World Reaction to Katrina
The hurricane Katrina that killed dozens of people, that destroyed countless homes, flooded parts of Louisiana and Mississippi, that left millions without electricity – it’s all Bush’s fault, according to a leading member of the German Green party, who happens to be Environmental Minister in Chancellor Schroeder’s cabinet. Never mind that statistics don’t show a particularly increase in the frequency of hurricanes in the U.S. in the last decades. Germany’s general elections are scheduled for September 18, and the German left is in dire need of a neocon scapegoat for every disaster that befalls the world. And George W. Bush is the default villain in German politics and in the German media…
Excerpts of Trittin’s article:
By neglecting environmental protection, America’s president shuts his eyes to the economic and human damage that natural catastrophes like Katrina inflict on his country and the world’s economy. …many Americans have long been unwilling to follow the president’s errant environmental policy. Indications are multiplying that Bush has more than Katrina’s headwind blowing in his face… . When reason finally pays a visit to climate-polluter headquarters, the international community has to be prepared to hand America a worked out proposal for the future of international climate protection. The German Government stands ready. (Translation of quote by Richard Bartholomew)
There are also fears that Europe’s recovery could be choked off in its infancy by the steady upward march of prices for petrol and heating oil. That would weaken another of Asian exporters’ main markets and leave the world economy looking vulnerable. If Katrina has damaged America’s capacity to pump and refine oil, forcing Americans to shop abroad for more fuel to feed their appetites, it could be a long cold winter for everyone.
The leftist leader, a frequent critic of the United States and a target himself of US disapproval, said Venezuela could send aid workers with drinking water, food and fuel to US communities hit by the hurricane.
“We place at the disposition of the people of the United States in the event of shortages — we have drinking water, food, we can provide fuel,” Chavez told reporters.
Islamic extremists rejoiced in America’s misfortune, giving the storm a military rank and declaring in Internet chatter that “Private” Katrina had joined the global jihad, or holy war. With “God’s help,” they declared, oil prices would hit $100 a barrel this year.
Europeans are looking for ways to help out:
French President Jacques Chirac and German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder sent messages of sympathy to President Bush. Chirac, who has famously quarreled with Bush over the Iraq war, addressed this letter, “Dear George.”
Pope Benedict XVI said he was praying for victims of the “tragic” hurricane while China’s President Hu Jintao expressed his “belief that that the American people will definitely overcome the natural disaster and rebuild their beautiful homeland.”
Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II also sent a message to Bush saying she was “deeply shocked and saddened” at the devastation caused by the hurricane and expressing her condolences, “especially to the families of those who have lost their lives, to the injured and to all who have been affected by this terrible disaster.”
The U.S. Embassy in Bern, Switzerland – a capital at the foot of the Alps hit by flooding last week – said calls were rushing in from Swiss individuals and institutions looking for a way to donate to relief efforts.
A. M. Mora y Leon reflects on the tragedy.
The Anchoress has a terrific roundup.
American’s for Freedom doesn’t think that people fully realize the magnitude of this situation.