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View Diary: DAMNING Congressional Record: Cries for Help Ignored By The Federal Government [updated] (150 comments)

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  •  They are trying to raise oil and shipping prices (4.00)
    Can someone diary this?  Mine on a similar slant (and without citations) got crowded out last night, and I think a solid case needs to be made for this argument (with citations).

    To wit, we're refusing international aid that can help:

    http://edition.cnn.com/2005/US/09/04/katrina.world.aid/index.html

    Some highlights of that report ... bolding mine ...

    "The U.S. government has received offers of aid from dozens of nations across the globe in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, the State Department said.

    Neither the White House nor the State Department has said whether these offers have been accepted. "

    We have taken a piddling amount ...

    "The EU Executive Commission said the United States has asked for first aid kits, blankets, water trucks and 500,000 prepared meals, Reuters reported.

    NATO said the United States had asked it for food supplies, Reuters reported. "NATO stands ready to continue to support the United States as it recovers from this natural disaster," the alliance reportedly said in a statement."

    But there is much more offered ... WITH PETROL ... again, bolding mine ...

    "Other international organizations also offered help, ranging from medical teams to tents to cash donations. They include the Organization of American States, the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees and World Health Organization.

    The United Nations has offered to help coordinate international relief."

    We only accepted the offer of UN coordination this morning, and the coordinators had to go to Washington DC ... that's in the AP piece lower down.

    "China offered $5 million in aid for victims of Hurricane Katrina. If needed, the Chinese government also is prepared to send rescue workers, including medical experts, officials said."

    "The Singapore armed forces, responding to requests by the Texas Army National Guard, has sent three Chinook helicopters to Fort Polk, Louisiana, to help in relief efforts."

    "Canada has offered to help in any way it can, and its navy is preparing a ship full of emergency disaster relief supplies to be sent when a request comes.

    Cuban President Fidel Castro offered to fly 1,100 doctors to Houston, Texas, with 26 tons of medicine to treat disaster victims.

    Mexico has offered $1 million and is sending 15 truckloads of water, food and medical supplies via Texas. The Mexican navy has offered to send two ships, two helicopters and 15 amphibious vehicles.

    Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, a vocal critic of the United States, offered to send cheap fuel, humanitarian aid and relief workers to the disaster area."

    "Australia is giving $10 million, most of it to the American Red Cross, according to the Australian Foreign Minister Alexander Downer."

    Could it be that the Feds WON'T take it?  Why is it going to a private org?

    France has offered mobile help from rescue teams in the French Antilles in the Caribbean, including a civil defense detachment of 35 people, tents, camp beds, generators, motor pumps, water treatment units and emergency kits, two CASA cargo aircraft, a ship (Batral Francis Garnier) and the frigate Ventose with its Panther helicopter, and a hurricane disaster unit. France also has offered assistance from the French mainland, including several aircraft. In addition, the NGO Telecoms Sans Frontieres, which specializes in restoring phone lines and Internet service in disasters, is ready to send a team of experts and equipment. Veolia Environment, which has facilities in Louisiana, has offered to make its local water management resources available.

    Germany has offered a range of assistance, including medical and transportation services, water treatment capabilities and aid in searching for victims and supplies. Germany also has said it is ready and willing to "dip into its own emergency oil reserves" to release some 2 million barrels a day for 30 days.

    Italy has offered to send aid and evacuation specialists immediately, Italy's civil protection unit said. Authorities have prepared two military transport planes to fly amphibious vessels, pumps, generators, tents and personnel to New Orleans, Louisiana, and other areas. They were awaiting word from U.S. officials, the unit said.

    The Netherlands will provide teams for inspecting dikes and for identifying victims if there is a formal request from the United States. It also will send a frigate from Curacao in the Netherlands Antilles to New Orleans shortly to provide emergency assistance, the Dutch government said."

    "Spain expects to receive a formal request to release gasoline stocks to the United States and is prepared to grant it, an Industry Ministry spokesman said."

    "Qatar has offered the United States $100 million to assist in the humanitarian crisis triggered by Hurricane Katrina.

    Saudi Refining, a Houston-based subsidiary of state oil firm Saudi Aramco, will donate $5 million to the American Red Cross to support relief efforts for hurricane victims."

    Again, what the heck?  Why aren't the Feds cutting out the middle man?  Are they TRYING to create a mess for Halliburton to clean?

