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Helping out other countries

Tokis-Phoenix

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How much of a moral obligation do you think we should have to help out other countries? What country do you live in and are there other countries in the world that you wish your own country would help out more (or even stop helping)? Do you think we have a moral obligation to help out other countries, or do you take that stances that;
a. We should only help out other countries once we've sorted out our own countries main issues, or
b. We shouldn't help out other countries simply because their people are hard done by if its because of their government, or
c. We should only help out other countries if they welcome our help and show good gratitude for our help, or
d. We should only help out other countries if they sincerely welcome our own people in their country and try to make their people accept our kind, or open up more trade between our countries etc, or
e. We should only help out other countries if they change their government/ways of ruling so they can help out their own people more

etc?


There are so many countries in the world whose people live desperate lives of poverty and starvation. Take N.Korea for example- hundreds of thousands of people die from famine and starvation every year because of their corrupt government, however despite the large amounts of aid we send them every year, we get little real gratitude for it and their leaders continue to teach their people that we are their enemy or are inferior to them, while their leaders do little themselves to change their ways to make their own people's lives better etc.

Considering that we will probably never get real gratitude from n.Korea, be welcomed by their people, or have increased trade with n.Korea, or have much say/effect on how their government is run, are we really helping their people in the big picture of things by sending them aid and should we feel morally obliged to send them aid? Considering that little has changed in N.Korea for decades, by sending them aid are we only prolonging their suffering by caring for their people when their leaders should be? Will stopping aid to places N.Korea force their leaders to look after their people better and how much of our own countries budgets should we spend on countries like N.Korea when our own countries obviously have problems etc?
What are your opinions/views on matters like these?
 

Haruspex

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In my opinion it depends on the state of a country. It seems morally right to send foodstuff to the people of a starving country, but there's no reason to send provisions to a developing country, as it will make little difference, they're not threatened anyways, it only serves their comfort. This is just an example.
 

MadamePapillon

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I say only intervene either when you feel a moral obligation to, as in people starving to death or being shot in the streets and it would be criminal NOT to help them. Or when the people in these countries are having their human right either violated or completely taken away, such as government led censorship, unlawful imprisonment, no right to free speech, basically everything that leads to people being treated as animals.

I am getting frustrated with what I see in Africa, though. The common people there do need help, and lots of it, but as much food and money and medicine that has been given to the African people their governments, organized criminal groups and businessmen undo all the good work that has been done. Countries around the world have been sending aid to Africa for as long as I can remember and, as far as I can tell, there has been very very little progress. What do we or the African people have to show for millions (probably billions) of dollars worth of aid?
At what point does a country have to take responsibility for itself? All the aid in the world can't help a country that can't help itself.
 

hideway

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By principle, I'm against any kind of charity either inside mine or other country. I see charity only as a break to the so needed change.

It is true that on some countries (I did live on Angola) the government is nothing but a bunch of cold hearth thiefs (I remember one time the Angolan First lady went shopping to Brazil and spent 10 times the annual national budget) and I do feel sorry for the population, but that's it. By sending money and food, you are basically saying to them that they do not need to work harder to get what they need and you indirectly produce a leecher.

I open some exceptions to my opposition to aid though, such as catastrophes, war and other exceptional situations that prevent people from sustaining themselves. Aid in terms of literacy and mentality change is also great actually, although most people overlook this type of aid.
 

Tokis-Phoenix

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I am getting frustrated with what I see in Africa, though. The common people there do need help, and lots of it, but as much food and money and medicine that has been given to the African people their governments, organized criminal groups and businessmen undo all the good work that has been done. Countries around the world have been sending aid to Africa for as long as I can remember and, as far as I can tell, there has been very very little progress. What do we or the African people have to show for millions (probably billions) of dollars worth of aid?
At what point does a country have to take responsibility for itself? All the aid in the world can't help a country that can't help itself.


I think us sending aid to certain countries in Africa is largely a case of emotional blackmail. The African government know that we can't stand by and do nothing while they let their people starve, so they let their people starve knowing that we will always follow our hearts and send lots of aid to Africa.
Although it would be wrong to sit by and do nothing while people starve to death, i don't think we should help people purely because we feel emotionally blackmailed into sending aid to places in Africa. If Africa wants aid then it has to change its ways- we would be fools to simply chuck millions of pounds worth of aid every year for decades or centuries on end into the continent without actually changing anything significantly/meaningfully in it.
 

