Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Katrina - Who's Going to Help?

As a break from the normal subject matter I write about: I was in a project meeting today and during a break we were discussing the Katrina situation. One comment that came up immediately by someone was this:
"just watch as no one offers help to the Americans in their time of need...everyone [as in other nations] expects them to pony up tons of relief cash when they are in trouble, but they [the Americans] will be expected to solve this one all by themselves."

I am assuming that they are contrasting the current situation with the Tsunami last year. Is this a fair comparison? The US is a relatively wealthy nation. Should they be expected to be more self-reliant than say Malaysia? Does it sound a little bitter?

I am Canadian. I am of the opinion that we as a country should offer assistance (monetary or otherwise) if there is a need. But will it be asked for? Should it just be offered? Do they really need the same kind (not necessarily amount) of emergency relief that the world provided during the Tsunami? Do they want it? I have always figured Americans to be people who pride themselves on self-sufficiency and resiliency (and that is not a shot - but a compliment). There might very well be many Americans who don't want outside help to solve their problem. (and of course I might very well be wrong in that assumption!)

It's a little different this time around. You have a million people in serious trouble and it looks like the problems will last months and not weeks. You WILL NOT be able to turn a blind eye after a week of news coverage. It's in everyone's back yard, and not halfway around the world. I feel so sorry for those affected, truly sorry.