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Foreign aid for Hurricane Katrina dismal?

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The United States has a long history of helping lesser countries when they are down on their luck. Whenever there is a disaster in the world, there we are giving a helping hand. We are the go to guy whenever a country needs serious help.

Consider the following:

  1. In 2004, the United States Federal government gave $18.9 billion in humanitarian financial aid.
  2. In 2004, Japan the second largest governmental donator, gave only $8.8 billion(USD); less than half the amount given by the United States
  3. According to the American Association of Fundraising Counsel’s Trust for Philanthropy in Indianapolis, private American citizens gave an estimated $240.92 billion in gifts equalling 2.3 percent of US gross domestic product, to charities of all types.
  4. The United States has spent trillions on the defense of Western Europe, Canada, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Australia, and the Middle East, without ever asking for anything in payment other than friendship.
  5. American inventions and ingenuity have given the world the ability to feed more people than in any time in history.
  6. American technology has given the world the means to communicate in ways that would make the greatest king of yore insane with jealousy.

America has given the world so much in last two hundred years, yet has asked for so little in return. Yet here it is several days after the worst natural disaster in modern American history and the only news report I have seen from other countries is one from the BBC. In it Her Majesty, The Queen of England, sends her condolences. Condolences? Thanks Liz, but how about some cash from your fellow Europeans or Japan? Hey Canada, how about some bottled water? The silence is deafening!

The world always has their collective hands out to the USA, least we come a runnin’, they get mighty upset. Take for example the Tsunami disaster in Indonesia. The Norwegian Ambassador to the UN, Jan Egeland, called President Bush a cheapskate for not coughing up money fast enough. Funny thing that we haven’t heard from of good ole Jan Jan the Norwegian Man of late?

Written by John Bill, founder of independent think tank the Jmaximus Institute of Freedom.

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About John Bill

  • http://alienboysworld.blogspot.com alienboy

    Luckily, this is only an opinion cos it is factually inaccurate.

    Firstly, the United States has been offered a lot of international aid and is currently deciding what to accept. A 1 second search of Google News turned up that information.

    There are other factually inaccurate claims in your post too but I am too busy to research all the details to give a reasoned response.

    Perhaps you should think things through more carefully next time, but hey, that’s opinion for you.

  • http://dlennis.org/Mysql/wordpress/ D L Ennis

    Canada and Japan both are sending help. However, I have seen nothing about, our friends (LOL) the UK, offering anything but what the Queen offered.

    D L

  • Bunny

    Hey Alienboy, give the guy a break. The news media in this country is focused on showing pictures of destruction, looting, and chaos. Give the news a few days, and they will report the aid, and John will hear about it.

    What John is right about is how our news media reported right away the demands of foreigners (not affected by the Tsunami) on President Bush for money. That was a sick political stunt. The fact that they are not pursuing other world leaders the same way now is irrelevant.

  • http://theunitedamerican.blogs.com/bring_it_on/ The Bastard

    Alienboy,

    You are correct and since I’m not so busy I’ll do some of the research for you;

    State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said Wednesday 10 to 12 foreign governments have offered general assistance to the United States to deal with the hurricane aftermath. No decision has been reached about accepting the offers.

    I had about twenty links in her to all different countries but BC won’t let me post it because they said it looks like spam.

    10-12 countries but the US not ready to make a decision hmmmmm……

  • Sappho

    I had the same problem – but here are my quotes (URLs available on request to [edited] – I would also appreciate any that I’ve missed!)

    Quote:

    1) ‘State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said Wednesday that 10 to 12 foreign governments have offered general assistance to the United States to deal with the hurricane aftermath. No decision has been reached about accepting the offers.’

    2) ‘”We place at the disposition of the people of the United States in the event of shortages — we have drinking water, food, we can provide fuel,” Chavez told reporters … Last week, Chavez offered discount gasoline to poor Americans suffering from high oil prices and on Sunday offered free eye surgery for Americans without access to health care.’

    3) ‘The U.S. Embassy in Bern, Switzerland – a capital at the foot of the Alps hit by flooding last week – said calls were rushing in from Swiss individuals and institutions looking for a way to donate to relief efforts.’

    4) ‘Saudi Arabia said it is prepared to help the US in any way it could to ease the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, the official SPA agency reported.’

    5) ‘”If we’ve got it, and the Americans need it, obviously, we’ll be there,” [Canadian Federal Finance Minister Ralph Goodale] told the Regina Leader-Post.’

    6) ‘”The United Nations stands ready to help with any kind of disaster expertise that might be required … in full recognition that the United States is the country in the world that possesses the greatest civilian and military search and rescue and recovery assets themselves,” Egeland told Reuters in an interview.

    ‘He said U.S. officials had thanked the U.N. for its offer, but had not requested any assistance so far.’

    7) ‘”I have sent a message to President Bush expressing New Zealanders� sympathy for all those so badly affected. Although extensive relief operations are already underway in the United States, I have told the President that we are ready to offer assistance, if needed,” Helen Clark said.’

    8) ‘Two Russian Ilyshin cargo planes with rescue workers, search helicopters and special equipment for off-line operations in disaster areas are on standby at the Ramenskoe aerodrome outside Moscow ready to leave for the United States.’

    9) ‘The White House does not currently believe it is practical to send a Russian rescue plane to areas hit by Hurricane Katrina in the United States, but will reconsider a Russian proposal to do so later if need be, the Russian ambassador to the U.S. said Thursday.’

    10) ‘AUSTRALIA has offered to send two specialist emergency managers to the US in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.

    ‘Attorney-General Philip Ruddock and Foreign Minister Alexander Downer released a statement today, pledging further assistance if needed by the US.’

    11) ‘”As we all stand in awe at the great force of nature unleashed on the shores of the United States, please be rest assured that the people of Israel share your sorrow and extend our hand in comfort and friendship,” he wrote. “We also stand ready to assist in any way possible.”‘

  • http://zardozz.com/zz/ Z.Z. Bachman

    Here is some additional items on the topic. Bunny is dead on !!!! The issue is our Mainstream Media focuses on the destruction. There have been a number of “un confirmed” offers… See one article posted out our site ZZ News & Satire… Here is a clip of the offical State Dept position.

    “The United States Government and its People Respectfully Decline your offer of assistance and refer you to our previous State Department Bulletin (NCO:13788) in which we had stated that this remains an internal action.”

    ———————————————————————–
    ZZ Bachman / ZardozZ News & Satire Portal
    Have a Blog? Ring Surf it @ ZZ OpenRing

  • Nancy

    If Bush thru the state dept. turns down offers of aid or drags his sorry ass in deciding to accept because of his EGO, then he should be strung up by his guts by the defrauded citizens of New Orleans & Mississippi who have to bear the brunt of suffering for his arrogance because he thinks we can handle it ourselves.

  • http://jmaximus.blogspot.com John Bill

    Perhaps there are some countries willing to give token amounts of aid, however it isn’t listed under google news front page categories: top stories, world, or u.s. Perhaps if one is willing to do a little data mining, one can find it, but it isn’t front page news at present. I stand by my op/ed.

  • toastman

    Islamic extremists rejoiced in America’s misfortune, giving the storm a military rank and declaring in Internet chatter that “Private” Katrina had joined the global jihad, or holy war. With “God’s help,” they declared, oil prices would hit $100 US a barrel this year.
    >>>>>

    What if we said —
    Christ willing, those who died in the Iraqi stampedes – the women and children, died like the dogs they are. Shalom.

  • http://www.unspace.net/ Rob

    I’m keeping a list going of foreign countries offering to help at UnSpace

    Part of the problem for the foreign countries is that the United States is quite strong and can do a lot itself. We can do a lot ourselves, so they’re not sure what help we do need. I like the quote from the German Embassy worker that I included in the linked post.

    They have not forgotten our generosity and we are receiving offers to repay that generosity in our time of need.

    The individuals from many foreign countries are donating money to the charites as well.

    I hope everyone posted here has already donated.

  • Paulie

    “Perhaps there are some countries willing to give token amounts of aid, however it isn’t listed under google news front page categories: top stories, world, or u.s. Perhaps if one is willing to do a little data mining, one can find it, but it isn’t front page news at present. I stand by my op/ed.”

    So if it isn’t front page news, then it doesn’t exist? What kind of logic is that?!? Your op-ed states that no foreign countries are offering the US aid, so how can you stand by it when it has been completely disproven? Just because Google doesn’t have it on the front page in no way backs up your piece. This is blatant Republican propaganda.

  • http://philobiblion.blogspot.com Natalie Bennett

    Given the US is the richest state in the world, and one of the most parsimonious in aiding other states, it should be capable of looking after its own.

    Save your money for the Ethopians or the Rwandans or indeed citizens of many Latin American states whose countrymen and women can’t afford to help each other.

    Perhaps – shock horror – the US could put a special tax on its super-rich to aid the victims? One per cent of capital should produce a tidy sum.

  • Mark the Sane and Sensible

    hey natalie bennett, next time your little second rate power of a country is firebombed by foreign invaders and your military needs help, fight them yourself and don’t call us. Got that, sweetie?

    Winston Churchill would be ashamed of you.

  • http://philobiblion.blogspot.com Natalie Bennett

    Since you (apparently from your words) belong to the world’s rogue super-power Mark, I’d be happy if you stayed as far away as possible.

  • RogerMDillion

    “Perhaps if one is willing to do a little data mining, one can find it, but it isn’t front page news at present.”

    If you are so lazy in your research, why should anyone pay attention to your post?

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    >>Given the US is the richest state in the world, and one of the most parsimonious in aiding other states, it should be capable of looking after its own.< <

    In both charitable and governmental giving the US is the single most generous nation in the world.

    In governmental aid to other countries the US ranks first among developed nations, donating double what the next ranked country (Japan) donates, and accounting for a total of about 24% of all foreign aid donations. You can get the stats on this at this link.

    Even more impressive is private foreign charitable donation from the US, which totals over $34 billion, almost double our governmental aid budget, and first among all nations by a factor of 5 to 1 over the next highest nation.

    Dave

  • http://philobiblion.blogspot.com Natalie Bennett
  • barbar

    In aid as a percentage of GDP, the US consistently ranks last among developed states in aid to the developing world, e.g. here.
    >>>

    Thanks for offering such great armchair analysis Natalie. You should be ashamed. Life, regardless of nation-state, is too precious and not deserving of your comments.

