Sunday, April 29, 2007

US Govt. Turned Down Millions in Foreign Aid Offers to Katrina Victms

An article in Sunday's Washington Post reported that the Federal Government was so unprepared to deal with the aftermath of the damage to New Orleans in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, that it turned down more than 50 offers of aid from nations around the world to help the citizens of New Orleans.

From water pumping equipment, generators and search and rescue teams to cell phone networks, ships to house displaced residents and medical supplies, the US government turned down aid potentially worth almost a billion dollars. If you're interested use the link above to read John Solomon and Spencer Hsu's eye-opening article.

It's more than a little disconcerting to discover that our government, which has spent more than $125 Billion dollars in taxpayer money on Katrina-related costs, could not find ways to channel aid which was desperately needed to the citizens who suffered for days in the sweltering heat until the US Army finally managed to begin tranpsporting supplies to relieve the suffering.

But it's not surprising. In a nation that still has an enormous blind spot when it comes to obejective historical analysis of slavery and the effects on the institutionalized racism still a part of America to this day, why should it come as a shock that the same GOP-led government was somehow "uable to cope" with the distribution and transportation of desperately needed supplies to thousands of poverty-stricken largely African-American citizens?

Read the Post article and decide for yourself. Was the government more concerned about saving face after the huge bureaucratic failures in the wake of Katrina, or were they legitmately unable to find ways to transport aid to those in need?

Remember, relief supplies transported across the globe by the US military had reached Indonesia 48 hours after the 2005 Tsunami. There are a range of unexplored issues related to the race of many of the New Orleans Katrina victims and the shockingly slow, ineffectual and unacceptable response of the Federal Government. Are most Americans ready to examine these issues?

Probably not, for like slavery they force us to collectively look inside our national conscious and squarely face the realities of race in our country and in our hearts. What's in there isn't easy to face.


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