shoulder to the wheel. We are working in coordination with the Government of Sri Lanka.
We are concentrating on providing as far as possible a small house with a latrine [toilet]to a family and books and other requirements of the school children, and clothes mainly for women.

We will greatly appreciate financial contributions from charitable institutions to alleviate the suffering masses by making it possible to put up small houses and the latrines[toilets} Any funds may be credited to the NRFC a/c No1070006465 at the Commercial Bank, Sri Lanka.

We further solicit used women’s garments for distribution amongst the displaced.

We will be pleased if any of your representatives could find the time to visit us to see for him the magnitude of the disaster and the work we are involved in.

Reference,

1. High Commission of Canada.
PO Box 1006 6Gegory’s Rd, Colombo 07

2. High Commission of Australia
PO Box 7423 Cambridge Place Colombo 07

On completion of the project and audited statement of accounts will be forwarded to you.


Thank you,
Shantha Wimalasiri Gunawardena (JP)
President & Managing Director.
ALL SRI LANKA JANASETHA SAHANA FOUNDATION

No.194/1 B Sapugaskanda Rd, Makola
South Makola. Sri Lanka.
Tel. 94-01-2962126, 94-01-2963843
94-01-2962800,
Fax 94-01-2962411
E-mail [email protected]
Web www.janasetha.org

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