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Thursday, Aug. 25, 2016

Where is the aid for our disasters?

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

As I, like most Americans, watched Hurricane Katrina unfold Monday, I couldn't help but wonder if other governments were volunteering manpower or financial assistance to come to our aid? I wondered if the Mexican government was sending medical personnel or heavy equipment to assist in the aftermath.

Or here's another thought. I just finished a well-researched narrative on Africa which included the billions and billions of dollars our government has sent to address the problems there. That article also chronicled the enormous wealth of some of the African "royalty" - such wealth that would make Bill Gates envious. And I wondered if these African "royalty" had plans to send some financial aid to the residents of the Gulf Coast as they spend months if not years recovering from the hurricane.

The point is that other countries - with some exceptions - don't come to our rescue, despite the circumstances. But when disaster strikes in virtually any corner of the globe, you know who forks over billions in financial aid.

Were we to put out a call for assistance, I believe some would respond. But where are the volunteers from Mexico who are so anxious to call the United States home? Where are the scores of foreign governments who rely on the American taxpayer to feed their people? A small gesture would go a long way.

Instead however, the American taxpayer will likely pay higher gasoline prices, higher insurance prices and untold other expenses to address this disaster. And for the most part, we'll do it alone without a helping hand from anyone else.

Maybe, just maybe, we need to remember Hurricane Katrina the next time an earthquake or a tsunami strikes some foreign land.

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Michael Jensen
Michael Jensen