    From your site:
    I’d like to think – and do think – that in a European city in the same circumstances people would be far more inclined to pull together and help each other; aside from anything else there’d be far fewer guns around to empower the ill-intentioned.
    >>>>>

    Typical. What a fine time to point out any perceived superiority.

  • http://philobiblion.blogspot.com Natalie Bennett

    I believe the poor and dispossessed of New Orleans should get help. Also those of Africa, of South America, of Asia ….
    And the wealthy of America, and their government, must be in by far the best position to act.

    There is no reason at all why they should need foreign aid, except perhaps in highly specialised services such as sniffer dogs to seek out the living, which should indeed be sent from anywhere that can provide them in time to be of assistance.

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    Sorry, Natalie. Your figures are either incorrect or out of date. It looks like that site might be using data from several years ago, despite claiming the data is from 2005. Or else the figures ignore some forms of governmental aid.

    The US ranked 12th worldwide in 2003 and almost doubled its level of aid in 2004, putting it far from the bottom among developed countries. Plus, percentage rankings are silly. All the top ranked countries are tiny with GNPs so small that relatively small donations can count as a large percentage.

    In straight numbers the fact remains that no one gives anywhere near as much as the US.

    Dave

  • http://philobiblion.blogspot.com Natalie Bennett

    Even if it is twelfth, and I haven’t time now to dig up the official UN figures, from the richest state in the world that is hardly something to celebrate; and the percentage is what counts – that’s how many cents in each dollar the people of the state are chosing, through their government, to give to the world’s most disadvantaged people.

  • barbar

    Natalie:

    Percentage doesn’t count. Real numbers count. Real numbers == real results.

    Which would you prefer,
    1. $0.95 of my $100
    or
    2. $95,000 of my $1,000,000,000,000

    to help you rebuild your home.

    ?

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    Very well put, barbar. Unlike the top ranked countries in a percentage ranking – like Norway and Luxemburg, the US actually has things like poor people and a military to maintain. Let’s see how high they would rank if they had to fund NATO and the UN and everything else the US puts up money for with no complaints.

    Dave

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    Oh, and Natalie – if you add in our charitable contributions (the voluntary way we do things here in a free country) to our government aid, we rank 5th and ahead of every country of anything like comparable size.

    For a fair comparison how about trotting out how we compare for foreign aid with China or Russia or India or Indonesia – the only countries comparable in population to the US. Oh wait, they’re all so low on the list that they aren’t even ranked.

    Dave

  • http://jmaximus.blogspot.com John Bill

    The percentage argument is specious and sour grapes by other countries. Another way of looking at it is say Joe Sixpack gives you a $100 and Bill Gates gives you $100,000; are you going to say “God dam Gates, he so dam cheap”? The US is basically the toughest kid on the block, who just had it’s foot chewed off by a rabid pit bull. Does this mean the rest of the world should say, “oh he can take it, he can sew his own foot back on, ha ha”; or should it be “hey that guy that saved me from those bullies is hurt bad, let’s see if we can give him a ride to the ER”. Even worse are eco-leftists, like WWF or Greenpeace who are saying stuff like “They deserve it for causing global warming”. We ought to round up these people, along with the Pat Robertson crowd, and ship them to Iraq as human shields.

  • http://philobiblion.blogspot.com Natalie Bennett

    Not, of course that the US has to fund its military so that it can go around invading other states; but it choses to. Instead of spending it abroad, and at home, on education, health care, emergency services, levee maintenance, environmental standards etc etc … all the things that might have meant the poor of New Orleans were in a better state than they are today.

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    Natalie, after the Missouri floods several years ago massive work was done on the levees, but there’s only so much that can be done given their nature and function. They aren’t dams. They’re designed to control water, not completely block unlimited amounts of it.

    You clearly have NO idea of the level of devastation in New Orleans. The amount of preparation which would have been needed for this disaster would have been almost inconceivable. We’re talking something on the order of elevating the entire city 50ft to really solve the problem.

    And yes, when no one else funds their military except for terrorist nations then the US had better damned well fund theirs.

    Dave

  • barbar

    Dave:
    Well put. I suggest Natalie read this for an idea of the logistics and scale –

  • http://philobiblion.blogspot.com Natalie Bennett

    I’m editing a newspaper all about it now, and I’ve seen big floods in the Australian Outback, so I’ve got a reasonable idea.

    And it is not just the levees – there’s all the destruction of wetlands that would have absorbed some of the water, the general environmental damage …

    By the way, I still haven’t heard a response to my suggestion of a 1 per cent wealth tax on the super-rich of the US – say people worth more than $5m – that should raise plenty of aid.

  • barbar

    By the way, I still haven’t heard a response to my suggestion of a 1 per cent wealth tax on the super-rich of the US – say people worth more than $5m – that should raise plenty of aid.
    >>

    Sorry, I didn’t see your suggestion in the above posts.

    Again, why inject vitriol over a humanitarian crisis? Shall I take time to decontruct the inadequacies of your government? I’d rather not contribute.

  • barbar

    Offers have been received from Russia, Japan, Canada, France, Honduras, Germany, Venezuela, Jamaica, Australia, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Greece, Hungary, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Mexico, China, South Korea, Israel, the United Arab Emirates, NATO and the Organization of American States, the spokesman said.
    >>>

    Maybe now we can put this thread to rest.

    barbar out.

  • Jason

    Come on, you guys love to hate our country. You seem to be more concerned about partison American politics than most alleged citizens and non citizens. This was supposed to be about foreign funding. Europe contributed more money to illegal Pre-war Iraqi defense systems than they have ever pledged to any American disaster. As far as taxing the rich to pay the poor. Nobody works to pay other peoples bills. Except for the American citizens. Remember Hitler. Oh Yeh, that’s right, without our money and citizens (military and non – military) current day Europe doesn’t exist. Almost forgot, this method of communication (the internet), we invented it.

  • RogerMDillion

    Let me get this straight, we tell the world the piss off every chance we get and then we wonder why other countries aren’t quick to offer help? You people are delusional.

    I would hope the world’s slow reaction might make the populace think a little bit about how the country acts, but from seeing some of the comments here, I doubt it.

  • Mark the Sane and Sensible

    “Since you (apparently from your words) belong to the world’s rogue super-power Mark, I’d be happy if you stayed as far away as possible.”

    The truth hurts about your stinking little country, doesn’t it, natalie?

    Ol’ Winnie would be very disgusted with you and your America hating attitude.

  • Jason

    Get real. Nobody said piss anybody off. Thats your agenda. To make a statement about reality become offensive. Please don’t explain my words for me. All I was saying is that nobody ever had to ask the U.S. for help. You could give a s#@! about us any way. The only thing you would like to see is all of us dead. Ironic though when it was your turn we made sure it didn’t happen. You seem to get upset when I bring up WWII. It’s sad that your offended buy the fact that thousands of soldiers from the United States of America died so you could live. We don’t think we owe you a damn thing. You seem to think we owe you everything. Would you at least acknowledge the we’ve done. Americans don’t hate Europeans or the rest of the world either.You do not understand that we are willing to die to defend anyone from unjust and inhumane circumstances. I know it’s hard to comprehend but American people are willing to lose their lives to protect each other too. That should be humbling not enraging. You cannot even get along with yourselves. Look what happened to the vote on the European Union. The Dutch had a valid argument.
    Our president was elected in whether or not some people like to beleive that. We want all countries to be friends with each other but we understand that some societies live by the ” What have you done for me lately? ” motto. We have all of them trumped.

  • jf

    After reading many of the comments,
    Thanks God the United States has the Marine Corps.! and other brave men and women serving OUR country.
    SemperFi

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    >>I’m editing a newspaper all about it now, and I’ve seen big floods in the Australian Outback, so I’ve got a reasonable idea.< <

    The entire population of the Australian Outback is less than half of the population of New Orleans. Trying to compare a flood in a wilderness with a flood in a huge city is ludicrous.

    >>And it is not just the levees – there’s all the destruction of wetlands that would have absorbed some of the water, the general environmental damage …< <

    Do tell me about the destruction of the wetlands. Because it's America you assume the wetlands have been destroyed? Not from anything I've seen or read. The wetlands of Louisiana are huge and mostly intact.

    >>By the way, I still haven’t heard a response to my suggestion of a 1 per cent wealth tax on the super-rich of the US – say people worth more than $5m – that should raise plenty of aid.<<

    So you’re suggesting more tax on the people who already pay 98% of the taxes in the US? Why not. Let’s use the disaster as an excuse for wealth redistribution and punishing people who are successful and productive. Sounds like a great plan.

    Dave

  • RogerMDillion

    Jason, are you really that ignorant of world affairs?

    We’re the big kids on the block and we do what we want. The world asks us to join Kyoto or the World Court and we say no. The world says don’t go into Iraq and we say we’re going. It’s always our way or the highway and we insult everyone along the way. From the U.N. to France to Venezuela. Do you need more examples?

    I’m not saying our decisions are wrong, but to be surprised at other country’s reactions to us is very naive.

  • Andy

    My country (Canada) already has staff on the ground in the affected area assisting in hydro, law enforcement, aid, medical etc… We have about 5,000 staff set to assist so far. This is in addition to $$$ and material assistance. Staff from Vancouver BC to Ontario are there or on their way.

    This is in no way an attempt to bruise any “do it ourselves” egos, but rather to correct an innacuracy.

    We help the US when we can (do a search on Canadian relief efforts in Florida in 1992, hint: big canadian military ship, lots of stuff, florida, choas and people to help. No mention in the US news (kinda familiar)).

    We appreciate the USA, we remember how much the USA has done for so many, and as always we are here to help the USA.

    If folks like this blogger insist on pretending that “google search foreign aid new orleans” doesn’t work, we understand it is one persons agenda, ego or malfunction. It is not representative of the folks on the gulf coast who have French ships heading to them with aid. Yes, the evil French are helping. And if you are cursing them saying “we don’t want your help” then you are obviously not affected.

    They are in harms way and appreciate the foreign aid. They appreciate any aid they get. This disaster is beyond a countries ability to cope. There is no place on this planet where this wouldn’t cause total chaos.

