Tuesday, February 12, 2002
Idiot of the Day
Today's award goes to CNN founder and resident liberal Ted Turner. At a speech at Brown University, the man who's previously called Christians "wackos," enlightened the world with his take on the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
"The reason that the World Trade Center got hit is because there are a lot of people living in abject poverty out there who don't have any hope for a better life," he said.
He said the attacks were an act of desperation, and that Americans lack an understanding of a willingness to die for one's country.
Turner may lack an understanding of a willingness to die for one's country, but most Americans don't. Ask the family of Johnny Spann. Ask any Vietnam, Korean, or WWII veteran if they understand, Ted. They do, you don't.
Contrast Ted's assessment of the moral state of the poor with that of the United States' ambassador to the U.N., John Negroponte in a speech to the Heritage Foundation.
"We sometimes read that terrorism is bred in poverty, that poverty is its root cause and conveyor belt, and that the best palliative would be substantial transfers of money from the developed to the developing world," he said in a speech before the conservative Heritage Foundation. "I would think we should be wary of this argument."
While Negroponte said that though there are a multitude of compelling reasons to assist the developing world in "maximizing its economic potential," he also noted that the al Qaida terrorist group was far from poverty-stricken.
He pointed out that it was well funded and maximized some of the benefits of the developed world, including modern airlines, hotels and communications networks. The group did not spring forth from, but rather worked to the detriment of, its economically underdeveloped host nation, Afghanistan.
"People do not suddenly loose their moral compass because they are poor, and terrorism does not represent or benefit the poor," he said. "One look at what terrorism did to Afghanistan's people and economy demonstrates exactly what might be called the terrorist's ethic of social and economic justice."
Power and money are much the same. The old axiom, "power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely." Likewise, great wealth, more often than not, saps the soul of its moral compass. All things considered, I think that poor people are more moral than the wealthy. Ted Turner and Osama bin Laden have done nothing to prove me wrong.