Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Foreign aid donors still waiting for clearance

Foreign aid donors still waiting for clearance
by Chris in Paris - 9/07/2005 03:21:00 AM

I heard wingnuts early on crying about "where are all of the foreign donors since the US always acts to help others" but in fact the international donors were there, it was Condi and team at State that was foot dragging. The fact remains that besides just people, equipment to handle disasters such as Katrina are over in Iraq. Foreign aid was offered by friends such as Canada, Sweden, France, etc but our bungling bunch of royals in the administration were too busy taking vacations to worry about it.

Since Hurricane Katrina, more than 90 countries and international organizations offered to assist in recovery efforts for the flood-stricken region, but nearly all endeavors remained mired yesterday in bureaucratic entanglements, in most cases, at the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

"FEMA? That was a lost case," said Mirit Hemy, an executive with the Netherlands-based New Skies Satellite who made the phone calls. "We got zero help, and we lost one week trying to get hold of them."

"As far as I know, it's still on the ground," said Claes Thorson, press counselor at the Swedish Embassy in Washington. He said that along with 20 other European Union nations that have pledged aid, "We are ready to send our things. We know they are needed, but what seems to be a problem is getting all these offers into the country."

So far, Thorson said, the State Department has denied Sweden's request for flight clearance. "We don't know exactly why, but we have a suspicion that the system is clogged on the receiving end," he said.

Michael Brown is incompetent but he is just the starting point for failure so sacking him is only the first step. It's much deeper than just one or two people. $400 Billion in spending for this?


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