    As for us Canadians? We don’t care that you don’t notice we help. We’re just glad we can. Like 92 or the 60’s (#1 military contributor to the Viet Nam effort, enough of ours died there for us to have a wall too) we don’t expect any thanks, same as you are accustomed to.

    Take care and correct your blob before you look like a complete and total idiot.

  • http://www.alertnet.org/thenews/newsdesk/N01481437.htm David

    look at the URL,

    we *ARE* getting help!

  • http://www.kevinsview.com Kevin Surbaugh

    I have been railing about thi for the last few days at KevinsView.com, but you do not have your facts. The U. S. has been offered help from a dozen or so countries and the U. S. appears to be to proud to accept the aid. Heck, even Pres. Hugo chavez has offered aid. In several of my articles (I think there a 3 specific to this topic) I say stop being so freaking proud and accept the aid. We must accept it now, and help these people in get out of that disaster area called New Orleans!

  • http://www.kevinsview.com Kevin Surbaugh

    here are the articles I wrote: this or this

    finally this is the main article I wrote a couple of days ago after CNN reported 12 nations had offered help (for those that say the U. S. media isn’t reporting it, I want to say they did, but then I also have CNN, MSNBC, and Fox on almost non-stop so I can stay on top of this issue and then run to the net and search the new info that I heard) anyway here is that main link
    thanks

    Kevin
    KevinsView.com

  • Liberal

    “Almost forgot, this method of communication (the internet), we invented it.”

    You must be Swiss.

  • http://alienboysworld.blogspot.com alienboy

    On the subject of aid donation, I don’t understand why some people don’t think it reasonable to look at aid given as a percentage. That way, we can see that country W is donating X% of it’s wealth, compared to country Y donating Z%.

    To suggest that as the gross total is what is important is as delusional as suggesting that the USA should be compared with countries like Russia or China because they also have large populations.

    To see further that the people making these ludicrous suggestions are people who bring their own agendas into these dialogues rather than focussing on the issue is no surprise…

    And that they maintain THEY are the ones making sense as they stick rigidly to their horrid dogmas is nothing short of depressing.

  • jason powers

    i have been reading over all these comments (apparently all over the world ) i personally thank all the countries that have offered help to this country in time of need, i have served in this country’s military and have traveled the world in some not so nice places and these attatitudes are the main reason the world needs to stop pointing fingers and help one another in its time of need, grant it the us has declined releif effort for now, but will probally take the offer after security has been put in place, to insure saftey of foreign nations.

  • Stella

    As an English person, I can assure any Americans reading this that most ordinary people in the U.K very much appreciate what the American nation has done for us over the years and want to show their gratitude. I am not alone. Many people I know have already made donations to the American Red Cross, and as the terrible events in the south of your county become more tragic by the day, intend to give more. We are arranging fundraising events at the place of my work. America is the best nation on earth, we look up to you. Please don’t feel alone in this time of awful tragedy. You will come through this, as you always do. We are with you America.

  • http://allthings2all.blogspot.com/2005/09/list-of-foreign-countries-offering.html Catez

    Initially the State Dept said 10-12 countries. The 20, and now today 36. I have a list HERE. Or click on my name on this comment.

  • LW

    Well, it’s happening again. A blog from another American with his head in a dark space. the French have offered the following: 600 tents, 1,000 folding beds, 3 portable water purification plants, 2 naval long range arcraft, 2 warships for evacuation and a HOSPITAL ship, The naval assets are in the Caribbean now. The Bushies won’t take the aid though as the fascist moron in the White House is having a bit of insecurity right now.

  • http://gratefuldread.net Natalie Davis

    Mr. Andy, I am well aware of how generous the Canadian people are. It is appreciated! As are the individual donations made to the Red Cross. This is NOT an American problem. Anywhere in the world where people suffer, it is a problem for the entire human family. It is such a blessing to see brothers and sisters around the globe reach out to assist.

    Personally, Ms. Bennett, I respect percentages rather than dollar figures. A country giving a higher percentage of its GDP is taking a harder hit; its contribution means more and, IMO, deserves more respect.

  • John J. Kalicki

    We are the world’s ricvhest country. We need to go begging?

  • Mark the Sane and Sensible

    “We are the world’s ricvhest country. We need to go begging?”

    We’re not begging, but if I do a favor for someone, I expect a favor in return.

  • Lynda

    This argument is so silly, not to mention wrong. We are an incredibly wealthy nation. Do we really need the kind of assistance Indonesia did? really?

  • Eric

    US sends mixed signals on accepting aid from abroad
    By Farah Stockman, Globe Staff | September 2, 2005

    WASHINGTON — The offers of foreign aid keep pouring in: helicopters
    from Canada, cash from Japan, tents and military aircraft from France
    — even oil from Venezuela, a political foe. At least 25 countries
    have offered humanitarian assistance to the United States to recover
    from Hurricane Katrina, one of the worst natural disasters in US
    history.

    But despite the increasingly desperate situation on the ground, the
    Bush administration has sent mixed signals about whether it will take
    these global well-wishers up on their offers.

    President Bush indicated yesterday morning that the United States had
    not requested foreign help and didn’t need it.

    ”I’m not expecting much from foreign nations because we haven’t
    asked for it,” Bush told ABC’s ”Good Morning America.” ”I do
    suspect a lot of sympathy, and perhaps some will send cash dollars.
    But this country is going to rise up and take care of it. You know,
    we love help, but we’re going to take care of our own business, as
    well.”

  • http://biggesttent.blogspot.com/ Silas Kain

    I am very disturbed, Eric, by the fact that we politely declined Castro’s offer of 1,100 doctors. They could have gotten to the Gulf very quickly. As it stands the people of the Gulf are still waiting for that hospital ship. Anyone familiar with the Cuban medical training standards knows that these physicians are among the finest medical practitioners in the world.

    There will be time to rehash all of this and figure out what went wrong. I just hope that Americans won’t continue down the path of short memory and photo ops. We’re an impatient people who easily forget the misery. We should have learned our lesson after 9/11. Perhaps now we did learn our lesson. You can be rest assured of one thing, though. If Americans are reminded of these dark days during the fall of 2006, the Congress will be greatly impacted. A new Congress could cause a Cheney Presidency.

  • Eric
  • Ryan N

    “Three Canadian warships, a coast guard vessel and three Sea King helicopters will be sent to Louisiana on Tuesday with relief supplies for the U.S. Gulf Coast.

    The Canadian Coast Guard Ship Sir William Alexander will sail along with the Canadian Navy vessels, HMCS Athabaskan, HMCS Ville De Quebec and HMCS Toronto.

    Naval crews were busy loading gear on to the ships in Halifax Friday as 1,000 personnel prepared to head to waters off New Orleans.”

    Canada has so far taken the largest initiative and is sending the largest aid contribution to the USA, with CBC saying that Canada is willing to help pay for reconstruction costs.

    PS: 1,000 Navy Personnel is a pretty large force for a humanitarian operation. They will join over 900 Canadian Medical Staff, Canadian Hydro Trucks which will be rebuilding the power system, and the Canadian Armed Forces DART Team that is being sent to purify water for the thousands of citizens in New Orleans.

    link

  • matty

    Let’s see, where to begin. Well, this whole “op/ed” piece is horribly inaccurate. Either you are making a poor attempt at propoganda, or you are too lazy to look up wth you are talking abt. Since you have a website, you can’t be TOO lazy, so maybe you’re just a lying tool of the NON-Republican, radical reactionary corporatist goverenment that is waging war not just on other countries, but on your own.

    One: “data mining” doesn’t mean “digging for stories”. It’s a statistical method and doesn’t stretch into that phrase the way a good analogy might. Your intellectual sloppiness here weakens your position, which needs help anyway.

    Two: America is far from the most generous foreign aid donor among rich nations,
    (LA Times website)
    You compare us to Japan, but your use of statistics is dishonest. You don’t mention the fact that “Japan ranked last among the 21 donors, mainly because of high trade barriers, low per capita foreign aid spending, and a poor environmental record in developing countries, the survey found.” That would be the ” “Ranking the Rich” survey released today by the Center for Global Development and Foreign Policy magazine.” That means that it’s not that Japan is stingier than the US as a matter of wilfullnes. But you can always look at more statistics, more sources: ” * USA�s aid, in terms of percentage of their GNP has almost always been lower than any other industrialized nation in the world, though paradoxically in the last four years, their dollar amount has been the highest. (Only in 2004 did they move up from last place by one.)
    * Since 1992, Japan had been the largest donor of aid, in terms of raw dollars. That was until 2001 when the United States reclaimed that position, a year that also saw Japan�s amount of aid drop by nearly 4 billion dollars (as tables and charts below will also show).” (globalissues.org–if this board doesn’t allow link posting, all this stuff can be googled in 5 seconds–and yet you state that you want other people to do the “data mining” for you? Gimme a break). But look, in statistics it’s almost an axiom that you can’t prove anything with statistics (not the usual “you can prove anything with statistics”–it just isn’t true–when you have something that can’t be proven in closed form, you need statistics to model it). So if that “data mining” is too confusing, just compare per capita spending. Japan spends abt $62 per person on routine aid; the US spends $23 (nationmaster.com). Last year, that meant that Japan gave 7.9 billion, but the US, with over twice the population, gave 6.9 billion.

    Three: Bush’s inaugural ball cost 10 times more than the aid he offered to the tsunami-stricken countries last year. That’s old news. But you know, $15 million, which was his (tardy and reluctant-seeming) offer, can pay for only one small modern university building.

    Four: “WASHINGTON � U.S. authorities ignored warnings that New Orleans was vulnerable to a hurricane nightmare and slashed funding that could have saved the city as spending on the war in Iraq soared, experts said Friday.

    Four years ago the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) warned a major hurricane or flooding in the Big Easy was among the three catastrophes most likely to hit the United States, along with a terrorist attack on New York… ut instead of boosting funding to the centuries-old city of 1.4 million people that lies below sea level, authorities cut funding for hundreds of millions of dollars of critical work to bolster and repair the levees that keep the waters of the Mississippi River and Lake Pontchartrain at bay… The administration of President George W Bush cut the $27.1 million budget requested by the Corps of Engineers for improving the levees in 2005 by more than 80% to $3.9 million, although Congress finally raised the grant to $5.7 million, compared to $10 million in 2001. The $100 million 2005 budget requested by the Southeast Louisiana Flood control project was slashed to $16.5 million by Bush and Congress finally awarded $34 million to the scheme, compared to $69 million in 2001.” (Japan Today website)

    Five: America is the only nation ever condemned as a terrorist state by the World Court.

