James Lileks has a nice little slam at — you guessed it — France, for failing to offer to help the victims of Katrina. That’s right: first Lileks and his buddies make every effort they can to wreck the French economy because Chirac wouldn’t back Bush over Iraq, and then they complain that France isn’t pitching in to help out in our hour of need. Now that’s real chutzpah.
Apparently as of now the Federal government is refusing, or at least not acting on, offers of help from abroad. Consider this from the Jamaica Observer.
Jamaica was among the nations offering what help they could. But the Kingston embassy, while stating its appreciation for the support, politely declined the offers, saying in a statement: “The United States Government is not yet requesting international assistance at this time.”
Well, why not? Maybe Jamaica has hospital ships. Last time I checked, Kingston was closer to New Orleans (by water) than Baltimore, from which a U.S. hospital ship is to depart tomorrow.
There’s a report on Daily Kos of Canadian help being refused, but I can’t find that reported elsewhere. What is reported is that Canada has offered whatever aid we want, but that no request has yet been made.
Of course, it’s entirely possible that the rescue effort is so badly organized right now that the people on the ground can’t figure out what it is that other people have that they need. That’s the reason competent organizations do advance planning.