It would seem reasonable for a government to take a step back from aid pledges to other governments when an international incident involves American deaths. However, discontinuing aid might not make pragmatic sense when considering all of our interests.
In the 60-year period between 1950 and 2009, China's cumulative foreign aid to the rest of the world totaled only $39 billion. By contrast, for the year 2007 the U.S. had a total foreign operations budget of more than $26 billion.
Women are the majority of the more than one billion people living on just a dollar a day, and account for 6 out of 10 of the world's hungry. Despite this, they very often get left out of assistance programs.
The lackluster donor response in Pakistan shows how bitterness over a failing war can displace humanitarian impulse -- especially when the victims share the religion of the "terrorist threats" that have replaced them in headlines.
In an ideal world, the result of these revelations would be that taxpayers' money would stop being misused like this. But I think that in the current political climate, that is actually far too ambitious.
We saw our common humanity in action earlier this year when nearly half of American households contributed to the Haiti earthquake response. In fact, more people gave money to Haiti relief efforts this year than watched the Super Bowl.
Believe it or not, there actually are Democrats and Republicans -- lots of them -- committed to robust international engagement, smart foreign aid, and coherent and sensible U.S. international public diplomacy.
The 14 year imprisonment of a gay couple in Malawi is beyond despicable. But I was completely shocked to see the otherwise brilliant Gay columnist Dan Savage call for the US to cut off foreign aid to the country until the court's decision was reversed.