    Six: American values are daily subverted by this administration, and we can no longer take the moral high ground because we violate international laws and the very treaties that we signed in order to protect our own (Geneva). We can no longer take pride in our elevated behavior and our past record of mercy, temperance, and following the rule of law and order.

    Seven, from jimloy.com: * We support the scum of the earth; brutal, totalitarian dictators who victimize their subjects. Saddam Hussein is a recent example. Noriega in Panama and the Shah of Iran are other examples. Batista in Cuba, a while back.
    * We support the military overthrow of popularly elected leaders who are against us. Allende in Chile and Mossadegh in Iran are examples.
    * We have participated in assassinations. Allende in Chile and Diem in South Vietnam are examples.
    * We supply weapons, which are often used against civilians, including chemical weapons and land mines which are banned worldwide by Geneva Conventions. We even supplied anthrax and bubonic plague (for non-military purposes) to Saddam Hussein, when we liked him.
    * We profit from third world countries who have massive poverty. OPEC was started to protect against us.
    * We are the bully who gets what he wants, at the expense of the little guy.
    * We think we are the good guys. [Well we are, sort of. We are mostly free, and we support freedom worldwide, to some extent. We give money, help, and medicine. We try to right wrongs]
    * We are rich, many of us.
    * Many countries owe us money.
    * We support Israel (who does both good and evil).
    * We are liars. Our government lies to us and to the world. The following scenario has happened over and over and over again, since WWII: We do something sleazy, like flying spy planes over the USSR; we are accused; we deny it; we are proved liars. We continue to do this today. Lies are so rampant, that we don’t even believe what our government says anymore.

    Eight: Your “trillions of dollars in defense…” giveaways point is rubbish. We look out for ourselves first, and even the Marshall Plan was a financing scheme. Outta room, you’ve been refuted.

  • Lori

    Canada is preparing 4 ships of emergancy supplies and disaster specialists to aid. We are pumping an extra 91,000 barrels of crude oil per day. We sent an Air force transport plane with red cross workers to Houston. Three navel vessels and a coast guard ship set sail Tuesday, Vessels will be supplied with divers, small boats, helicopters, electrical transformers and other equipment. Air Canada sent an Airbus filled with water and other supplies and will remain to ferry refugees. Vancouver’s Urban rescue tean has been in place in New Orleans since Weds. Over 7000 aid workers have gone since the beginning of the week. On an individual and corporate basis we are donating cash. WE CARE

  • http://biggesttent.blogspot.com/ Silas Kain

    Many thanks to the people of Canada, Lori. What Americans fail to realize is that Canada is the #1 exporter of crude oil to the United States. We’re under this mistaken notion that some far off country in the desert supplies the majority of our energy needs. When the United States needs electricity it looks toward our friends in the North. Though the current government has not been as hospitable as previous ones, don’t think for a moment that the rank and file American does not appreciate the significance of Canadian contributions.

    Finally, one cannot discount Canada’s influence on the development of Louisiana, especially New Orleans. Cajuns share a proud heritage with the Acadians of the Canadian Maritimes. Without that influence, New Orleans would not have been the legendary city that she was. Americans across this land who have the slightest drop of Acadian blood in them are related to 95% of the Cajuns in Louisiana and don’t even know it. So, here’s to Canada, may she reign strong and free forever:
    O Canada! Our home and native land!
    True patriot love in all thy sons command.
    With glowing hearts we see thee rise,
    The True North, strong and free!

  • Erik

    I would like to comment on a few mistakes in this article/piece of text, as well as mistakes made by people commenting:

    1. The US is not the most generous country in the world, that would be my country – Norway

    2. Japan has given more than the US (in total amounts) for several years, but now the US has caught up with them.

    3. Look at the globalissues.com link concerning what US aid goes to. A lot of it goes to US businesses, or US military abroad, while a lot of aid money (more than 70%) is “tied” to certain conditions, like buying US goods and letting US companies exploit the recieving country’s resources.

    4. The US has spent trillions on its own defence, and to keep the European markets, and the US was certaily not the only one to fight under WW2. Still, I’m glad for US help. I appreciate the effort of WW2 US soldiers for example. It’s just that the US isn’t the only country that has contributed to something in this world.

    5. The US has benefited from bright minds from all over the world. Most inventors – even in the US – were born outside the US or had non-US parents, like Sikorsky (helicopter) and Bell. Besides, the Romans, Greeks, English, Germans, French, Spanish, Dutch etc. have contributed with far more – each based on nationality – than what the people of the US have accomplished.

    6. The telephone was invented by an Italian (but the Scot Bell capitalised on the idea), the letter was probably not invented in the US either.

    7. Jan Egeland never called the US “stingy”, he called RICH COUNTRIES stingy. Geez!

    8. 54 countries have offered to help the US. Has the US offered to help Switzerland, Austria and Romania after the floods there?

    9. Norway is giving more than USD$1,610,000, 5 elite divers, 7 Red Cross personell and 30 other well-trained personell (the latter was declined by the US). Norway has a bit more than 4.6 million people, and we give more than 3 times as much as Japan, with 127.5 mill. people.

    10. Do the billions of dollars given by countries much smaller than the US NOT matter??? Really???

  • Tucéki

    > The United States has spent trillions
    > on the defense of Western Europe,
    > Canada, Japan, Korea, Taiwan,
    > Australia, and the Middle East,
    > without ever asking for anything in
    > payment other than friendship.

    LOL LOL LOL

    Stupid man !

  • Tucéki

    > The United States has a long history
    > of helping lesser countries when they
    > are down on their luck. Whenever
    > there is a disaster in the world,
    > there we are giving a helping hand.

    Like in Irak (and so on), where your fucking troups killed 100,000 innocent people.

    Bastard !

  • Ian

    In terms of how much money aid represents in terms of annual GDP, the U.S. does not give a large percentage of its wealth, as was evidenced in the wake tsunami crises. It’s similar to how the poor and middle class of this country give more in proportion to what they have than do the richest bracket, on average. The U.S. is not nearly as magnanimous as you would believe, nor are foreign nations as unjustly whiny and stingy as you’ve made them out here.

  • Aaron

    Whoever said that the “wetlands were fine” is clearly not playing any attention to the media coverage,. let alone doing any research. Wetland the size of Manhattan are being lost every year in the Mississippi Delta in LA, due to oil drilling canals cut through existing wetlands, and river control measures that prevent sedimentary recharge of the wetlands during Spring floods.

  • flick this

    Hey Natalie,
    I just love it when people start talking about a nations gdp to argue so zeliouse.
    Ok fact U.S workers get an average of 2 weeks less off a year from work than other nations.
    Fact the gdp is backed by individual promisary notes,which means when an American is born the U.S Treasury department once they receive a birth certificate,issues what is known as a bond,this bond can be as little as $50,000.00 or as high as $1,000,000,000.00.
    this in return allows the treasury to print money based upon expectation that that individual throughout their lifetime will contribute to taxes.
    In the event that the government treasury becomes insolvant the American individual is responsible for paying any and all foreign debts owed by the federal government,this means any persons car,house,boat,bank accounts,and land may be seized by the federal government in order to satisfy the debts.
    Now lets see how many of the other people of the remaining countries put up their own personal wealth to back their government spending beyond taxation and when they shell out their additional dollars?$0
    As far as the GDP goes lets take into consideration the population of the U.S 297,069,062 of course the GDP is going to be high.
    The UK has a population of 60,451,494.
    Germany has 82,388,063.
    France has 60,687,595.
    Russia has 143,295,491.
    China has 1,307,674,896.

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    Yes, but the fair comparison is per capita GDP, which the US still leads on.

    Dave

  • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Relief_response_to_Hurricane_Katrina byteme

    Here is an excellent list of hurricane relief offers and doners on Sunday, 9/4/05
    link

  • http://www.technicow.com Andy

    The issue is the media, not Americans, not foreigners, not relief. The relief is there from 60+ countries, in the billions of dollars. The world has come to the aid of the USA as the USA has always come to the worlds aid. This should make Americans feel good, to answer that question “would they ever help…”, the answer is an overwhelming yes 10 fold. Yes, the world remembers, yes the world is more than glad to help it’s best friend.

    The problem is the media. What sells more copy? A scene of destruction or a good story? The media can make a soup can look lethal, and would do so in a heartbeat. Shock and flashy intros, sound bites and teasers. It is not news, it is perverse entertainment. On TV you get to drive by an accident slowly, without the traffic.

    Why waste that good ad revenue generating shock for the truth?

    In defense of the administration (whom I don’t support) and the whole support structure. The scale and scope of this disaster is beyond comprehension, no country could prepare for this unless it didn’t need roads, FDA or other infrastructure. This was simply too much for anyone.

    One side effect of building such a robust infrastructure is that you have to maintain it. A mile of Fed highway costs 1 million dollars. After that you have to fill potholes, replace reflectors, police it etc… As that whole arterial system expands, the maintainance becomes an issue regardless of assets and resources. The is no way one can keep everything at top notch 100% perfect order.

    But for the USA, that burning question which has sat there for decades, “would the world help us if we needed it?”, the answer is here, and it is “yes, beyond your expectations”. Yes they remember, yes the other countries are publicly stating “marshall plan”, “tsunami”, “ww2″, “ice storms”, “african aid” etc… and they ALL tag the USA to those efforts and would never dream of leaving the worlds best friend empty handed at a time like this.

    I have spoken to many who have no clue what the world is doing (Quatar donated 100 million dollars to the American Red Cross today, they were one of dozens of announcements from today) and as such have mixed thoughts whether others are helping. Spread the word, let the USA know. Do what the media is not doing, telling it like it is. Leave them to pander themselves for ad revenue at the expense of the truth. Make sure people know, because the media will not.

    Bottom line, the USA has helped so many for so long. The USA needs a hand with a tragedy. The world is not sitting idle, but is rushing an unprecedented effort for it’s best friend.

