Good article in today's Wall Street Journal on how America goes around doing good, and how people have to notice. But surely Bush also has strategic and political motives for calling in two former presidents to appeal for cash donations (using your opponent to rally your own base -- splendid!), dispatching Colin Powell and another Bush to survey the wreckage (remember, Florida, the President loves you!), and partnering with Japan, India, and Australia to lead the relief effort (making manifest the UN's posturing, slow-moving bureaucracy, and general irrelevance).
There are times in life when we are all called to stand up and chose sides in the great moral struggles of our time. What the people of Southeast Asia are seeing is that in a region al Qaeda has been actively targeting, it is America that is standing up when it counts. It's hard to see how that Bush policy will alienate the very people al Qaeda seeks to dominate. Quite to the contrary, it is the American system--free people governing themselves--that is now standing shoulder to shoulder with those who have lost nearly everything.