Is the U.S. a helping hand? by Vincent Russell

 Is the U.S. a helping hand?

 Does the U.S. actually help when it says its helping? Or do they do what ever they can to help? Let me explain. In the recent news the revolution in Libya has received some help from the United States and the United Nations.  Lately, they bombed government factories and government hangers hoping to stop Qadaffi’s reign of terror.  They hoped to give the rebels an edge on the government forces since they are barley making any headway. Many think this is going way to far to try to help the people of Libya.  Many more think this is exactly what is needed to stop him.  Is the U.S. helping the people Libya? Or are they helping their suffering?


The U.S. in particular has been in question of whether or not its actually helping when it says its “helping”.  Foreign Aid’s objective is to benefit countries by volunteering goods and services.  According to, in 1970 “the world’s richest countries agreed to give 0.7% of their gross national income as official international development aid, annually”.  Many of the countries in this agreement do not meet with this criterion.  As of 2009 the U.S. has been giving 0.2% of their gross income. Although, this does not meet the requirements the U.S is ahead 15 million dollars on other countries. 


In January 2010 a devastating 7M earthquake hit Haiti. Of course being the kind country that we are we sent 10,000 troops in the next few days following the earthquake.  Our Military leaders were too interested in securing the island to send groups like the Red Cross overseas first.  According to Slate, a news website, “Aid flights from Mexico Russia and France were refused to land” on the 18th of January.  It took convincing from the U.N. to let airdropped aid reach Haitian soil.  Lt. General of the U.S. southern command told Associated Press “It is calm at this time”.  If it was calm couldn’t the forces be more directed toward giving aid to people?


Three weeks ago a 9M earthquake hit Japan followed by a ruinous wall of water that crippled the entire coastline up to 6 miles inward.  Since Japan is an important ally to the U.S., a relief effort was made to help the people of Japan bounce back from this two part natural disaster.  20,000 troops were sent to Japan.  Some of the 20,000 Marines cleared the Sendai airport, the biggest regional city hit by these calamities.  Now airplanes with supplies can land and deliver aid. "But I still have reservations about having U.S. troops in Japan. ... I'm happy today, and I appreciate their help, but it doesn't fundamentally change the way I feel", says Yoko Hiraoka from STL today.  Even though the U.S is making a good effort to get supplies there, their presence holds tensions of conflict.


            With all this evidence before us can we make a definitive judgment? The U.S. feels obligated to help other countries even if the ties with them are bad.  The U.S. makes mistakes by over estimating the problems, like what happened in Haiti, and tries to not show them. All in all, this help is great for countries that need support in times of need.  It shows decency to help Japan even though the ties are bad.  Just sometimes the U.S. goes about this wrongly but never the less it is help and it is needed.  Even though it doesn’t seem beneficial it actually is helping a lot, more than we know or think.