  • byteme

    To Natalie Bennett. I read your posts and I’m wondering …… are you one of Cindy Sheehan’s, Martin Sheen’s, Michael Moore’s, or George Soros’ anti-american cry baby freaks? To think, I got shot in Vietnam doing my duty, only to come home to a hostile country and people like you who’ve done more to hurt America than any hurricane or natural disaster has ever done. I knew what the oath said before I took it, I knew what it meant, I volunteered, and I don’t regret putting my life on the line for my country and spilling blood for it. Can you say the same, you socialist whiner? You witnessed a flood in the Australian outback, huh? How many people’s lives did it ruin? You can’t compare apples and oranges and be seen as credible. Cindy Sheehan said Hurricane Katrina was caused by George W. Bush and his failed environmental policies. I’ve read that a man in Germany echos that opinion. Truth is, we are in a cycle of increased hurricanes following several decades of decreased hurricanes. “Out of control weather” is another leftie catch phrase. When was weather ever UNDER control? It seems to me something has to be under control before it can be alleged it’s gotten OUT of control. LUDICROUS! As for politicians, I say vote all of the rascals out! Don’t vote for Democrats OR Republicans! Vote for any one of the plethora of “other” political party candidates! THAT will get their attention in Washington D.C.. As for you, believe as you wish, but remember that you wouldn’t have the right to complain and dissent if the military hadn’t fought in your behalf, wherever you’re from.

  • Joe

    WOW

    7.5 million from Australia
    5 million from Saudi Arabia
    5 million from China
    when USA gave 500 million to tsunami aid.

  • Nat Nabob

    What happened to John Bill? Did he fall off his high horse?

  • Kris

    John, John, John . . .

    Do you know how to read newspapers? Use Google news search? Do you ever watch the news? First, on 2 September, Condoleezza Rice made an announcement and answered questions, which was broadcast on CNN, MSNBC, and Fox News at about 5 p.m. that day, thanking all the countries who had offered support and added that no offers had been turned down. At that point, she said, a special task force was trying to match up the offers with needs.

    Many countries have offered aid, even some of the poorest, including Sri Lanka. Afghanistan is sending us $150,000 — that was on CNN.

    Here are a couple of links, in case you’re still clueless about who’s helping us.

    link

    link

    Wake up, John. Check your facts before you make false accusations.

  • gary

    We Americans have such a hugh chip on our shoulders that not even Katrina could knock it off.

    When all is said and done , help and offers of help will long be forgotten.

    And the next time a country is in need (canada for example) , John , and many others like him ,will say “why should we help them. They never did anything for us”

  • http://jmaximus.blogspot.com John Bill

    Attention: At the time when I wrote this article op/ed, there wasn’t much being said about other countries helping. As offers of help come in from all over the world, a follow up article will be issued. I will be posting this story shortly on BlogCritics and my personal blog Jmaximus.blogspot.com. So to all those readers from other countries, thank you.

    In the face of the generosity of America’s many friends from all over the world, please know that there is still a pressing need for more aid. You can donate here: The Red Cross

  • Bly

    The United States has spent trillions on the defense of Western Europe, Canada, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Australia, and the Middle East, without ever asking for anything in payment other than friendship.

    Heh… the United States never has to ask for anything in return because we forge war to end up with a return. WWII got us out of an economic depression and propelled us into a world economic leader; if there wasn’t a WWII, America would most definitley be a different place.

    It’s all about the US Government subsidizing the US economy, which is Socialist.

  • Stephan Oehen

    As a Swiss citizen I hope that my government is able to send as much help as possible. But, according to our experience, there had to be lot to be done BEFORE a hurrican. Florida so far has ordered survival kids for the people with MicroPur from Swiss Katadyn, the leader in individual water purification and other items which help to survive. This wasn’t done in New Orleans. Why? It was obvious that something CAN happen…

  • Erin

    I can’t believe the level of bitterness and anger I am reading on this site. I am a Canadian who most happily donated and felt proud when my country offered assistance. This is a NATURAL disaster, not a political issue. There are people who need help, regardless of where it comes from. The media (and frankly this site) is perpetuating hate and looking to forge divisions, when really we should be sticking together as human beings and not ripping each other apart. We need to focus on the present situation and not let bitterness from past events cloud our judgment. I do not necessarily agree with certain things the US government does, hell… I don’t agree with things MY government does, but right now, it is irrelevent, people need help, whether they be Republican, Democrat, black, or white. There is enough horror in the world, must we spread more poison? My thoughts are with the people affected by this tragedy.

  • Heloise

    Hmm, I just wrote the “Pocket-change” piece to illustrate that point–We need no less than a billion dollars from each of our friends. Anything less from the UK to Japan is not only crumbs but an insult.

    BP is NOT beyond petroleum folks, it is BRITISH PETROLEUM–and they practically own the Eastern half of the US!!

    I just read–just in from Reuters–that the Japanese are reducing their oil demands and maybe even redirecting them here. That’s something isn’t it?

    But if the UK does not cough up some of our dough then I say we do controlled explosives on them as well!

    Heloise

  • Derrick

    A billion dollars, Heloise? The US has never given anything approaching that to any country in need of aid.
    So many people here seem to think that ONLY the US gives aid, or that the US gives far more aid than anyone else. Neither is true. The US has been a generous country, try to remember that it is often US industry and farmers that are the first to benefit from US government aid. The world does not, in fact, owe you a living – hard as it may be to get your head around that. Now, how about your government getting its finger out and actually accepting the aid that is being offered? It’s sitting on the tarmac with nowhere to go, so far.

  • Jay

    The US sends billions of american dollars to several countries every year in foreign aid. Not for disasters or humanitarian efforts but to keep the countries standing. Yes governments have a hidden agenda, I’m sure the US is looking for something in return. The US subsidizes many things it imports. Iraq was paying like 4 cents a gallon for gas because of US subsidies. The US was founded by people who were tired of taking crap from what they saw as oppressive governments, so when they see someone being oppressed they step in to stop it whatever the cost. The US is not a saint by any means, however the amount of help offered by the government and its people is returned by a few small but loud states and people by a slap in the face. This is not a perfect world, if it were, we would not need evil people or acts to acheive a good end. The people of the US accept that their government is not perfect, there have been riots and grossly inacurate movies and the like to show that. Shall we focus on what is at hand now and actually look at the people who are suffering and dying. This is a terrible thing and we are arguing about money. The thing about giving is not to expect to receive but the joy of giving.

  • steve

    After all we do for the world, Id almost expect “A little help from my friends.” Thank you GB!!

  • dana

    More than 80 – yes, 80 – countries have offered a variety of aid to the US – these can be found at “http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International response to Hurricane Katrina.” As an American, I feel overwhelmed at the amount of aid offered to our suffering “refugees,” and I know the offers are appreciated by the “common people” such as myself. It is heartwarming to see that – despite what I feel is the common perception – people reach out to others in need, regardless if it involves a so-called wealthy nation or not.

    When you have some of the countries which themselves can’t afford it offer such aid, I guess it just proves that humans are humans – regardless of nationality.

    In regards to your article, no – I do not believe the world has been stingy. I, like so many other Americans, appreciate what all of these countries have offered – and would probably offer more if asked. If we cut out all of the politics and fighting, and just concentrate on the fact that people are people no matter where they live, a lot of the problems in this world would be solved.

    Foreign aid has NOT been dismal, as you state. In fact, it has overwhelmed me and I appreciate the fact that so many have offered support. It’s just too bad that it takes a disaster of this magnitude – in the U.S. or abroad – to bring people together. If only the world community could remember the Golden Rule in their everyday lives – Americans included – we would live in a lot better, more peaceful world.

  • Tim

    Sitting here in London and finding this thread purely be accident I am saddened to read the opinions expressed by a number of American contributors on the issue of money seemingly owed back to the US from others.

    I’m a Brit who’s spent many years overseas and I find it increasing difficult to reconcile my great liking for the USA with how your country’s image is being projected across the world. Like many Brits I try to ignore Bush and focus on the great Americans I know in person.

    Real aid is repaid many times over, maybe not in cents but in goodwill. Any before anyone posts an abusive reply, please take a break, buy a plane ticket and travel the world to see what most of humanity really thinks.

  • Stolly

    – AFGHANISTAN: $100,000.

    – ARGENTINA: Six disaster relief and rescue coordinators.

    – AUSTRALIA: $8 million to American Red Cross.

    – AUSTRIA: Water pumps, plastic sheets, cots; An Austrian Red Cross team is in Houston to set up a communication network.

    – BAHAMAS: $50,000 for U.S. victims and additional aid to Bahamian citizens in stricken areas.

    – BANGLADESH: $1 million.

    – BELGIUM: Medical, logistics, civil engineering and diving teams, pumps, generators.

    – BRAZIL: Willing to contribute but awaiting specific request from United States.

    – BRITAIN: 500,000 ready-to-eat meals; medical experts, search-and-rescue gear, marine engineers, high-volume pumps.

    – CANADA: three navy ships, a coast guard vessel, several Sea King helicopters and about 1,000 personnel, including navy divers to help clear waterways and inspect damaged levees.

    – CHILE: Plans to contact U.S. authorities to see what is needed.

    – CHINA: $5 million to aid survivors. Says it will help with medical treatment and epidemic prevention if necessary.

    – COLOMBIA: Offers rescue and paramedic teams.

    – CUBA: Offers 1,100 doctors.

    – CZECH REPUBLIC: Rescue teams, field hospital and pumps and water processing equipment, as well as transport planes.

    – DENMARK: Water purification units.

    – DOMINICA: Police to help patrol disaster zone.

    – DOMINICAN REPUBLIC: Offers rescue workers, doctors and nurses.

    – EL SALVADOR: 100 army troops, including medical personnel and engineers.

    – FINLAND: A search-and-rescue team.

    – FRANCE: Flying in 300 tents, 980 cots; 60 generators, three water purification units; 30 water pumps. Offering aircraft and two ships with helicopters, disaster unit with 20 soldiers, civil defense detachment of 35 people.

    – GERMANY: 40,000 meals; 30,000 more coming. Offering medical supplies, vaccination teams, water purification equipment, medical evacuation aircraft and crisis management experts.

    – GREECE: Two cruise ships to help house homeless, as well as relief supplies and rescue crews.

    – GUATEMALA: 80 specialists from army, health and interior departments.

    – HONDURAS: 134-member medical and rescue brigade. Mayor of capital, Tegucigalpa, offers a similar group.