Sensuikan San

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(Edited by Sensuikansan) ...What do we or the African people have to show for millions (probably billions) of dollars worth of aid?...

You hit the nail on the head here, 窶卍ア窶堋ウ窶堙ア.

"We" ....get nothing. We're not supposed to. That's what giving is all about.

The African people seem to get:

Guns
Armoured personnel carriers.
Ammunition.
Luxury apartments and houses (frequently, offshore) for their 'leaders'.
Civil War
Suffering
More Suffering

... and more reasons such as the above to keep the "aid" flowing in.

Just an opinion. So sue me.

Regards,

ニ淡ニ停?。ニ停?
 

Tokis-Phoenix

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I think in the case of natural disasters striking impoverished countries, its morally correct to send such countries aid.
But to countries which are suffering from no natural disasters and whose people are starving simply because of their countries political issues and corruption, aid should only be sent if such countries agree to certain terms (for example like reducing their population by educating people better about sex and making good contraception more readily available etc).
 

Mavrek

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We should only help out other countries if they welcome our help and show good gratitude for our help
 

Mitsuo

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Well, I believe intervention should be done in cases of genocide and famine. We send food and money to parts of Africa that need it. However, their leaders are the ones that receive it and use it to control the people there. In the case of a natural disaster, I believe that abled countries should offer help and stand by until that country wants it. Because perhaps they don't want to feel obliged to other countries. I also don't think any country should intervene just so they can pat themselves on the back.
 

disgruntled

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Help ?

Considering that most of the countries that need help are in that position because of outside interference , YES , there is an obligation to help . Take Korea for example , due to the divisive Korean war we now have 2 Korea's . One is prosperous ( it did what big daddy said it should ) and the other lays in ruin .
If you need further proof , look at the African continent . Raped of it's mineral wealth , it's people enslaved and exported like commodities and the culture and customs banned and decried by western religion ( so called Christianity ) . Then after the colonialists had taken most of what the country had to offer they , in an act of generosity , gave the country Independence ( but without infrastructure or workable constitutions ) , then left them to rot for decades . Now it's no longer humanitarian to let people die from famine , genocide , illness or civil war , so here comes the international community ( the exact same ones that caused all the problems in the first place ) to the rescue . Instead of treating the cause of the problems ( tribal conflicts , extreme poverty , human rights abuses ) they throw money at the powers that be in these countries ( obstensively to aid the needy ) who then increase their military power ( and line their individual pockets ) so as to hold on to their place of government . Of course , it must be remembered that most of these countries have no natural energy deposits ( Oil or Natural Gas ) and are thus not considered strategic with the exceptions of countries like Ghana , Nigeria and Angola , whom are now not only receiving international aid but are being held accountable for how the aid is used .
Again to answer the question . "YES" the developed world community has an obligation to help . That help should be , improve the conditions on the ground ( look after the people before you look at the politicians ) , remove the corrupt governments ( by any means necessary , afterall, it was done in Iraq ) . Return the countries to their former colonial rulers and let them do it all over again ( hopefully they'll get it right this time round ) , after all they are the ones that benefited in the past , now let them pay for those benefits . In Africa , France , Germany , United Kingdom and Belgium have a responsibility to right their wrongs . In South America it's the Portuguese , Spanish and North Americans that are obliged . As for the Middle East , and parts of Asia it is the whole Western Civilization ( so called democratic countries ) that have to do the right thing . Last but by no means least , Japan owes most of Asia more than just help , they owe a sincere apology ( not just lip service on one hand and then immediately after that denial on the other hand ) .
Now that is what would happen in an ideal world , BUT ALAS WE DO NOT LIVE IN AND IDEAL WORLD !!!!
 

