Saturday, May 10, 2008

This morning I listened to CSpan's Washington Journal. A guest by the name of Henrietta Fore, the U.S. Agency for International Development Administrator, was on regarding the Myanmar (Burma) relief efforts. She was on to discuss the efforts in Myanmar (also known as Burma) after a cyclone hit the region more than a week ago. She is also Director of U.S. Foreign Assistance. Here is the website

In case you live under a rock, cyclone Nargis tore through Burma leaving estimates of between 60,000 to 100,000 dead and possibly one million homeless. I was shocked at the number of callers that compared this disaster to Katrina and were against sending any aid to Burma. It was staggering. Some callers said that America's money should stay at home and help Americans. Some of them wanted to know what this agency did for Katrina victims.

I'm not advocating the agency, as I'm no expert on US relief efforts for third world countries, but I am saying that the tenor of these calls was selfish and sickening. Katrina was a horrible example of how America responds to tragedy, but to deny starving people a meal because one believes he or she got a bad deal is abominable. It's the "you didn't do anything for us, so we don't want to do anything for you" syndrome and it is frightening to know that there are people in America that feel this way.

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