Foreign countries pledge aid in the wake of Katrina.

[The State Department said offers of help had been received from:

Australia, Austria, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Belgium, Canada, China, Columbia, Cuba, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, France, Germany, Guatemala, Greece, Guyana, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Paraguay, Philippines, Portugal, South Korea, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Slovakia, Spain, Sri Lanka, Switzerland, Sweden, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, United Kingdom, the United Arab Emirates, and Venezuela.](

That’s quite a list, and I for one am appreciative. I have been skeptical these past few days about this very thing, wondering whether there would be an aid package or if we were just going it alone because we’re the United States and we can just suck it up.

Well, even if it’s all declined, even if some of these countries never have to come through because we have enough, it’s always nice to know that people can put stuff aside when it matters. It really is the thought that counts.

Thank you.

Interesting to see Indonesia, Sri Lanka, and Thailand on that list. I’m sure they’re still struggling to recover from the tsunami.

I notice Kuwait isn’t on the list.

Kuwait helped out with hurricane Andrew… so as far as I’m concerned they’ve done hurricane duty already.

That’s an impressive list, and quite refreshing to see. Hopefully, this will put to bed that whole “no ever helps us” meme.

What surprised me, but makes a lot of sense actually, is that the first thing that was agreed upon wasn’t help, but instead develloping countries providing oil (I believe refined oil) to the US (apparently 1/3 of its consumption, I wouldn’t know for how long), at least in the case of Frnce (but I suspect it’s the same for other countries) by tapping in the strategic reserves.

This was organized by the IAEA. I’m not sure whether or not it should be considered as a good thing that the first issue agreed upon and settled was the oil issue.

There’s a lot things America can do for itself… but we can’t materialize oil out of thin air.

Truth is, we’ve got money. We’ve got vehicles for land, sea, and air - but they all need fuel. We’ve got medicine, money, and manpower - but they all need transport, and that takes fuel. The huge engine of US disaster aid can not function without fuel.

And 1/3 of our fuel runs through New Orleans.

So what’s the most pressing need to help us help ourselves? Fuel.

Not to men our economy runs on petrochemicals. If we can’t get them our economy grinds to a halt. That would affect other countries as well.

So, really, loaning/selling/sending us fuel makes some sense.

Actually, I heard today that Kuwait offered oil (as a gift, as I understood it), for a value that seemed rather significant to me (though don’t remember exactly how much).

While I’m again in this thread, I’m wondering about something else (more a GQ, actually).
They mentionned that the USA had requested from the EU some specific things (like medical kits, blankets…). It was a short list (a handful or so), but to my surprise, it included…water !!!
It seems extremely weird to me. First I would assume it would be very inconvenient and costly, and probably would take a long time to ship bottled water across the Atlantic in sinificnt quantity.

More importantly, I suspect there’s no shortage of water in the USA. I suppose it’s needed in the area devastated by the hurricane, but I would assume it would be vastly more convenient to ship it from Houston rather than from, say, Madrid. So, why on earth would they request water from Europe??? :confused: Does anybody have a clue?

My guess is simply that it will be able to be shipped instead of sent via pipelines, as water normally travels longer distances.

What I’m surprised at is that there isn’t more of a US Navy/Marine presences in the area, shut down and steaming to make as much water as possible. 14,400 gallons per day is a drop in the bucket compared to what’s needed there, but - it’s still something.

A MARG could be doing so much good, I’d think.

Of course, without port facilites for unloading… sigh

The one which surprised me was Cuba. Fidel get whacked every season, he’s got nothing to spare, but still offers. It’s about time we put the 60’s behind us and normalized relations with him, IMHO.

I’m not surprised. Though I can’t remember in which specific situation, I’m pretty certain it’s not the first time Castro offers asistance to the USA. I cynically tend to assume it’s mostly a PR move.