A Forgotten Disaster Just One Month Later

May 5, 2009

What if there was an event that killed almost 300 people from 10 different countries, injured 1,200 people, and left 35,000 people homeless that hardly made news? What was this event? When did the event take place? It was just a month ago. This was the L’Aquila earthquake that took place in Italy.

The reason I am writing this is because I wanted to make a donation to help the people of Italy. I tried to google to find relief funds, or organizations that were accepting donations and I really found very little. I did not even know if any of these charities that were set up online were legit. Honestly, I have no idea what it was that drove this story under the rug. Is it because Italy is not a third world country? Is it because there was no news media photos or video that said look at these starving, desperate people? Was it because the economy is in the dumps and agencies would be afraid that Americans would not give any money or support to Italy and keep it all for themselves? I tend to disagree. Americans are very generous, sometimes too generous, look how much money we lent to failing banks and other companies. Sorry, bad joke. But, we do donate to many causes, Americans gave millions of dollars to starving children
in Africa, millions more after the tsunami, and the list goes on and on.

Meanwhile, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton promised the people of Palestine in the Gaza Strip,$900 million! So, the US, in a time of a struggling economy where many people are out of a job, cannot make ends meet, and are watching their taxpayer dollars go to fund foolishly insolvent banks, failing automobile manufacturers and fraudulent insurance companies just lost a needed $900 million to Palestine. Palestine, a place that does not really give a flying fart about America, and where some of its people danced in the streets while our country was attacked on September 11th! Oh, it is not just a Democrat rant, I cannot equally stand the billions that went to Iraq, and that we have received very little from that money, and most importantly lost
4,284, American men and women
, and not including the hundreds of thousands of Iraqis that were also killed since this war began in 2003. You may ask, what the heck does this have to do with the earthquake in Italy. Well, here goes. The amount of money that the United States State Department
gave to Italy in emergency relief funding, hope you are sitting, down,$50,000! It equates to about $1.42 to each person left homeless. Why did we even bother giving anything, what an insult! The Italians would have been much better off financially if they were enemies of the United States than friends. The US would have given billions. Instead, here’s your 50 grand, um, maybe you can buy the last American made car with that money. I thought the Obama Administration would be the one to mend the fences of our allies that the Bush Administration allegedly severed? $900 million to an enemy state and $50,000, to a friend in need does not make me feel that great that this is change. You may wonder, did the Italians give anything to the US during a natural disaster like Hurricane Katrina? The answer is yes. Italy donated 80,000 pounds of supplies to Mississippi that was sufficient to give 12,000 to 15,000 of people needed aid.

Does anyone know how much the State of Palestine or Hamas gave to the US in aid from Katrina? I tried to find it I came up empty. If someone knows the answer to this, please feel free to leave a comment. Many Palestinian-Americans did have charities for Katrina.

May 6, 2009, will mark the one month anniversary of the earthquake and the 22 subsequent aftershocks that followed the 6.3 Mw quake.

While it was admirable of Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi to say that the Italians are ‘proud people’ and had sufficient resources to deal with the crisis, it was not necessarily the most intelligent decision. It may be true. But, then again, it may have been true in World War II, when the Americans came to Italy’s rescue. But, that does not mean that we as human beings still cannot show solidarity and give our support any way that we can. One day the country may not be as blessed and will not forget your generosity in a time of need. The Italian Premier also said that the homeless from the quake should consider the Easter weekend that the homeless should enjoy a camping weekend. I am hoping that something was lost in translation, but it does not appear to be the case. The recovery effort in Italy has been tremendous and has saved many lives. Maybe, if Italy did not have the proper rescue tools this story would have made more headlines.

A month later, swine flu dominates the headlines. The number of people who have died due to swine flu: 28.

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