Friday, September 02, 2005

The Tower of Babble

I've been following the horrible, horrible trail of death and destruction come out of Hurricane Katrina. Yet even the horror does not spare bureacratese from operating. Consider this statement in today's papers:
"We are open to all offers of assistance from other nations, and I would expect we would take people up on offers of assistance when it’s necessary,” said spokesman Scott McClellan.But asked whether this was a request for foreign aid, McClellan sharply replied: “No.”
Does this mean "we're not asking, but if we get something, we'd be grateful?" But then if you're not asking does it mean you need it? Or does it mean we're too proud to ask? (Hence the "sharp" response.) A tragedy is a tragedy. Asking for or offering or receiving help should be straightforward.

10 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The tragedy is that they're lacking in volunteers to help with clearing the wreckage and destruction. Pakistan should offer the services of its mullahs, who can provide the devastated Americans with much-needed relief. I'm even willing to sponsor a mullah's trip to the US for this purpose.

4:43 pm  
Blogger Sister Spikey Mace of Desirable Mindfulness said...

You're right, of course, but pride is something we're long on as a nation, to the point of hubris in the current regime. Further troubling is that that money exists in this nation. Whether the Haves will cough it up for those in need remains to be seen. I have no doubt American citizens will give; I have plenty of doubt about American corporations.

8:05 pm  
Blogger assiniboine said...

Of course Americans will give, but perhaps not in proportion to their individual benefit from the tax breaks under this Administration that have led to the gutting of the disaster relief agencies, the infrastructure maintenance mechanisms and -- this one is particularly odd -- the deployment of the National Guard to Iraq because the military is under-manned. It will be the ordinary Joes who do the coughing up because Americans really are a generous people, unlike their skinflint government.

And yes, that's exactly what Scott McLelland meant: one notes that the Australian government immediately dispatched $10M and a team of disaster experts and the Canadian government three battleships stocked with supplies. Those on the ground who perceive where the help is coming from will be grateful, no doubt; the US government will consider it a matter for turning the other cheek, at best, as when its response to Canada's having accommodated ALL airplanes and their passengers that were to have landed at US airports after 9/11 was to accuse Canada of being the harbour of terrorists and to seal up the border. Fortunately Americans' friends abroad (who are not always seen in high places as America's friends abroad) will continue doing the right thing anyway, however a token a gesture it might be in comparison with the scale of the need.

8:14 am  
Blogger livinghigh said...

uhum. that's something that most hoity toity governmenet's do.. and india's on de top of the list there, just after de US, i think!

"we can take care of ourself", they bawl.

is it wrong, dat as a citizen, i kinda feel glad dat we say so? hmmmmm....

12:03 pm  
Anonymous closetalk said...

we must all sing Heal The World now! ;-)

PS: Peroxide in de previous post sounds like a first rate B-I-T-C-H. hahaha... but then, all gay parties are not THAAAAT bad! ;-)

12:05 pm  
Blogger BBCD said...

valid point hun, so true. so much snobber involved.

6:46 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't believe this. You've enabled anonymous comments. Now I don't need to come out!

- DG

10:48 pm  
Blogger say what? said...

there is a certain amount of pride associatd with it.

12:47 pm  
Blogger aristera says said...

very nice blog. simple but nice.

11:28 pm  
Blogger Uber Homme said...

Everyone: Thanks. Amazing how a few lines of a quickly written blog entry have given such a diverse range of reactions. Thank you all yet again.

Anonymous: I can put the filter on again if it results in your coming out of the closet :)

7:16 pm  

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