Lending a Helping Hand.

America has had its share of crises throughout it’s’ time, compared to anything one would recognize as a “normal crisis”. For example on September 11, 2001 a terrorist group set out a series of four organized airplane attacks on the United States. These attacks caused 2,996 deaths and over 6,000 injured. Along with the destruction of the economy of downtown Manhattan. In 2005, the country was struck by a Category 5 hurricane known as Hurricane Katrina. This caused 1,833 deaths and over 108 billion dollars’ worth of damages.

The north face of Two World Trade Center (south tower) immediately after being struck by United Airlines Flight 175
The north face of Two World Trade Center (south tower) immediately after being struck by United Airlines Flight 175

Thinking about some of the catastrophes that have shaken America as a nation, it sparked the question as to why every time something bad happens in other countries, it is automatically expected for America to step in and “save the day”. It’s like somehow America has been unofficially appointed the crusaders of the world. It is almost expected of the U.S to intervene in foreign affairs regarding other countries even when the issue does not involve the U.S. It could be looked at from the point of view that because of our immense wealth it is our natural responsibility to assist other countries when problems plague them.(natural and man made alike). The argument is not that America shouldn’t lend a helping hand when it is needed because following the ethics of politics, America does have a moral responsibility to the rest of the world. Protecting other nations along with certain natural resources and the ability to act in foreign trade within a region serves as a positive reinforcement for the U.S. Though sometimes it is not always primarily in America’s best interest to help, they are the only ones that do. An example could be the crisis in Syria involving ISIS. When those men, women and children were trapped on the mountain,  America stepped in and gave aid because it was the right thing to do.

This ties into the question as to how exactly does the rest of the world view America? According to disapproval ratings by country, Pakistan, Lebanon, and Yemen all have the highest ratings of over 68%. It is important to look into why these countries feel so strongly about the United States. Over 100 of Yemen citizens have been detained by U.S enforcement to Guantanamo Bay, while the U.S is concerned about

United States President Barack Obama with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki
United States President Barack Obama with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki

terrorist activity brewing from the country. America has also expressed concern about terrorism stemming from Lebanon. Relations with Pakistan have been extremely tense ever since the attack on the World Trade Center. As the U.S spent the duration of the Osama Bin-Laden hunt in Pakistan. A 2009 a survey revealed that 59% of the Pakistan people viewed America as bullies.

Even though a lot of countries seem to have issues with the United States, that has not prevented the U.S from providing aid. Up to 2.1 billion dollars in foreign aid was given to Pakistan despite their 73% disapproval rating. Most of that aid is distributed towards security and assistance with the war on terror. Which in turn helps protects the citizens of that country and reduces the threat of an attack being made here at home. America has its own specific reasons to provide support for countries during that country’s time of need such as protecting resources and aiding in military support to assist our own troops that are stationed in the country. When it comes to exactly how much America provides in foreign aid, there is a 16.8 billion dollar difference between the two countries who spend the most on foreign aid. (U.S 30.46 billion and the U.K 13.659 billion). This was not to undermine the aid that other countries do give aid, just the fact that more than often it is expected of America to contribute.

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2 thoughts on “Lending a Helping Hand.

  1. Great article, really enjoyed reading it. Although not brought up in your blog, a small thing I realized once you started talking about 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina was Machiavelli’s idea of fortune. Those struck me as prime examples that fall under that category. Anyway I think it is so true about all of the intervening we do when other countries are in need. I also believe this is for the resources the countries have. For example, we were fighting with the Middle East in part for control of their massive oil fields. I feel these people have a problem with us because they think we want to take them over or we are doing it for the sole purpose to hurt them. All in all a great read. Well done!

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  2. I thought this read was interesting too. I liked that you addressed some issues with the U.S. intervening in other countries. I have a friend who quit the military because he found the way the U.S. intervened in other countries to be hurtful and imperialistic. One funny story he told me was that he worked as a pay agent, and was given a certain amount of money to spend (so his job was literally to spend whatever money they gave him). He built a bridge (a crappy one made of mud with the help of an architect/carpenter he hired) with half of the money. He couldn’t find anything else to spend his money on, so he tried to return it to his officer, who in return scolded him and told him to find something else to spend the money on. Not knowing what to do, he spent the money on a second bridge LITERALLY feet away from the first one. Another thing he found problematic was that when the U.S. troops were in another country, due to being richer, they caused a lot of inflation and made the locals unable to afford food, toiletries, and other basic needs.

    So I think the U.S. intervening can actually cause a lot of problems and, if the U.S. plans to keep doing so, we better start asking locals what they want instead of spending exorbitant amounts of money on what we think is better. I think we have been wasting our taxpayer money on superfluous and detrimental activities/items in foreign countries and we need to reconsider and ruminate on what is best, both for the United States and for the countries we decide to “help.”

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