Tokis-Phoenix

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Considering that most of the countries that need help are in that position because of outside interference , YES , there is an obligation to help . Take Korea for example , due to the divisive Korean war we now have 2 Korea's . One is prosperous ( it did what big daddy said it should ) and the other lays in ruin .
If you need further proof , look at the African continent . Raped of it's mineral wealth , it's people enslaved and exported like commodities and the culture and customs banned and decried by western religion ( so called Christianity ) . Then after the colonialists had taken most of what the country had to offer they , in an act of generosity , gave the country Independence ( but without infrastructure or workable constitutions ) , then left them to rot for decades . Now it's no longer humanitarian to let people die from famine , genocide , illness or civil war , so here comes the international community ( the exact same ones that caused all the problems in the first place ) to the rescue .


So what do you have to say on a country like Zimbabwe then? It used to be under our rule, but then Mugabe came along and using his propaganda he convinced the black people of Zimbabwe that we had stolen their country and wealth. The black people of Zimbabwe then joined Mugabe's side and brutally threw the white people out of the country (who were ordinary people and had done nothing wrong- they were just farmers, shop keepers, postmen etc) with no warning. These white people had their property illegally taken from them and given to Mugabe's loyal supporters.
Thing is though, things went to sh*t once the black people of Zimbabwe threw us out of the country- (although crazy to imagine now) Zimbabwe used to be known as the "bread basket of Africa" (it actually used to send aid to other places in Africa) when it whites were welcome in the country. Now, to imagine it been called the same in these days is crazy, Mugabe has turned the country into a dump- its economy is in tatters, corruption is at an all-time high, people have little rights over anything, unemployment and lack of food are major problems, violence and crime is through the roof and people are fearful of saying anything negative towards Mugabe incase he sends his thugs to beat up and rape their families etc.

Mugabe took advantage of ancient prejudices the black people of Zimbabwe had against their less native white neighbors- they saw the wealth and prosperity of their white neighbors ad decided that they wanted it and it was theirs by right; (dare i say it) people were greedy. They didn't know or understand how to run their own economy without the help of us whites, and guess what, when they viciously and brutally chased out the white farmers off their land etc, there was no one to run the farms properly and people started to starve etc.
Faced with this new poverty though, what does Mugabe do? Of course he blames it on the whites, its a conspiracy of course, and despite the obvious connection between "get rid of whites= get rid of good economy" etc, the people fell for his propaganda.

Thing is though now things haven't gotten better at any point under Mugabe's reign. And now more and more people are beginning to realize that they voted a monster rather than a saint into power, they can no longer stand up to him- his power is too firmly rooted into Zimbabwe society, he controls everything now and he no longer needs the total populations support to do what he wants.
And people are suffering very badly under Mugabe's reign now (and have been for a long time), everything is bad in their society. Instead of being the country that once sent aid to other places in Africa, its people now beg for aid itself from other places in Africa.

Zimbabwe's people are calling for outside help, they don't want Mugabe anymore, but they live in total fear under his regime and are terrified to rebel against him.
But to be honest i think we should not help out Zimbabwe- the black people of Zimbabwe kicked us whites off their land because they were greedy/needy for what we had, and because of this i don't think we should help them out of the mess they created by getting rid of us. Why should we help them when they treated us so badly throughout Mugabe's regime?

That help should be , improve the conditions on the ground ( look after the people before you look at the politicians ) , remove the corrupt governments ( by any means necessary , afterall, it was done in Iraq ) . Return the countries to their former colonial rulers and let them do it all over again ( hopefully they'll get it right this time round ) , after all they are the ones that benefited in the past , now let them pay for those benefits .


Iraq was not invaded because the American's wanted to free the people of Iraq from Saddam, it was invaded for its oil and other raw material wealth, Bush played upon/took advantage of people's pain and anger over the 9/11 attacks and used dodgey intelligence (WMD's) to convince people that Saddam was intent on harming them.
America has failed in every aspect of the war apart from killing Saddam, however the killing of Saddam is hardly something to be proud of when the American's have caused more harm to the country as a whole than what Saddam ever did under his regime. The country has become a violent hell whole and spun out of control under American rule, extreme violent religious groups now control the country and the general population live under more uncertainty and fear than ever.

Quite simply, we cannot afford anymore wars now. America has spent hundreds of TRILLIONS on the war in Iraq, if we invaded anymore countries for whatever reasons, we would be bankrupted (especially with the British and American economies in such poor state right now, including many of our other allies economies doing poorly too).

