No, thanks, we don't want help from your kind
The thing that struck me the most about this year's anniversary of 9/11 was that, despite all of my expectations to the contrary, despite all of the Bush administration's... well, let's just summarize and say "the negative image they've projected to the rest of the world", we're seeing a repeat of that brief beautiful moment I wrote about two years ago. Offers of help and financial assistance are pouring in from the rest of the world.
And, unsurprisingly, what's the response from Mr. Bush and his camp?
Katrina aid from Cuba? No thanks, says U.S.
HAVANA — Dr. Luis Sauchay is the kind of hands-on physician you want in an emergency.
Though relatively young at 34, Sauchay has chalked up more than a decade of practicing hardship medicine.
Right out of medical school, he spent two years on the high seas, the only doctor for hundreds of fishermen aboard an industrial vessel.
During two other years, he cared for the sick and forgotten in an understaffed African clinic, treating countless cases of tuberculosis and cholera.
For the last five years, he has been the local family doctor for 200 working-class families in Havana’s Párraga neighborhood.
And after last February’s tsunami, Sauchay joined a Cuban medical brigade to comfort the shell-shocked in Sri Lanka.
So it was no surprise when just a day after Katrina decimated the Gulf Goast that Sauchay volunteered to help victims even though it means leaving his wife alone with their 2-month-old son.
“I can do a lot of good there,” he stressed, “because I have years of experience dealing with this type of catastrophe.”
Sauchay, though, may never get the chance to prove his worth. Despite Bush administration assurances that international aid offers will be kept free of politics, Cold War tensions seem to be freezing out help from Cuba.
(MSNBC via Phoebe's dad)
While I'm here, I'd like to recommend this morning's column from Joe Conason:
The bitter lessons of four years
Standing among the wreckage of two national disasters, it is no longer possible to deny the plain truth: Bush and his administration are unfit to wield power.
(from Salon, watch a brief ad for one day's access)