Saturday, September 03, 2005

The World Offers Aid

Although the world's reaction to the destruction wrought by Hurricane Katrina varies, offers of aid are coming from dozens of countries, over 50 at last count. Some are allies; some aren't. Some are rich; some, poor.

"I hope that will remind Americans that we are all part of the same community," Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said Friday as offers kept pouring in.
(AP: Countries Pledge Hurricane Aid to U.S.)

It's amazing; for the second time in only four years, the world has reached out to the U.S., despite ideological or political differences across many nations.

By Friday, offers had been received from Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Belgium, Britain, Canada, China, Colombia, Cuba, Dominica, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, France, Germany, Greece, Georgia, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Paraguay, the Philippines, Portugal, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, Venezuela and the United Arab Emirates.
(AP: Countries Pledge Hurricane Aid to U.S.)

Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has offered the U.S. hundreds of doctors, nurses, experts in trauma and natural disasters, NBC News has learned. Sharon has also offered field hospitals and medical kits as well as temporary housing and told Bush in a letter that the medical assistance and other help could be deployed within 24 hours.

( Aid Pours in from around the Globe)

It seems, though, from what I've been reading, that maybe not everyone in our government is openly welcoming & accepting not only the monetary aid that has been offered but all the promises of rescue teams & equipment, medical assistance, etc. For example, the following two quotes, if accurate, seem to illustrate a willingness to help by others but a lack of willingness to accept the help offered. Maybe I'm misreading?
But Cuban President Fidel Castro said he hoped an offer made Tuesday to send 1,100 Cuban doctors would be accepted "immediately so as not to lose another minute." Castro said in a live broadcast in Havana Friday night that he had just sent a diplomatic note to the U.S. mission in Havana to make the offer a second time.
(AP: Countries Pledge Hurricane Aid to U.S.)

Bush told ABC-TV: “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,” he said, “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.”

( Aid Pours in from around the Globe)

I'm hoping that I'm just misinterpreting quotes like that. Honestly, I don't want to bring politics into the rescue/recovery efforts in the states affected by Hurricane Katrina. Yet, when help is offered but is slow to be accepted, I can't help but think of politics, or worse, someone's ego about taking care of business all by his lonesome. Well, like I said, it's probably misinterpretation on my part or simply frustration. We are each doing what we can do, no matter how small or how great the effort. Comfort, supplies, monetary aid, whatever, as long as everyone is doing something, the people are evacuated and those who need medical treatment receive it, that's all that should matter right now. After all is said and done, that's when people should focus on preperations for such a major disaster next time. Now is the time, imho, to focus on getting to the people who are trapped there and on the "refugees" who've lost everything.

Help and Hope are on the way though. :) I'm guessing we'll be hearing a lot of survivor's stories over the next few weeks, or at least, I hope we do. Katrina hit not only New Orleans but other areas of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama (after taking a swipe at Florida). That's a large area of devastation needing help now.

Want to help the rescue efforts? Donations can be made to American Red Cross, Salvation Army. FEMA has a more comprehensive list of places to donate in this press release.

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