War doesn't solve these sorts of problems in the world- Iraq is a good example of this, its more impoverished than ever. What many of the American's fail to realize, is that while Democracy is of course a fantastic thing, it does not work in countries where there are powerful and intolerant religious divides between the people. If you introduce democracy to such a country, the first thing that happens is that one of the religious groups will force the people to vote them into power, and then annihilate or persecute the other the other religious group etc. While Dictatorship isn't that ideal, and i'm not saying Saddam was a saint by any means, you need a good dictator to rule countries like Iraq with a heavy hand if such countries are to pull themselves together in a productive direction for their economy and prosperity of their overall population etc.
The American's failed to realize this and did not respect nor understand the cultural and religious problems that countries like Iraq have always had, and this is why the "war on terror" is failing and dragging on and on, costing more and more, etc.

Japan owes most of Asia more than just help , they owe a sincere apology ( not just lip service on one hand and then immediately after that denial on the other hand ) .

Are you referring to the Nanking Massacre or something when you talk of Japan owing apologies to the "most of Asia"?
 

disgruntled

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Thank You !!!

Toxis, Thank you . You unwittingly confirmed exactly what I was saying . Case in point , Zimbabwe " The Bread Basket of Southern Africa " , now with inflation running at around 150000% ( that is correct ,one hundred and fifty thousand percent ) . Unemployment at +- 87% , 90% of the population living below the bread line ( the only people eating regularly are the ZANU PF thugs ). 29 years of dictatorship , sponsored by the United Nations , sanctioned by the United Nations , condoned for 20 years by the international community and all done in the name of democracy . If you look at my profile you'll see that perhaps I have a better insight of the problems being experienced in Africa than most other people in these forums .
The reason that Zimbabwe is now in dire straights is because of the insistence of the international community to give another African country Western Democracy without understanding tribalism . This occurred after the experience of the Mau Mau in Kenya (late 60's early 70's), the fall of the Congo ( 60's) and the ethnic cleansing that happened in most African countries following their independence . I again say , make Zimbabwe a United Kingdom protectorate and let the U.K clean up the mess it made in the late 60's/early 70's . As for Robert Mugabe , he should be removed from power by any means possible , after all Sadam Hussein was forcibly removed ( Yes , because of Iraq's Oil reserves ) , but on the pretext of atrocities committed against his people and his threat to the West ( tell me that Mugabe is not a threat to regional stability ). So , make all the ex colonial rulers take back what they once prized so much , let them sort out the problems , restore stability (at their own cost rather than at the cost of the international community ) and after the dust settles , then perhaps allow the country and the people determine their own destiny ( and not according to foreign values or lines drawn on a map that ignore tribal history .
As for Japan . I know you are going to say that Japan has already ( many times ) apologised for the Nanjing massacre . That is not the only point of contention in Asia regarding Japans behavior to her neighbors . One just has to think of the comfort women from Korea or the concentration camps in then Malaya , looking closer to Japanese shores consider what happened in the Ryukyu Islands ( now know as Okinawa ) , that was almost swept under the table but fortunately the people of Okinawa (now Japanese) stopped it from being expunged from the history books . Apologies are meaningless when followed by the word " but " .
Humanitarian aid should be for the benefit of the people that need it and not for the profits that the corporate world can gain from it . Before everybody jumps on that one please consider " Aliburton " or China's building football stadiums in Zambia so that they have access to the copper fields in that country ( no football stadium has ever put food in the mouth of a hungry baby ).
 

justin

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I stand by the saying of 'clean-up your backyard before telling you neighbor what to do about his.' Take care of your own and then send aide to others.
 
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This is a real great thread!

I believe in helping children to school. A good education is the best weapon one can give the future generations all over the world.
I also believe that individual help is better than rich countries helping poor countries.

I chose Indonesian children, I help at this moment 9 of them to the basisschools and to the highschools. I believe in giving children of real poor parents a chance to improve their lives, as they deserve it.