    – INDIA: $5 million to American Red Cross. Offering medical teams with experience in waterborne diseases and to set up community water purification plants.

    – INDONESIA: Medical team of 45 doctors and 155 other staff and 10,000 blankets.

    – IRAN: Offers to dispatch unspecified aid through its Red Crescent agency if needed.

    – ISRAEL: Sending medical team. Offering hundreds of doctors, trauma experts and other medical staff as well as field hospital.

    – ITALY: 300 cots, 300 blankets, 600 sheets, a water pump, six life rafts, 11,200 chlorine tablets, first-aid kits; baby food.

    – JAPAN: $1 million in aid and offers to send tents, blankets, power generators and portable water tanks.

    – KOSOVO: $500,000.

    – KUWAIT: $500 million worth of oil and other aid.

    – LATVIA: A disaster relief team, financial aid, blankets, bottled water.

    – LITHUANIA: Rescue teams, meals, building materials.

    – LUXEMBOURG: two jeeps, 1,000 cots, 2,000 blankets.

    – MEXICO: Navy ship carrying food, amphibious vehicles, helicopters and medical team to arrive Wednesday. Fifteen army vehicles carrying food, health brigades, water-treatment plants and mobile kitchens with capacity to feed 7,000 people a day heading to U.S. border. Government sets up bank accounts to collect donations and donates $1 million. Offer comes from search-and-rescue group called “topos” – “moles” – organized by youths digging through collapsed buildings after Mexico City’s 1985 earthquake.

    – THE NETHERLANDS: A frigate with water, medicine, helicopters and beds to arrive Wednesday. Three giant water pumps have been offered, as well as expertise in dike and water engineering, and forensic ID help.

    – NEW ZEALAND: $1.4 million. Government has also offered to send an urban search and rescue team, a disaster victim identification team or recovery personnel.

    – NICARAGUA: Flooding and sanitation experts.

    – NORWAY: Navy divers, 10,000 blankets and unspecified financial aid.

    – ORGANIZATION OF AMERICAN STATES: $25,000 to American Red Cross.

    – PAKISTAN: Doctors and paramedics.

    – PANAMA: 120,000 pounds of bananas for hurricane victims.

    – PERU: 80 to 100 doctors with expertise in tropical diseases and disasters. But President Alejandro Toledo said Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld requested Peru instead send medical supplies and canned foods. Peru will try to comply.

    – THE PHILIPPINES: Philippines Red Cross donating $25,000. Government offers 25-man relief team.

    – PORTUGAL: Lending 2 percent of its strategic oil reserve, equivalent to 500,000 barrels of oil.

    – QATAR: $100 million in humanitarian assistance.

    – ROMANIA: Two teams of medical experts.

    – RUSSIA: Three transport planes with generators, food, tents, blankets, drinking water and medical supplies.

    – SAUDI ARABIA: Offers to increase oil production to replace shortfalls caused by Katrina.

    – SINGAPORE: Three CH-47 transport helicopters and 38 soldiers in training unit at Grand Prairie, Texas, to Fort Polk, La., to work with Texas Army National Guard in disaster relief operations, including resupply and airlift missions.

    – SLOVAKIA: Water purification gear, cots, water.

    – SLOVENIA: Cots, bedding, first-aid kits.

    – SOUTH KOREA: $30 million in government and civilian assistance and sending search team and relief supplies.

    – SPAIN: Firefighters and equipment, medical staff, search-and-rescue expertise, tents, cots, blankets, water treatment units, heating equipment, meals, water, generators.

    – SRI LANKA: $25,000 to American Red Cross.

    – SWEDEN: First-aid kits, blankets, meals, generators, plastic sheeting, 2 water purification units and instructors; aircraft ready for immediate deployment.

    – SWITZERLAND: Blankets, 50 tons of aid supplies, two logistic experts from the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, two doctors and two water specialists.

    – TAIWAN: $2 million.

    – THAILAND: At least 60 doctors and nurses along with supplies of rice.

    – TRINIDAD: Local Red Cross sending 10-15 relief workers.

    – URUGUAY: Two mobile water purification units and two tons of powdered milk.

    – VENEZUELA: Offers 1 million barrels of gasoline, $5 million in cash, water purification plants, rescue volunteers and more than 50 tons of canned food and water. Government’s Citgo Petroleum Corp. pledges $1 million.

    – UNITED ARAB EMIRATES: Tents, clothing, food and other aid.

  • dana

    Please don’t forget that the United States is a “melting pot.” Sure, we are all “Americans” and very proud of it – however, we are you. We have citizens from throughout the world who call this land home. I hope those of you from outside the U.S. realize that your ancestors – and possibly even some of your family or friends – call this land home. So is aid from foreign countries helping “those rich Americans?” No!!! They are helping those persons that you call brothers and sisters. The melting pot is just that – many nations coming together into one.

    Friend and “foe” have offered assistance – that is heartwarming.

    Again, I want to say that all of the foreign aid – whether utilized or not – is appreciated and needed. We are you – regardless of what country or ancestry you claim. And right now we need your help, and most of us appreciate your generosity more than you will ever know.

  • http://biggesttent.blogspot.com/ Silas Kain

    SAUDI ARABIA: Offers to increase oil production to replace shortfalls caused by Katrina.

    That offer is an insult. The House of Saud should be dumping a half billion dollars into the Gulf. Let this be a lesson to us. It is time to develop technologies that eradicate our dependence on Middle East oil as well as the strange relationship between the House of Saud and the House of Bush.

  • http://sussfr.blogspot.com Matthew T. Sussman

    Belgium should be giving us waffles.

  • http://biggesttent.blogspot.com/ Silas Kain

    Somehow waffles would be appropriate. Have them send the breakfast treats straight to the White House. When in comes to waffling, nobody does it better than King George III’s Administration.

  • gmh

    ***Hmm, I just wrote the “Pocket-change” piece to illustrate that point–We need no less than a billion dollars from each of our friends. Anything less from the UK to Japan is not only crumbs but an insult.****

    Will you be deducting cash paid to the United States through Illegal tariffs or broken trade agreements?. The steel tariff cost the EU and Japan billions of dollars. The lumber tariffs have cost Canadians well over 6 billion US dollars and 13,000 lost jobs.

    If you sign an agreement , break it, make other guy pay more just because you can (outright theft in moral countries)……….I think that should count as aid to the U.S.

  • Adriana

    OMG yes the international community has offered help. Unfortunately they offered it to the US Federal Government, who as we have seen was dismally slow to respond.

    It was **extremely** frustrating to see our news coverage go from images of people in flooded areas and evacuees begging for help to the next story: “Help is waiting to be accepted” accompanied by images of planes and teams of people here that were ready and willing to go.

    I have read that between 70 and 90 countries pledged aid almost immediately.

    The Washington Post wrote about it this morning:

    The Washington Post
    By Elizabeth Williamson
    WASHINGTON — Offers of foreign aid worth tens of millions of dollars — including a Swedish water-purification system, a German cellular-telephone network and two Canadian rescue ships — have been delayed for days awaiting review by backlogged federal agencies, according to European diplomats and information collected by the State Department.

    Since Hurricane Katrina slammed the Gulf Coast, more than 90 countries and international organizations have offered to assist in recovery efforts for the flood-stricken region, but nearly all endeavors remained mired yesterday in bureaucratic entanglements — in most cases, at the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

    In Germany, a massive telecommunication system and two technicians await the green light to fly to Louisiana, after its donors spent four days searching for someone willing to accept the gift.

    “FEMA? That was a lost cause,” said Mirit Hemy, an executive with the Netherlands-based New Skies Satellite, who made the phone calls. “We got zero help, and we lost one week trying to get hold of them.”

    In Sweden, a transport plane loaded with a water-purification system and a cellular network has been ready to take off for four days, while Swedish officials wait for flight clearance. Nearly a week after they were offered, four Canadian rescue vessels and two helicopters have been accepted but probably won’t arrive from Halifax, Nova Scotia, until Saturday. The Canadians’ offer of search-and-rescue divers has gone begging.

    Matching offers of aid — from Panamanian bananas to British engineers — with needs in the devastated Gulf region is difficult in a disaster whose scope is unheard-of in recent U.S. history, especially for a country that is more accustomed to giving than receiving aid.

    State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said yesterday that to his knowledge, all offers of foreign aid have been accepted but must be vetted by emergency-relief specialists.

    “I think the experts will take a look at exactly what is needed now,” he said.

    FEMA spokeswoman Natalie Rule said the foreign complaints echo those from governors and officials across the nation.

    “There has been that common thought that because [offers of aid] are not tapped immediately, they’re not prudently used,” Rule said. “We are pulling everything into a centralized database. We are trying not to suck everything in all at once, whether we need it or not.”

    Soon after the flooding, the government of Sweden offered a C-130 Hercules transport plane, loaded with water-purification equipment, and a cellular network donated by Ericsson.

    “As far as I know, it’s still on the ground,” said Claes Thorson, press counselor at the Swedish Embassy in Washington. He said that along with 20 other European Union nations that have pledged money and goods, “We are ready to send our things. We know they are needed, but what seems to be a problem is getting all these offers into the country.”

    So far, Thorson said, the State Department has denied Sweden’s request for flight clearance.

    German telecommunications company KB Impuls contacted another company, Unisat, based in Rhode Island, with the idea of contributing an integrated satellite and cellular-telephone system.

    The $3 million system could handle 5,000 calls at once, routing them, if necessary, through Germany.

    The donor, KB Impuls, would contribute the equipment and two engineers, supplied with their own food, water and generator fuel, to set it up. Unisat contacted another firm, New Skies Satellite, based in the Netherlands with offices in Washington, which agreed to contribute satellite capacity.

    New Skies arranged transport, securing a C-130 cargo plane from the Israeli Air Force, to pick up the equipment and technicians from Germany and bring them to Louisiana.

    “With one call, I got an airplane,” Hemy said. For four days, she and the owner of Unisat, Uri Bar-Zemer, called contacts at FEMA, the American Red Cross, the State Department and members of Congress, trying to find someone to accept the gift.

    Finally, the State Department told them that to receive flight clearance, the gift must have a specific recipient.

