Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Helping America

John O'Shea is not happy that the Irish government is sending troops (along with €1m) to the US to help with hurricane relief efforts. He has a point, which is essentially that the US doesn't really need Ireland's help. Despite everything that has gone wrong with the relief effort, I think it's pretty obvious that the US will cope far better than the many African countries that O'Shea has spent his life trying to help.

I saw news clips of British planes heading to the US with meals ready to eat (MRE's), which makes sense to me. There are hundreds of thousands of displaced people in the US and it's possible that the supply of MRE's to hand would be insufficient. I read that Germany is sending pumps, which look like they could be of some use in New Orleans. And, it's possible that the water treatment equipment Ireland is sending could be truly needed, I don't know.

However, from what we've seen over the past ten days, the help the US really needed from the EU was mediation. Some of those Norwegians who helped broker the Oslo Accords might have been able to bring their skills to bear and get the various levels of government in America to work together.