If each of us could help two African children to school, we are then really helping the poor in Africa to a better future.
 

epigene

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I used to support a boy in Nicaragua in his schooling under a Foster Parent program until he reached age 18.
I also did some volunteer translation (for correspondence between Japanese foster parents and their foster children) but had to give up because I didn't have enough time for it.

I plan to sponsor again when I reach semi-retirement (which is coming soon!). 😌
 

Tokis-Phoenix

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The reason that Zimbabwe is now in dire straights is because of the insistence of the international community to give another African country Western Democracy without understanding tribalism . This occurred after the experience of the Mau Mau in Kenya (late 60's early 70's), the fall of the Congo ( 60's) and the ethnic cleansing that happened in most African countries following their independence . I again say , make Zimbabwe a United Kingdom protectorate and let the U.K clean up the mess it made in the late 60's/early 70's .


We didn't entirely insist on Zimbabwe having democracy, the Zimbabwe people wanted it themselves as well- they wanted western society and all the perks that came with it, so we are not completely to blame on this. And at the end of the day, we did not want Mugabe in power (he was the choice of the black people of Zimbabwe), its hardly like we choose him, so IMHO we shouldn't have to take responsibility for his mess.
The black people of Zimbabwe are intelligent enough, they wanted responsibility and so took it from our hands- at the end of the day, everything they had got is something they initially fought for. To say that we are responsible for Zimbabwe's problems is to imply that the people of Zimbabwe are incapable of holding responsibility over their actions- this is not the case. If they did not understand what they were doing, then it is not our fault, since it was them who fought for what they had.

As for Robert Mugabe , he should be removed from power by any means possible , after all Sadam Hussein was forcibly removed ( Yes , because of Iraq's Oil reserves ) , but on the pretext of atrocities committed against his people and his threat to the West ( tell me that Mugabe is not a threat to regional stability ).
So , make all the ex colonial rulers take back what they once prized so much , let them sort out the problems , restore stability (at their own cost rather than at the cost of the international community ) and after the dust settles , then perhaps allow the country and the people determine their own destiny ( and not according to foreign values or lines drawn on a map that ignore tribal history .


As much as Mugabe is an evil man, removing him from power will not solve the problems he has created. Despite the fact that many people in Zimbabwe now obviously do not want him, there are just as many people that do have reason to want him, and such pro-Mugabe people tend to be the most influential and powerful members of Zimbabwe society.
Unless you remove every single one of his supporters, you cannot solve the problems he has created in Zimbabwe society. Removing Saddam from Iraq did not mean that anything improved in Iraqi society, on the contrary, removing him and introducing democracy meant that;
a. There was no leader for a long time to help the people cooperate with the west, which meant;
b. There was no strong native leader to control the religious groups, which caused;
c. Religious groups soon took control of the power vacuums/gaps which arose with the defeat of Saddam,
d. People took sides, willingly or not- this creates civil war and turmoil, which has a negative effect on the economy and society as a whole,
e. People started to despise their Western invaders, meaning that;
f. We have even less power in the country now than what we had at the start of the war- things are worsening rather than improving, regardless of what we do; our very presence in the country stirs hate and anger.

Etc etc etc.
Now if the west forcibly removed Mugabe, how could you guarantee that the country wouldn't turn into another Iraq?

We can't remove democracy from a country once we've introduced it. But ironically, democracy is the source of many of Iraq's problems. Considering that as long as we have power in Iraq, democracy is there to stay, the only possible way things can improve in Iraq is if the people vote in a religiously neutral and sincere politician into power who can take country of the countries problems. But because of problems like the powerful religious turmoil that Iraq suffers, the chances of that happening is very slim/unlikely.
So IMHO, there you have it- realistically, at least viewing the situation as it is in the present, Iraq's problems have only the slightest hope of getting better in the future. In current reality, chances are things are not going to get better for the people in Iraq and it will continue to cost us money and the lives of our soldiers for decades.

If the west tried to forcibly remove Mugabe from power and try to establish western power of any sort, you would only be repeating another Iraq.


As for Japan . I know you are going to say that Japan has already ( many times ) apologised for the Nanjing massacre . That is not the only point of contention in Asia regarding Japans behavior to her neighbors . One just has to think of the comfort women from Korea or the concentration camps in then Malaya , looking closer to Japanese shores consider what happened in the Ryukyu Islands ( now know as Okinawa ) , that was almost swept under the table but fortunately the people of Okinawa (now Japanese) stopped it from being expunged from the history books . Apologies are meaningless when followed by the word " but " .


