Thursday, May 15, 2008

Let's Hear It For America

When disaster strikes around the world, who steps up to the plate to help?

We do.

Our help has started to reach Burma. Three U.S. Air Force C-130 transport planes carrying water, mosquito nets, plastic sheeting, and blankets landed in Rangoon yesterday and the day before. U.S. Agency for International Development Administrator Henrietta Fore said the U.S. agency has allocated sixteen-million-two-hundred-fifty-thousand dollars in assistance.

Burma is not our friend and neither is China, but Tuesday The White House announced that the United States would provide 500,000 dollars in initial aid to China over the devastating quake.

Every time someone in the world experiences disaster we give millions of dollars, We load up with food and medical supplies, and transport planes, helicopters and floating hospitals to come to the aid of those those devastated by natural disaster.

In 2005 more than1,200 military members and 25 helicopters were deployed to Pakistan after the earthquake that struck the Kashmir region in northern Pakistan. The U.S. led the 63 nation relief effort providing food,medical care, and transportation. We flew 4000 missions and delivered 11,000 tons of supplies and transported 18,000 people in relief efforts.

And we can't forget the tsunami in Asia. As this Australian article points out: (emphasis mine)

Back in 2004, the Americans - along with the Australians - arrived within hours to help the hundreds of thousands of people left devastated by the Boxing Day tsunami in Asia. A US carrier group steamed towards Indonesia's Aceh province. A second US Marine Corps strike force made its way to Sri Lanka with water, food and medical supplies.
The Pentagon spent millions of dollars sending C-130 transport planes from Dubai to Indonesia with tents, blankets, food and water. A navy chief in charge of co-ordination efforts said the US would deliver "as much help as soon as we can, as long as we're needed".

The article chastises those who like to paint the U.S. as "The Great Satan."

The need to paint Americans as a greedy, selfish, war-mongering superpower cannot be disturbed by facts. It matters not that, in the year before the tsunami, the US provided $2.4 billion in humanitarian relief: 40per cent of all the relief aid given to the world in 2003. Never mind that development and emergency relief rose from $10 billion during the last year of Bill Clinton's administration to $24 billion under George W. Bush in 2003. Or that, according to a German study, Americans contribute to charities nearly seven times as much a head as Germans do. Or that, adjusted for population, American philanthropy is more than two-thirds more than British giving.

There is a teenaged immaturity about the rest of the world's relationship with the US. Whenever a serious crisis erupts somewhere, our dependence on the US becomes obvious, and many hate the US because of it. That the hatred is irrational is beside the point.

Indeed, why not break into a standing ovation every now and again? As more US C-130s and helicopters stand waiting on Burma's doorstep, desperate to help a shattered populace and stymied only by an appalling anti-US regime, this is one of those times.

Let's hear it for America.


h/t BigDog