    "Iran has offered to send humanitarian aid to hurricane victims, Reuters reported. "We are prepared to send our contributions to the people through the Red Crescent," Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi told Reuters."

    IRAN!!!!   The Axis of Evil is helping us now!
    These people don't hate us OR our way of life.  At least, not Iran, Cuba and Venezuela.  Not even Saudi Arabia.  Now, Kuwait ... they hate us.  Or maybe not ... http://www.contracostatimes.com/mld/cctimes/news/12565388.htm ... 500 MILLION DOLLARS.  500 MILLION DOLLARS.  Granted, one of the clerics there opened his mouth to say that this was the will of Allah ...
    but we didn't give 500 million dollars to Venezuela ... more on that later on ...

    We haven't accepted the 500 million dollars.
    Or anything other than EU and NATO MREs.

    And this is just the tip of the iceberg.  There are other countries, poor countries and rich ones, in the CNN piece.

    And the AP and WLOX have gotten this information ... note that only the UN, EU, and NATO aid has been accepted ... and that we've turned down MORE oil ...
    http://www.wlox.com/Global/story.asp?S=3806951&nav=6DJIe8wp

    "Kuwait's offer includes $400 million in oil products and $100 million in humanitarian relief, Al Sabah's spokesman told The Associated Press. Another close U.S. ally, the United Arab Emirates, is sending tents, clothing, food and other aid."

    400 million dollars of oil.  Yeesh.

    "Bitter U.S. foes Iran and North Korea -- which Washington pressured over their respective nuclear programs -- offered to help rescue efforts, and Syria -- another longtime opponent -- was among numerous Middle Eastern states offering condolences. And Arab League chief Amr Moussa said the Arab world should support the United States, which "always expresses solidarity with nations that face natural catastrophes and extends most of the aid they receive.""

    Iran, N. Korea, Syria ... yep, they hate our way of life ... no, they hate our government.  And our government is hurting us because they hate them.  Believe me, I think we should be tough with these countries and they aren't sweethearts ... but they are giving us HELP.

    "The Paris-based International Energy Agency has also said its 26-member nations would release the equivalent of 2 million barrels of oil per day from strategic reserves"

    What is our problem?  We have a president creating petrol shortages, when help could be on the way!

    And it may not just be business ... it may be swelling the coffers of religious charities over more secular ones or non-Christian ones ...

    The BBC was provided this list of charities for Britons and other people reading the International Service to help.  Keep in mind this is while our government has accepted NOTHING from Britain itself.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/4204066.stm

    "Agencies seeking cash donations only:

    American Red Cross

    America's Second Harvest

    Operation Blessing

    Agencies seeking cash donations and volunteer help:

    Adventist Community Services

    Catholic Charities USA

    Christian Reformed World Relief Committee

    Church World Service

    Convoy of Hope

    Corporation for National and Community Service

    Lutheran World Relief

    Mennonite Disaster Service

    Nazarene Disaster Response

    Presbyterian Disaster Assistance

    Salvation Army USA

    North American Mission Board

    United Methodist Committee on Relief "

    Operation Blessing, who has had problems and is run by Pat Robertson ... that's there ... but Oxfam, United Jewish Communities, and any Muslim charities are not.  Some foreign citizens are not going to contribute when they see this list.  Some will wonder if their contributions to other orgs will reach the Gulf Coast at all.

    And all the while, the Feds are slow to take help from these orgs they've listed ... meaning that cash contributions are just piling up.

    The domestic list, by the way, has been expanded ... either by media outlets themselves or by the Feds.  But not the one to the rest of the world.

    The BBC also specifies the offer by Chavez, in this article (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/4214562.stm) that says that Oil may or may not go down in price:

    "One member, Venezuela - whose president, Hugo Chavez, is embroiled in a long-running war of words with Washington DC - offered a million barrels of gasoline."

    ONE MILLION barrels.  Wouldn't that help the rescue efforts and the region?

    Instead, they are getting people to hand over money to the religious extremist who has issued a fatwa against Chavez and whose org has yet to SHOW UP in the region of NOLA or in the Gulf Coast at all.

    Cronyism for Halliburton and other favored energy-related corporations, cronyism for select charities and select faiths ...

    We have to keep helping any way we can, and SCREAM for the international help to get green-lighted.

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