    “I was ringing, ringing, ringing — and nothing,” Hemy said. Finally, yesterday, she got a call from the U.S. Air Force Joint Task Force Katrina Communication Operations division, thanking the companies for the gift and inquiring about the system’s technical specifications.

    As of late yesterday the companies were waiting for a written order from the Northern Command to begin the mission.

    Staff writers Robin Wright and Nelson Hernandez contributed to this report.

  • YP

    I’m chinese so I’m just gonna comment on the China part. We just donated $ 5 million with additional supplies/rescue teams. I understand you american expect a return when you did others favor. You know how much China got from the US a few years ago when one fouth of the country was flooded? $200,000. America is the richest country in the world and saying other countries are stingy is like comparing Bill Gates’s donation to a common middle class family’s donation in a disaster like this. It doesn’t make sense! It has nothing to do with population either as India and China, two countries with the most population, are among the poorest countries. I think it’s better for a few people here to learn a little more about other countries in the world. United States is a great country, but not the only country.

  • Derrick

    I can sort of understand the problem. The US isn’t used to accepting foreign aid – 9/11 was the first time, to my knowledge, that offers of aid were accepted. So the first instinct is “we can handle it”. But they couldn’t handle it quickly enough. The US could find enough doctors, beds, purification plants, experienced volunteers and so forth…given time. However those things were needed immediately. The point of foreign aid is that it gets you the stuff you need immediately.For example, people were without beds for a week, the French and Dutch were in a position to immediately deliver these from their own hurricane stores in the Caribbean. French, Dutch and Canadian naval vessels – with their helicopters and divers – could have been assisting the Coast Guard. Having decided to accept foreign aid, the US authorities insist on deciding when and where it comes (understandable) and take control of deploying it (understandable if you can manage – that ability has been lacking).
    The pity is that experienced disaster relief teams, accustomed to going into strange countries and liaising with local authorities under such conditions, were available.
    At worst, a handful of foreign rescue teams would have been on the ground, liaising with local authorities without Washington’s oversight for a few days until the chain of command was sorted out. Would that have been so bad?

  • dana

    Don’t Blame Bush for Katrina
    Christopher Ruddy
    Monday, Sept. 5, 2005
    George Bush and the federal government are not to blame for the disaster we have witnessed in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

    In fact, the primary responsibility for the disaster response lies with New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin, Louisiana Governor Kathleen Blanco and other local officials.

    Yet leading Democrats and their allies in the major media are clearly using this disaster for political purposes and ignoring one obvious fact.

    This fact – which needs to be repeated and remembered – is that in our country, state and local governments have primary responsibility in dealing with local disasters.

    The founding fathers devised a federal system of government – one that has served us remarkably well through great disasters that have befallen America over more than two centuries.

    But if we believe the major TV networks, George Bush, FEMA and the Republicans in Congress are all to blame for the current nightmare.

    Let’s remember that FEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, was created only in 1979. It was formed to coordinate and focus federal response to major disasters – to “assist” local and state governments.

    Common sense suggests that local and state governments are best able to prepare and plan for local disasters.

    Is a Washington bureaucrat better suited to prepare for an earthquake in San Francisco, a hurricane in Florida, or a terrorist act in New York?

    After the Sept. 11 attacks against the World Trade Center, no one suggested that the Bush administration should have been responsible for New York’s disaster response or that federal agents should have been involved in the rescue of those trapped in the buildings.

    Last year, four major hurricanes slammed into Florida. Governor Jeb Bush led the disaster response and did a remarkable job, with nothing happening like what we have seen in New Orleans.

    The primary response in disasters has always come from local communities and state governments.

    First responders and the manpower to deal with emergencies come from local communities: police, fire and medical. Under our federal system, these local departments answer to local authorities, not those in Washington. These first responders are not even under federal control, nor do they have to follow federal orders.

    In addition to local responders, every state in the Union has a National Guard.

    State National Guards answer first to the governor of each state, not to the president. The National Guard exists not to defend one state from an invasion by another state, but primarily for emergencies like the one we have witnessed in New Orleans and in other areas impacted by Katrina. (See: http://www.arng.army.mil/about_us/organization/command_structure.asp)

    Tim Russert and the Blame Game
    The media would have you believe that this disaster was worsened by a slow response from President Bush and his administration, though the primary responsibility for disaster response has always been with local and state governments.

    It is true that federal response was not as fast as it could have been. The president himself has acknowledged that fact.

    But the press has focused on the first 48 hours of federal response, not uttering a word about the fact that New Orleans had 48 hours of warning that a major Category 4 or 5 would make landfall near the city, yet local officials apparently did little to prepare.

    Obviously, Gov. Blanco did not effectively deploy her state’s National Guard.

    And New Orleans’ city leaders did almost nothing to evacuate the portion of the population with no transportation. In failing to follow their own evacuation plan, these officials did little to pre-position food, water and personnel to deal with the aftermath.

    I was surprised Sunday to watch Tim Russert, on his show “Meet the Press,” tear into Homeland Security Chief Michael Chertoff. During his encounter with Chertoff, Russert did not suggest once that local government had any role in dealing with the disaster. Russert also asked for Chertoff’s resignation.

    It wasn’t until after the first 29 minutes of his show – 29 minutes – that Russert raised the question of local responsibility. And when he did so with Jefferson Parish President Aaron Broussard, he did so in a passing way. Broussard brushed off his question with a non-answer.

    Broussard began his interview claiming that the nation had “abandoned” New Orleans.

    That is nonsense and a lie.

    Broussard, who was never identified by “Meet the Press” as a Democrat, spent much of his time attacking the Bush administration, as has Democratic New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin.

    Broussard then ended his performance as he collapsed in tears with a demand: “For God’s sake, just shut up and send us somebody!”

    His tears didn’t wash with me. My sympathies lie with the tens of thousands of people who have suffered or died because local officials like Broussard, Mayor Nagin and Governor Kathleen Blanco, also a Democrat, failed monumentally at their jobs.

    As former New Orleans Mayor Marc Morial told Russert, the disaster in New Orleans was “foreseeable.”

    In fact, New Orleans has long known that such a disaster could take place if a major hurricane hit the city.

    The municipality even prepared its own “City of New Orleans Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan.”

    The plan makes it evident that New Orleans knew that evacuation of the civilian population was the primary responsibility of the city – not the federal government.

    The city plan acknowledges its responsibility in the document:

    As established by the City of New Orleans Charter, the government has jurisdiction and responsibility in disaster response. City government shall coordinate its efforts through the Office of Emergency Preparedness.

    The city document also makes clear that decisions involving a proper and orderly evacuation lie with the governor, mayor and local authorities. Nowhere is the president or federal government even mentioned:

    The authority to order the evacuation of residents threatened by an approaching hurricane is conferred to the Governor by Louisiana Statute. The Governor is granted the power to direct and compel the evacuation of all or part of the population from a stricken or threatened area within the State, if he deems this action necessary for the preservation of life or other disaster mitigation, response or recovery. The same power to order an evacuation conferred upon the Governor is also delegated to each political subdivision of the State by Executive Order. This authority empowers the chief elected official of New Orleans, the Mayor of New Orleans, to order the evacuation of the parish residents threatened by an approaching hurricane.

    It is clear the city also recognized that it would need to move large portions of its population, and it would need to prepare for such an eventuality:

    The City of New Orleans will utilize all available resources to quickly and safely evacuate threatened areas. Those evacuated will be directed to temporary sheltering and feeding facilities as needed. When specific routes of progress are required, evacuees will be directed to those routes. Special arrangements will be made to evacuate persons unable to transport themselves or who require specific life saving assistance. Additional personnel will be recruited to assist in evacuation procedures as needed. …

    Evacuation procedures for small scale and localized evacuations are conducted per the SOPs of the New Orleans Fire Department and the New Orleans Police Department. However, due to the sheer size and number of persons to be evacuated, should a major tropical weather system or other catastrophic event threaten or impact the area, specifically directed long range planning and coordination of resources and responsibilities efforts must be undertaken. [You can read New Orleans’ Emergency Plan for hurricanes at its Web site: http://www.cityofno.com/portal.aspx?portal=46&tabid=26

    The city’s plan also specifically called for the use of city-owned buses and school buses to evacuate the population. These were apparently never deployed, though the Parish of Plaquemines just south of the city evacuated its population using school buses.

    The plan, written well before Katrina was even a teardrop in God’s eye, was obviously never heeded or implemented by local leaders.

    But why should the New Orleans mayor and Governor Blanco take responsibility when they can blame George Bush and the Republicans in Washington?

    With congressional elections fast approaching, Democrats who are out of power in every branch of the federal government know they need to change the tide quickly.

    They have apparently seized on the Katrina disaster to harm the president politically.

    Criticism of the federal government’s response is fair and warranted. But putting full responsibility for this disaster on the Bush administration is way over the top.

    Primary responsibility for this disaster remains with local officials like Nagin and Blanco, not President Bush.

  • steve

    I think that may have been THE best blog I have yet to read on blogcritics. I couldnt agree with you more…I hope more people make sense of it. Every point is valid and legitimate.

  • http://www.miami.com/mld/miamiherald/news/12586218.htm Cassio

    Just wanted to share the foreign help you won’t see in any news on TV. Unfortunately. Please see link.

  • Steve

    I just finished reading this blog with interest. I am an American living in Houston, TX. As some of you may be aware we have welcomed many of the people that were devasted by the storm. I would just like to say that any and all aid is appreciated. We, Houstonians have given our own time, money and just about anything that has been needed.

    The political BS on this site is inappropriate. I am a moderate and I voted for President Bush. He is certainly not perfect and I disagree with him on many issues. I think that he is genuinely doing what he can. He did not summon up this Hurricane.

    Just an aside – Some of you may not be aware of how the United States of America functions. The U.S. is obviously made up of individual states. Our founding fathers intent was that States had rights as well as duties and obligations. The Federal Government cannot impose itself into state affairs until requested. Thus, it takes time for the Federal government to get involved (including assessing needs and responding to offers of assistance).

    Lastly, America is a great country. We may make mistakes at times but we strive for a world where people enjoy the freedoms on which our country was founded. We believe in equal opportunity (not equal outcome). We believe in human rights. We have about 300 million people here and some are a$$holes just like every other place on the planet.

    Lastly, thanks to each country and person that has or will open their hearts and their pocketbooks in our time of need. As always, you can count on us in the future.