I myself do not entirely understand Japan's logic in refusing to officially apologize a bit more for what it did in the war, however, the way i see things is that all sides committed great acts of evil against on another during the WW2 years (including us Brits and American's), so i do not hold anything particularly personal against the Japanese in particular. Japan is not the only country involved during those years or similar times that in modern times has expunged the dirtier parts of its history from its school text books etc.
So basically i think we all need to be a bit more humble and apologetic towards one another concerning those wartime years.

However, i do in part see countries like China encouraging anger against countries like Japan for those years, so it can divert its people's attention from modern and happening problems in Chinese society. This i think is something that many countries in Asia are guilty of doing.

Humanitarian aid should be for the benefit of the people that need it and not for the profits that the corporate world can gain from it . Before everybody jumps on that one please consider " Aliburton " or China's building football stadiums in Zambia so that they have access to the copper fields in that country ( no football stadium has ever put food in the mouth of a hungry baby ).


This is the tricky part. Of course aid and charity should be for the benefit of unfortunate people in other countries, however if the point of aid/charity is to help solve the problem its been given for, then i don't this aid/charity in this case always helps- in fact i believe that it can sometimes only prolong the problem or even make it worse.

I admire people who send their money and/or stuff to help others less fortunate than them, however i think its important to realize/consider that such charitable actions do not always do much to help the problem that caused the victims etc.
An example of this happening in one way is with a particular fish. There is a beautiful tropical fish called the Betta (Siamese Fighting Fish) and it is sold in most pet shops. However this fish is very hardy and cheap, and because of this pet shops often keep them in appalling conditions, like keeping it in cups half-filled with water. This caused the fish to suffer, however because it can often survive such conditions people do little to improve things (because its more profitable keeping them the way they are). More ethically-conscious people try and save these fish from pet shops by buying them and taking them home and looking after them well- on a fish forum i am a member of, people often tell of their stories of doing this, recounting the horrors they saved the Betta from. However what they fail to realize, is that by saving one fish by buying it, they are only paying for 5 more Betta's to go in its place- as long as pet shops can sell these fish in the conditions they keep them in, they won't stop keeping them in such conditions etc.
So one good-intended compassionate action can sometimes only make the cause of the problem become worse.
 

zakvillah81

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Africans all over

African leaders are real monsters, i am african and live in north of Ghana where proverty rate is hight. very little people this area get good drinking water,education,healthy food and medical attention.
Yet every blesser day our leaders get fund from the westen countries to take care of this matter. the people are not really getting this what they are supposed to be getting. Ghana is 51 years now and yet our elders says things where much better than even better then this our generation where where more facilities are there to save the life of the african people.
Our leaders only think about themslef and families, when they get international donation to take care of this issue only few things will be taken care and the rest of the monies goes to their pocket, this i see be very be on greatful and terrible.
i have been working with an NGO which two of us been ghana and one american student initiated, we help kids of school going age obtain basic education which the funds we get from others countries through the government will have cover, but yet they are not taken care of this issue.
The westners who actually give aids to our african leaders should find ways and means of getting this fund to the right hands that the people can really benefit from it.
 

Tokis-Phoenix

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Hi and welcome to the forum Zakvillah81 🙂

The westners who actually give aids to our african leaders should find ways and means of getting this fund to the right hands that the people can really benefit from it.


Yes thats a very true point, i agree, i think more needs to be done about ensuring that the aid we send ends up in the rights hands and is distributed to the people its intended for. But this can be very difficult- a lot about giving aid is very political, and if we refused to give the aid to the leaders of these countries, it would/could create mistrust (the leaders of such countries would argue why we don't think they are trustworthy enough to be given responsibility over the distribution of the aid we give them for their people, and this could create a lot of political issues between our countries) and other serious political issues concerning the relations/good will between our countries.
So there isn't really any easy way out of it- of course we want to send aid/charity, but on the other hand finding the right people to distribute it in its intended countries can be a very difficult matter and very political.
 
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