When is a first strike not a first strike?
When it's Anticipatory Retaliation.

August 31, 2005


Bravo Romeo Delta

Out of curiosity, I mooked around to see what global reaction has been to the damage wrought by Hurricane Katrina.

Interestingly, the same Germany that produced the noxious commentary of a Minister indicating that the US basically had it coming given our turndown of Kyoto, is also the home of Der Spiegel which had some interesting links.  First, was a set of letters to Der Speigel remarking on German commentary about the Hurricane.  Similarly, Der Spiegel also ran a bit about the same remarks by the German government official who shot his mouth off - in this article they didn't seem to either condone or condemn the statement, but simply related his defense of his argument.

The other interesting articles are these: Disaster 101: Why Europe Hasn't Jumped to Help Katrina's Victims which has a few interesting bits:

"Yet, in Europe, the Web sites of major aid organizations -- including international branches of the Red Cross in Germany, France, England etc. -- don't even mention its existence. Instead, they continue to highlight such worthy causes as hunger in Niger, ongoing aid for victims of December's South Asian tsunami and, in the French case, an airline crash in Venezuela. But the US Gulf Coast is nowhere to be found. It begs the question: Don't the desperate people of Louisiana and Mississippi need the world's help and attention?"

The article does hem and haw about the question, but the fact that it was raised is interesting in and of itself.  But the more warming bit was the article linked at bottom which had links to sites taking donations for Hurricane victims.

At any rate, I got curious and decided to do a quick survey of how folks are mobilizing (if at all) to support Hurricane victims.

First Batch - National Red Cross Organizations:

Folks Who Get Credit:

The British Red Cross mentions the Hurricane on their main page as a feature item.  Likewise, the Germans do a creditable job (but you might miss it if your German is rusty - just look for Wirbelsturm Katrina).  Props to the denizens of the Great White North, as the Canadian Red Cross has a Katrina appeal up. Likewise, the Swedish and Dutch Red Cross Organizations also mention the Hurricane on their home pages.  They don't seem to have made it a marquee item, but then again the water's still rising, so failure to publicize a whole lot isn't really indicative of much of anything.

Folks Who Get Some Credit:

The Danish Red Cross does have an article on its site about Katrina, but nothing is visible on the main page (as far as I can tell), and one has to search the site to find hurricane information.

Folks Who Don't:
Norway, Switzerland, France, Italy, Spain, Ireland.

Somewhat disappointingly, Japan's Red Cross doesn't seem to have anything up - but I wonder if that's not a function of some other problem, as it appears that their frequent news updates halted some months ago - they haven't posted anything about the Niger famine, so I suspect this may not be an omission so much as a fail to keep the site current.

For what it's worth, Poland, Indonesia, and Latvian Red Cross sites don't seem to have anything, but then again, they also don't seem to be constantly updated, highly dynamic sites, so it might not mean much.  I also poked around some of the Southeast Asian Red Cross sites to see if reciprocity would be forthcoming, and I didn't see any evidence of that, but on the other hand asking Tsunami devastated Indonesia to turn around and send emergency relief aid to the US is a bit much.

Second Batch: 19 Organizations Listed on Tsunamis.com as organizations to contribute to for Tsunami Victims.

 Folks Who Get Credit:
AmericaCares and the American Red Cross both have a big section up - their American outfits, but it's still nice to see.  Another group that has stepped up is the American Friends Service Committee a very Quaker outfit - has a good hurricane section.  Similarly, the Christian Reformed World Relief Committee makes a strong showing and has already started a $2M campaign.  Food for the Hungry places Katrina at the top of it's Crisis update section - not at all flashy, but I find it impressive for an organization who's website is still labeled as "Asia Tsunami World Relief".  World Vision, Habitat for Humanity, MAP International and the World Emergency Relief folks all get props for their Katrina efforts.

Folks Who Get Some Credit:
The Adventist Development and Relief Agency - ADRA (the humanitarian agency of the Seventh-day Adventist church) does have a line item on their main page for the Hurricane, but seems to still be very heavily engaged in it's projects in Niger.  Direct Relief International does have an mention in passing, but doesn't appear to be on the ball quite yet.  Likewise the Church World Service has a slim offering - but then again doesn't seem to be a website built around big flashy front-end marketing, so this may not mean much.  Save the Children seems content to note that, in fact, sponsored children are safe following the hurricane.

Folks Who Don't:
The Christian Children's Fund has nada up front.  The International Rescue Committee (a group focused on refugees) doesn't have squat.  According to their tagline, their focus is on refugees from persecution and war, but if that's why they aren't involved in Katrina, I would like to know exactly what kind of war the Tsunami was that got them involved.  Likewise, Doctors Without Borders evidently doesn't seem to be under the impression that their assistance will be needed - maybe that will change once the Cholera starts to set in.

Third Batch - International Care

 Folks Who Get Credit

 Folks Who Get Some Credit

 Folks Who Don't:
Care Australia is apparently occupied with the notion that 'Adventure that leaves a good impression' and is cycling through Southeast Asia.  Likewise, Care Canada doesn't seem to be following the lead of their pals in the Canadian Red Cross.  Screw this - a quick check of all the international care sites accessible from Care International shows that there has been no hurricane at all, whatsoever.

Oxfam is also right up there following CARE's lead in blowing off Katrina.  Muslim Hands, a self-described 'truly world-wide charity' is under the impression that Hurricane Katrina happened on Mars, and is therefore, not part of their brief.  The British Disasters Emergency Committee - an 'Umbrella organisation which launches and coordinates responses to major disasters overseas' - seems to be taking the lead of Muslim Hands and has consigned New Orleans to Mars.

Summary, Conclusion, and I'm Done With This Post

Well, first off, there appears to be no particularly strong broad-based correlation on Tsunami efforts and Hurricane efforts.  As it turns out, most religious charities that participated in one have done so in the other.  Secular organizations have a much spottier record.  Secular groups in the US (or with strong apparent ties to the US - such as the Red Cross) are generally pretty helpful.  Their more international groups are pretty much a no-show.  Which is no surprise.

Of the folks who have lent a hand and those who haven't among the foreign Red Cross groups, I find it more than a bit interesting that of two of the more sympathetic folks, the UK and Germany, one is helping out in Iraq while the other isn't.  Conversely, of the Red Cross outfits that aren't helping, some, like France didn't send anyone, some like Italy did, and others, like Spain, did but changed their minds about it.  I'm not sure exactly what this means, other than not much.

Oh yeah, by the way, a quick perusal of Islamic Charities (with websites and whatnot) showed that they were about as likely as Christian Charities to help with the hurricane - in other words, they actually do make an effort practice that which is preached.

(Cross posted to Demosophia, Anticipatory Retaliation, and the Jawa Digest)

Launched by Bravo Romeo Delta at August 31, 2005 09:25 PM | Missile Tracks
Naked Villainy Retaliates with: Hurricane Relief
The Glittering Eye Retaliates with: Eye on Katrina

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