Listening to the radio I was beginning to wonder if the rest of the world had forgotten us. Voice after voice was complaining how upset they were that the international community was quietly watching the U.S. Gulf Coast die without offering any aid.
So, I went to Google News and searched for "Katrina international aid". Along with a few editorials railing against the world for ignoring us and calling for an end to our foreign aid, I found several news articles that called that thesis into question:
* International Offers of Aid Pour Into U.S. in Katrina Aftermath (Bloomberg)
* Oil price drops as Europe plans US oil aid (Reuters)
* Aid for us? (New Hampshire Sentinel)
* Australia, Japan, Germany Offer Relief (Washington Post)
If you take the time to read a few of these articles, what you learn is that no less than a dozen nations have offered help so far, despite what the right wing commentators would have you believe.
The help includes cash aid from governments and individuals, French rescue workers from the Caribbean, and a release of gasoline from the Europeans' strategic oil reserves.
What you also learn from these articles is that this help has all been offered, despite the fact that President Bush has not asked for any assistance. Bush even went so far as to turn down the Russian offer of help, saying that the U.S. had "all the necessary means and equipment to conduct relief works."
In other post-hurricane news; this morning I received my first hurricane relief scam spam. It was an email soliciting donations to help in the relief effort. One link, buried within the email, was a legitimate link to the Red Cross (redcross.org), but the more prominent link was completely suspicious.
Yes, we should all be giving generously to this effort; but don't be fooled by scams. Give to organizations you already know and trust (such as the Red Cross) through links you can verify through a reputable source.