During nationally syndicated radio host Michael Savage's December 31 broadcast -- his first since the December 26 tsunami resulting from an earthquake in Southeast Asia -- Savage said that the tsumani was "not a tragedy" and that the United States should not be sending any aid to the affected countries because they are "hotbeds of radical Islam." Savage added: "We shouldn't be spending a nickel on this, as far as I'm concerned. ... I am sick of being bled to death by every damn incident on the earth."
Savage opened the program by saying that he needed some international aid because of rainy weather in San Francisco, the city from which he broadcasts his program. Savage also said that while he does not argue that "God struck" the people of Southeast Asia -- because he's "not a theologian" -- "[y]ou could argue, maybe this is God's hand, because some of their brethren struck Christian America."
From the December 31 edition of Savage Nation:
SAVAGE: It is the Savage Nation out here on the West Coast. We've had rain for five days. We have another five days of it. I need some aid right now. International aid. Because I may be suffering from seasonal affective disorder if this keeps up. Maybe I should go to the U.N. [United Nations] and see if I can get some special psychotherapy and sun lamps.
We shouldn't be sending as much as we're sending. Bush has a lot of gall writing a check for 135 million dollars. This is more a UNICEF deal, it's a U.N. deal, it's a Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, George Soros, Bill Clinton bleeding-heart-liberal deal. I don't want to send them any money. You know, a few airplanes with some medical supplies and a little lip service would have been fine for me.
You could take the argument that it's God's will, it's too bad and let's move on. And then let others help them. They're not in our sphere of interest. Primarily, they hate our guts in plain English. All right, well, the argument is, well, if you send them money, they're gonna like us, show 'em we're not anti-Muslim. That is such rubbish. That is such rubbish. They're gonna hate you anyhow, no matter what we ever do.
It's not a tragedy. I wouldn't call it a tragedy. It's a human disaster. It's not a tragedy in that sense. But, the issue is, theological questions suddenly arise. ... Now, for you atheists, you have no questions about this. It's a pure accident of nature. You don't ask yourself, "Was it God's hand?"
If you are a God-believing, God-fearing person, I am sure at some point you ask yourself, wait a minute. The epicenter of this earthquake and the resulting tidal wave was adjacent to the sex trade island of Phuket, Thailand ... and then it knocked out many, many regions of Indonesia, some of which are the most vicious recruiting grounds for Islamic terrorists. That's a fact of reality. Then going the other way, it hit Sri Lanka, ex-Ceylon. And as you well know, Sri Lanka is a viciously anti-Western nation, the home of the Tamil Tigers, who are not only separatists but anti-Westerners, anti-Christians, etc. You could argue, maybe this is God's hand, because some of their brethren struck Christian America. Maybe God speaks the truth but waits. Seeks the truth and waits. I don't know. You could argue: God struck them. Now, I don't argue that because I'm not a theologian. Nor do I believe that God is omnipotent. I believe God is omnipresent. But I don't think God has control over every act because there would be no free will and I don't believe in that. ... But then again, who knows? I'm one man amongst billions of people, with one man's opinion.
Many of the countries and the areas in these countries that were hit by these tidal waves were hotbeds of radical Islam. Why should we be helping them destroy us? ... I think what we're doing is feeding our own demise. ... I truthfully don't believe in foreign aid.
We shouldn't be spending a nickel on this, as far as I'm concerned. ... I don't want one nickel of my money going over there. ... I am sick of being bled to death by every damn incident on the earth.
Savage is not the only person to oppose U.S. aid to tsunami victims. In a January 3 commentary on the conservative news website CNSNews.com, David Holcberg, a research associate at the Ayn Rand Institute, wrote that the U.S. government "should not give any money to help the tsunami victims. Why? Because the money is not the government's to give. Every cent the government spends comes from taxation. Every dollar the government hands out as foreign aid has to be extorted from an American taxpayer first."