vendredi, septembre 02, 2005

Neverending Hurricane...

Mauser*Girl wrote her own view of the Hurricane and the Europeans thing. Normally, I would answer her in her own blog but I don't want to offend her again, so I tought I comment some of her statements here. She wrote:

So yes, I'm a little bit sore when I see people elsewhere say things like, "We get storms here and we didn't get care packages from the Americans" -

Sorry, if that made you sore but still, it is simply the truth.

I didn't say that in the meaning of "You didn't help us, so we don't help you" but in the meaning that we usually BOTH don't feel responsible for storms on the other continent. Especially when one has to fight very own problems. As casual notice said, There are still heavy flood damages in Centreal Europe. Some Mountain villages in Switzerland are still without any help and reachable only by helicopter. There are still wildfires severing in Portugal and Spain.

It's also nasty and useless to compare gravity: No one denies that Katrina was worse than Lothar. But like at any catastroph, the level of gravity is revealed only after some time (usually a couple days).

What makes ME upset is that we are blamed for not having recognized the entire dimension of tragedy in the very first minute. We got American hate-mails and blog-posts even before we had a chance to look at things closely. As if we were supposed to watch the US more carefully than the US-government does. Sorry, but I find this fucking arrogant.

The same Americans who claim this position are often excessively proud patriots. Well, I cannot say that I am an overmeasured patriot - but I do have some European, patriotic feelings, tough. And these are hurt when I am confronted with such annoying attacks. But of course, THAT doesn't count.

She also wrote:

Some sit there and say, "Sure, we'll give you aid - if you grovel and beg for it. Go ahead. Ask. Ask nicely. Or we won't bother."

Actually nobody said "beg for it".
But insulting Europeans before they even CAN realize what's up isn't a good idea for getting their help.
And on avery practical level, It is simply a fact that a country cannot fly its troops (even helping troops) in another country without being asked for.

In a German Forum I write, Somebody said that we really shouldn't help Americans but "let them drawn in their own arrogance and self-righteous shit".
I fight such repulsive statements with all passion, but I admit that *some* Americans really aren't a help on that purpose.

6 commentaires:

Kyle Miller a dit…

I read somewhere (in other words, I don't know if this is true or not) that Canada has been ready to come in with rescue workers and aid, but haven't been allowed to because the government won't let them in. If it is true, it shows the level of arrogance that this government has and the contempt it has for the people it is supposed to be caring for. It reminds me of the time when a soviet sub was damaged and the government would rather let its own crewman die than allow outsiders to help them.

Bear in mind that this is the US Government that is at fault, a government that is trusted by fewer than 40% of its citizens to do what is right by them. While the government dithers over what actions will put them in the best possible light, more citizens die. Aid is needed, of course, but what is really needed is leadership. Someone needs to take the reigns and make things happen rather than issue talking points.

Bradi a dit…

I'm not sure why there is so much anti-European sentiment in this country. (USA) I live in Texas, and there were a few restaurants who started that absurd practice of selling FREEDOM FRIES instead of French Fries, which aren't even French. My wife and I would not go to restaurants like that. During the last election, a lot of neo-Conservative "news" networks began comparing John Kerry to the French, and how philosphically he WAS French. The French were villified as a new kind of enemy, and the same time, neo-Cons shouted the idea that the only reason Europe EXISTS was due to their grace and protection. I thought this strange to insult "Old Europe" like this, and actually quite dangerous, especially since we're supposedly fighting a global war on Islamic Terrorism. Europe tried to warn us about our little escapade in Iraq, but we spat in their faces. I feel ashamed that we, well THEY, those awful neo-Conservatives, have thrown away a hundred years of good relations between our two cultures.

mauser*girl a dit…

Again, you've completely missed the point. Whenever something huge like this happens in another part of the world, such as the earthquakes in Turkey in '99 or the tsunami in Sri Lanka, the whole world looks at the US and says, "Donate! Send people!"

But when it happens here, people don't even say that they feel sorry this happen. They don't say, maybe we should do something to help there, as they get the news and the pictures come into their living rooms.

But instead you have morons like Juergen Trittin who say, "it's Bush's fault", and morons like the person on the forum you talked about.

Nobody ever said, "Those horrid Germans, they won't help us, those bastards." But people have wondered where the charities are that are usually so quick to help elsewhere. And rightly so.

Casual Notice a dit…

I think much of the American bitterness is residual from last year. As Mauser Girl pointed out we took a lot of heat after the Tsunami because the preliminary on-site inspector was only authorized to cut a check for $20 million the day of the tsunami. We later came through with a couple billion in government donations (over and above our 80% support of the IMF and other UN and international aid funds and nearly a trillion dollars in private donations). Mind you, we had just taken five hits in a row from hurricanes in Florida and the central Gulf Coast.

What we saw earlier this week was the same people who had been all over us for "only" giving 20 million dollars (and mobilizing a US Navy fleet for rescue operations) not even offering assistance or even a little sympathy.

And Kyle, the Canadians weren't stopped by the government because they're Canadians. They were stopped because (A) they need to dig their way in through miles of toppled trees and broken roads (take a look at the 30-foot deep pile of debris that used to be the Biloxi MS boardwalk and spread it across the 200-mile radius of the storm), and (B) they are trying to restore order (yes they're even now distributing supplies using military amphibian trucks) before bringing repair crews in.

Bradi a dit…

I also want to bring up American reaction to the Bali nightclub bombing, which shook Australia to the core. The American media gave it a brief moments notice and then went on to pursue other interests. A lot of Australians were puzzled by this, considering the amount of good-will they gave America after 9/11. It was perceived as self-absorbed.

Anonyme a dit…

I am in the US and, believe me, our own government did not respond nearly fast enough and with enough at first. They only did so when pressure started to get put on, mainly by the news media. The current administration, under The Shrub, is oblivious to anything that does not earn them power and money, like war!

Actually this was at least partially a man-made disaster as if the levees were not there the development had not been allowed to encroach on the amrshes the flooding would have been minimal. The levees are courtesy of greedy politicians and corporations many years ago and the encroaching of developers is the courtesy of The Shrub!