Saturday, September 03, 2005

I stand corrected

My Father taught me a lot of really good life-lessons, one of them being that to be a truly great man is always admit when you are wrong.

And I was wrong the other day.

Dead wrong.

Wednesday I wrote about Hurricane Katrina and how I didn't expect to see any other nations pitching in to help, and historically I should have been right because as far as I can remember it's never happened.

But again, I might be wrong there also.

This morning at work I'm reading today's Beckley, WV newspaper, The Register~Herald, and on page 11A the headline shouted out to me:

"Several nations offering aid to U.S."


Over 50 nations from Cuba to Russia, Saudi Arabia, Iran and Sri Lanka have pledged assistance.

Secretary of State Condaleeza Rice, in an attempt to dispute the report out of Moscow to the contrary said that "No offer of aid has been turned down"

Australia had donated $8 million to the American Red Cross. Foreign Minister Alexander Downer said;

" The United States is so often at the forefront of international aid efforts to help less fortunate nations so it is only fitting that Australia should contribute to the daunting task of helping the thousands of American citizens whose lives have been thrown into turmoil by this unprecedented disaster."

France also is sending two ships and several aircraft capable of airlifting tons of supplies, a disaster unit of 20 soldiers, an airborne emergency unit and a civil defense detachment.

In Halifax, the Canadians are fitting out three warships and a Coast Guard ship with food and emergency supplies and will set sail for New Orleans next Tuesday.

Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin is also releasing 30,000 barrels of oil and gasoline for US use.

Japan contributed $200,000 to the American Red Cross, and upon request has offered another $300,000 in tents, blankets, generators, portable water tanks and other equipment.

I stand before all of my loyal readers with my hat held humbly in my hands.

On behalf of the residents of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama who desperately need assistance I say thank you.

Copyright 2005 Thomas J Wolfenden


The Flying Dutchman said...

Well, I can see why you were angry when you were writing you're original post. However it's not very decent to lash out immediaately to other nations not offering help. It seems that now a lot of other nations (even the UN, which the US owes a lot of money to because of the refusal of paying their yearly contribution) have offered their help. One wonders though why, in a society where there's a profound sceptisism against national goverment, nobody seems to be asking the right questions? If I were a citizen of the US (which i am not, I'm from Holland, the nation by the way that offered the most private financial help per capita in the Tsunami disaster) i would ask now, why is there no social cohesion in times of crisis. Maybe that's because a large part of the population feels abandoned by their goverment, not only in this disaster but already before that. I see reports on CNN of policemen leaving their posts and a president who kan think of nothing better than stating the bloody obvious. Why wasn't there any well thought evacuation plan in progress the moment the scale of katrina (and it's path) was apparant. But I suppose you need a strong leadership for that. The US should ask itself if it is still fit to act as a leader of the free world, if it's unable to defend the weak and old in their own cities. Maybe it's time for americans to stop thinking they know and are better than the rest of the world.

Sydney said...

Actually, a lot of people thought that other nations weren't offering to help us because the news didn't seem to COVER IT until the past day or so. Dunno why. But anyway, other nations have offered and we are most grateful. Now if our own disaster management agency could just get it together...

Lindsey said...

Good grief Tom...I don't think you were expecting that kind of response!

I understand your feelings...I wasn't sure if they were going to help either but that was simply b/c I'm not used to US having to receive help and like Syndney wasn't reported in the news. But I'm extremely thankful for their support. My grandparents are in Mississippi right now and in desperate need of whatever they can get is great.

P.S. Can you teach other men to confess when they're wrong?

The Gray Tie said...

I'm with Linny up there. You know the old saying, "takes a real man to admit when he is wrong."

Amen I say to you!

Ranger Tom said...

Dutchman: Very valid points you've made and regretfully I have to agree with you on most of them. As for the the US owing the UN a lot of $$$, I'm sorry to say it's the other way around, the UN owes the US millions of dollars just in back rent on the UN Headquarters in NYC.

I'm sorry to say I've never neen to Holland. I wanted to when I was in Europe in 1986. My uncle was there though, in Eindhoven, back in 1944...

Syd: True...

Linny: My dad taugh me well... I don't get how other guys just don't see it... You're wrong, fess up. It a shitload easier that way in the long run. But I'll tell you one thing, when I know I'm rightm I'll go down kicking and screaming!

Grey Tie: Amen to Linny or me? lol