Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Unloved in the hour of need 

With Katrina devastating the South, many, from Fox’s Neil Cavuto to blogger California Conservative, ara asking the question: where is the foreign humanitarian aid?

To be sure, the trendy anti-Americanism makes it unlikely that too many around the world will think "we're all New Orleans now." It’s probably also fair to say that many think that America is rich enough, and organized enough, to simply help itself. There is some truth to that - after all, if the world's remaining superpower can't, who can? - but this should not be an excuse not to offer help, even if just symbolic or out of courtesy.

But have no fear, one offer is already on the table:
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez offered to send food and fuel to the United States after the powerful Hurricane Katrina pummeled the US south, ravaging US crude production.

The leftist leader, a frequent critic of the United States and a target himself of US disapproval, said Venezuela could send aid workers with drinking water, food and fuel to US communities hit by the hurricane.
Chavez can arguably say anything he wants, since it's unlikely that he will be taken up on his offer. As the report reminds us, “last week, Chavez offered discount gasoline to poor Americans suffering from high oil prices and on Sunday offered free eye surgery for Americans without access to health care.” Something that might be beyond Chavez's capacity to offer is fresh credibility for American political has-beens, like Rev Jesse Jackson, who on his current trip to Venezuela has welcomed Hugo's Oil for Poor program.


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