Adults don’t take too kindly to receiving a slap on the wrists from their fellow adults. But that’s what Oxfam has just done to all Americans, as well as to the French, the Russians and New Zealanders. Oxfam has claimed that they haven’t given their ‘fair share’ to help with the refugees both within and outside Syria.
It’s hard to tell, most of the time, whether Oxfam is talking about state aid or public charity because it often talks about both at the same time. In fact, when the state funds or aids a country, it’s actually the people who are funding or aiding that country.
Oxfam gets more specific about Americans. It tells them that they have given less than two-thirds of what they should. Kuwait, on the other hand, has been the most generous donor by giving more than four-and-a-half times its ‘fair share’. Well, the fact that Kuwait is a Sunni Muslim state which wants the Islamists and jihadists to defeat the Alawite (Shia) Assad regime may have something to do with this. It’s also an oil-rich country. In addition, there's the unpalatable - but true - fact that Muslims, on the whole, only give aid or charity to fellow Muslims (or, in this case, only to fellow Sunni Muslims).
Oxfam has even castigated little ol' New Zealand. It said that New Zealanders – or the state? - have committed only 1% of what it should. What it should? What the hell does that mean? I didn’t know that Oxfam was the moral guardian of the British, let alone of New Zealanders. However, Oxfam does make a good point when it says that although Qatar (a Sunni Muslim state) and Russia have given only 3% in aid, that hasn’t stopped them from arming both sides. (Qatar, being a Sunni Muslim country, arms the Islamists and militants and Russia arms Alawite Assad.) Clearly, Qatar has gone for the arming option rather than that of aid or charity; although, it should be added, it’s often hard to tell the difference when it comes to Muslim/Islamic 'aid' or ‘charity’.
The British, on the other hand, are doing very well when it comes to aiding the Syrians. Or at least the British state has done well so far – not necessarily the British people. The British Prime Minister himself, David Cameron, has been the main man behind Britain’s spending spree of £400m for Syria as well as for its neighbouring states.
I’m not against charity; but it is essentially a private thing. You can’t be ordered - by the state or by Oxfam - to give to charity. If you are ordered, then it is no longer, in a manner of speaking, charity that you’re giving. It becomes a tax; even if not a legal, or formal, tax. In fact it becomes a guilt-driven moral tax. (Perhaps guilt is sometimes a good thing if that’s what it takes to get the cash.) You see, most people don’t mind being asked to give to charity. Many don’t even mind being badgered to do so. It’s just the pointing of the moral finger that people don’t like.
Nonetheless, I don’t fully accept the dictum that ‘charity begins at home’ either because it often ends up in the unspoken ‘... and that's where it ends’. Still, when ‘do-gooders’ reprimand people for not giving their 'fair share', many will start to think in terms of ‘charity begins at home’. This makes their moral posturing about giving more to the Syrian refugees - and others - counterproductive. When people feel they are being told to give more, many may end up giving less or even giving nothing. We must leave it to the market when it comes to charity. After all, it’s been repeatedly shown than when the British – and American? - people are left to their own devices, they can - and often do - give very generously. And yes, even to foreign causes.
Apart from all that: how, exactly, is our fair share calculated? According to Oxfam, it’s decided simply by comparing UK and US levels to the levels of other countries. More specifically, Oxfam thinks that the better off a country is, the more it should dig into its pockets. The charitable organisation has therefore scolded the US for not giving more. In addition, out of the list of four countries who are giving sufficient money, three of them are Sunni Muslim states: Kuwait, Qatar and Saudi Arabia. All three, but especially Saudi Arabia, have a keen interest in seeing that the Sunni militants and Islamists win the civil war against Assad. Not only that. The type of groups and individuals they want to win - and if they do win - will make Assad’s regime seem like one full of Quakers. (This is a result both Cameron and Obama are trying their very hardest to bring about.) And Sweden may be giving its fair share because it's the most PC state on the planet – alongside Norway - and has very many Sunni immigrants to contend with. Not only that, it has just opened its doors to an unrestricted influx of Syria refugees and immigrants – all of whom will be given permanent residency. (How will they know the difference between refugees and immigrants?) However, this prospect of yet more mass immigration is all the better for the Leftists and Left-Liberals who run Sweden (as well as Norway) to wipe out their indigenous 'right-wing' population. This is all part of the massive social experiment (of Stalinist proportions) in changing the political and demographic face of their own country. Why not? This is exactly what the British Labour Party did between, roughly, the years 2000 and 2009.
Oxfam also appears to have completely disregarded the possibility that Americans, as well as the British, are not giving more money for specific non-financial reasons. One: they may be afraid that their money will end up in the pockets of Syrian Islamists and militants. (This has already happened. And, incidentally, many Muslim ‘charities’ actually collect not for the poor, but for Islamic fighters and even for outright terrorists.) Two: it may be wasted on bureaucracy or in other ways. Three: they may not feel that sorry for all the victims (save the children) of this civil war. (Many Sunni victims may be the victims of their own Islamist or militant fathers, sons and brothers; rather than of the Assad regime.)
So before the Americans and British put their hands in their pockets yet again, many of these questions need to be addressed. And pretty sharpish too.