People always talk about how hated the United States is, how we have no allies, how we don’t receive ample support from other superpowers of the world, how the United Nations never support us and so on. What’s blamed is President Bush, the war in Iraq, our pompous attitudes, our public policies and the like. I really don’t know why the World hates us, and honestly, I don’t really care because I don’t think me caring will really have any affect on how France votes in the next U.N. Security Council session. However, I would like to validate the fact that we are disliked, and we are forgotten, and we don’t receive the same support that we give.I can pretty much assure readers that the reasoning I am about to present has never been heard before, as the reasoning I’m about to present comes from an event that took place on August 29. Surging atop land that evening was a powerful force of Mother Nature, innocently named Hurricane Katrina. Hurricane Katrina had been brewing out in the Gulf of Mexico for about four days prior to slamming into land between New Orleans, Louisiana and Biloxi, Mississippi. The storm dumped enough water to overflow Lake Pontchartrain, which borders New Orleans on the East and Biloxi on the West. The overflow of the lake left 80 percent of the city of New Orleans under water, all of Biloxi, Mississippi and Mobile, Alabama under water, and more than 80 percent of the state of Mississippi without power. Tens of millions of people were displaced, millions have lost everything, and it has been estimated that this storm has caused nearly $25 billion in damage – more than the four hurricanes that slammed Florida last year combined.
Why is this all relevant? Because $25 billion in damages, four million people without power and clean water and the loss of nearly an entire metropolis is entirely more devastating than the tsunami that hit Southeast Asia in late December of last year. I’m not trying to downplay the horrors and losses encountered by the citizens of Asia who were devastated by the occurrence: I’m trying to shed some light onto one simple fact.
American’s gave tens of millions of dollars to the tsunami relief effort. We purchased those rubber wrist bands, we donated to the Red Cross, we sent food. How much food, clothing, money and overall relief is going to be sent in from countries around the world? There is none so far, and I’m going to go out on a limb and say that overall, we will receive nothing.
If China’s pledging to donate $200,000 counts as relief, then I’m sure a ton of countries would be willing to contribute. By relief, I mean a sum of money capable of having an impact on our economy and the lives of those impacted by the disaster.
The damage in the South is far worse than the damage in Asia. Think about how much the people who used to live in New Orleans need right now.
We’re looking at a city comparable in both size and population to Pittsburgh. Perhaps more devastating than the hurricane itself is the long trail ahead for the millions of people and families that were affected by it. What’s the rest of the world doing to help? Nothing. Is America hated? I’d sure say so.
Jeff Simon is a firstyear student majoring in Communications.