    Peace Out!

  • Steve

    OOPS, please edit out the word “Lastly” from the penultimate paragrapgh of my prior post.

  • Charles Watson

    Personally I am “Shocked N Awed” at the nature of this article. It just goes to show you the ingratitude of some of the American People! Lets look at the facts:

    America is the most wealthy nation on this planet! Sure we suffered a great disaster but its NOTHING that we ourselves can’t afford! The fact that ANY nation is willing to donate anything is merely their way of saying “Hey! we’re sorry for your loss!” I hardly expected it and I am going to write each and every country thanking them for whatever they sent, even if its a mere dollar!

  • http://veraciraptor.blogspot.com Veraciraptor

    I would like to say “thank you” to the 90 or so foreign governments that offered aid to the US. That’s over half of the world! The American people appreciate it in our hour of need.

  • http://paperfrigate.blogspot.com DrPat

    To Charles, Steve, others who continue to comment as if this post were settled fact: don’t believe everything you read.

    You might want to also take a look at Comment 72, which contains two links to the SecState’s thanks to other nations for their swift offers of help.

  • Silken

    Well first off there were some pretty harsh criticisms here and many were based on wrong facts. I think by now we’ve established that at least 90 countries have offered aid to the U.S. and I hope that some of the people who were so harsh will have reconsidered their statements in light of the facts.

    I myself am Canadian. My country’s population is only one tenth of that of the U.S. but we are doing our best to help, just as we did when we helped get the hostages out of Iran back in the 80s and just as we did during 911 and other times when tragedy struck in the U.S.

    Today I read that Alberta alone(which is only one province in Canada)has contributed $5 million to help reconstruct the Gulf area. This is in addition to contributions from other Canadian provinces and from our federal govt. as well as from corporations and individuals in Canada. Even one of our successful industrialists here chartered a plane to fly in supplies to Louisiana and is now planning on building a mobile home community in a luxury area of Florida to house about 1,000 of the displaced residents from Louisiana, with plans to possibly build even more. This is all at his own expense!

    I also just read the other day an article done in Louisiana about how the Vancouver Search and Rescue Team was in their saving American lives 5 days before the U.S. army even arrived. This team chartered a plane to fly down there to help and stayed for five days until the U.S. teams arrived and took over. One of the local fire chiefs was so grateful for their assistance in being the first search and rescue time on-site (and I mean FIRST, not just the first foreign team) that he insisted they raise the Canadian flag on his fire hall (which was mostly submerged but still had the flagpole above water!) 😉

    The Province of Quebec has sent down 20,000 cots out of its emergency stores. Countless numbers of municipal, provincial and the federal govt. in Canada have either sent or offered medical supplies, search and rescue teams, medical personnel, etc. etc. in addition to their financial contributions. Canada has already sent drug supplies to treat the sick and injured as well as many other kinds of supplies out of our own national stockpile for emergencies.

    I can’t even begin to count all the aid that Canada has either already sent or offered to send. I’m sure you all have read about the navy ships, divers and 1,000 navy personnel already on their way to Louisiana, loaded down with supplies, water filtration equipment, etc. etc. and set to arrive on Sunday (would’ve been sooner if the U.S. govt. had responded sooner…) or the Coast Guard personnel who are helping out in the Boston area so that they can free up their staff to go and help in Lousiana.

    On top of all of this, I know personally Canadians whose companies are sending them down to the Gulf to donate their services to rebuild/restore the electrical systems, water systems, etc. etc. I know because my brother-in-law’s company is already sending a team down there and will have them working around the clock in that area for approx. 3 months or more. These men are leaving their families and volunteering for these assignments because they want to help our American friends in their time of need.

    I’ve always told my friends from other countries that Canada and the U.S. are like siblings… they piss us off sometimes but we still love them like a brother. We may not always agree on the political front and I know that causes some hard feelings at times but I know for sure that we feel a bond to them forged from sharing the same continent and the same early historical roots and for many of us, the same language. There really isn’t any other country in the world that is so close to my own country that I can spend time there and feel pretty much at home even though we are not identical. Quite plainly, I think the world would be a much lonelier place for Canadians without our American friends and neighbours who although they sometimes make us mad, often do make us glad and I wouldn’t trade them for the world. 😉

    silken

  • CDNNavyWife

    Egads! Now we’re into penny pinching. Lack of aid in the wake of Katrina’s Aftermath. If I’m not mistaken, but wasn’t it your President who said it was “unnecessary” (for the lack of better words) for the World Community to send aid?

    “I’m not expecting much from foreign nations because we hadn’t asked for it. I do expect a lot of sympathy and perhaps some will send cash dollars. But this country’s going to rise up and take care of it. You know, we would love help, but we’re going to take care of our own business as well, and there’s no doubt in my mind we’ll succeed. And there’s no doubt in my mind, as I sit here talking to you, that New Orleans is going to rise up again as a great city. ”
    Here’s a little news flash for you. Even though it took some time Prime Minister Paul Martin announced that Canada would be sending to the victims/survivors of the Gulf States. And even though the Canadians’ role would be unclear be in Operation UNISON until the convoy arrives to help by any means possible.

    Now I’m a little puzzled and a little insulted by your remarks (“America has given the world so much in last two hundred years, yet has asked for so little in return”). But to throw around price tags of how much money the American Gov’t have spent to help the world and your insinuation that there’s little or no help in return. The whole point of sending humanitarian aid is to help, which doesn’t necessarily mean sending “cash dollars.” Aid also into account sending supplies – the basic necessities that are most badly needed in times of crisis.

    Since it was announced that the ships would be sailing for the Gulf region, here is what my husband along with the rest of his crewmates that stored on board HMCS Athabaskan, as well as HMCS Toronto, HMCS/NCSM Ville De Quebec in less 48 hours:

    1,500 cots and sleeping bags
    2,000 blankets
    3,000 coveralls
    300 tents that can house
    1,800 people
    6,000 diapers
    Palettes of lumber for reconstruction
    36 generators, water pumps, medical supplies
    300 donated hand-knit teddy bears
    About 1,000 body bags.

    This don’t encludes what CCGS Sir William Alexander is presently carrying, not to mention what DART will be providing as someone already mentioned (http://www.forces.gc.ca/site/operations/DART/back_e.asp)

    And on the home front, my children have donated money via their school as well through local establishments. They (my children) know what has happened and that there are many hundred of thousands of people displaced from their homes and many more have lots their lives because of this tragedy. Not to mention that they take pride knowing that their father is contributing to the clean-up and aid of the people in need. A personal note, I’ve had friends on and offline that wrote giving me thanks because the individuals like my husband have gone to the Gulf States to lean what support they can.

    Quite frankly Sir, I really don’t care for your attitude and tone, but that is just my opinion. If you don’t like how slow things are moving with the humanitarian aid and clean-up here’s my suggestion to you. Get off you lazy rear whether it be from your cushy 9 to 5 job or Modern Liberal Arts University/College classes and take a trip down to Biloxi or New Orleans and help rebuild instead of flapping your gums.

  • Eric

    I’m not surprised to read such ‘article’ but I’m still surprised to see people thinking that way : we are the best, we have done more than anything else, we are number one, the others are shit and have done/achieved/given nothing or so little.
    Some may find it amusing. I find that quite sad. Living and thinking that way must be quite depressing after a while.

    Some info the author of the post may read with profit :

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_response_to_Hurricane_Katrina

    I’m from France/Europe.

  • me

    This report is highly inaccurate. Not only have many foreign countries offered aid, but the U.S. could give a crap about foreign aid. It contributes far less money to foreign aid than the majority of the developed world, spending only .1% of its enourmous budget on foreign aid. We spend most of our money on defense, more than anyone else in the world. The next sixteen countries under us combined spend as much as we do on defense.

  • blahagablog

    Of course the world always likes to state that the United states spends more money on military arms than many countries yearly GDP.
    But lets also find out the truth to these numbers,what is known that in the year 2001 the United states was the main supplier of 45.8% of the worlds purchases of weapons arms.
    That is $26.4 billion in foreign sales to secure Sovereign nations from invasion.
    $24 billion additionally was spent for foreign aid.
    The vast majority of the arms sales are on loans,and are often nearly forgotten,or forgiven.
    As an example in many world crises whereas the U.S may need help by a foreign nation negotiations take place durring such negotiations the party that the U.S is attempting to get help from brings to the table what else are we getting?
    This many times mean never having to pay there billions of dollars of debt to the United States,and payment of additional monies to that government.
    So those billions are lost forever,foreign governments benefit twice,and the poor American tax payer thats working more hour’s in which has less paid vacation time than any other country in the world.
    Yup thats a fact,as many American’s dont even take their full yearly vacation times,usually cashing them out for pay and having to pay tax for not vacationing.
    Many Americans today being aware of border security problems with Mexico,are taking their vacation while doing U.S border patrol.
    Americans are innovative,forgiving,helping,and overall are the most generouse people on the face of this earth,and why?
    Because we are Europeans,French,Canadian,Jewish,Arab,and all other nationalities.
    A recent poll taken in Mexico revealed that 74% of Mexicans beleive that the U.S stole New Mexico,this comes from the majority of Mexicans whom are Spanish descendants,whom with Ponce de Leon slaughtered the natives of Mexico,and wiped out the Indians,the Spaniards werent happy with the gold they were given by the Indians,so they just stole it all smelted it down coined the gold into doubloons,and spanish marked gold bars to present a fictituose slew of ethics the loot theyd stole when shipped back to Spain.
    Sure they later won their independance from Spain cinco de mayo but they are still nevertheless Spanish descendants.

  • Markus Stra

    First of all,

    The U.S. is NOT the biggest aid donater of the world. There are a load of a lot smaller countries in Western Europe who give even more aid as the U.S. does. And if you compare the total aid donated by ALL the European Union countries, it totally crushes what the U.S. gives.

    Secondly, almost all the important technological inventions are done by Europeans. Computers, television, cars, telephones, refrigerators, aircrafts, trains, camera’s and more… I know that most Americans think that America is the almighty inventor of the world but look up the facts and show a little more respect to other countries.

    And third, the reason why America turned down foreign aid is because of the 2 above reasons combined; it has an arrogance problem. America wants to keep maintaining the big “we are the best and greatest country in the world” lie…