Just saw on the Times web site that Defense Secretary Gates accuses Myanmar of “Criminal Neglect” because they won’t allow the four ships dispatched by the Navy to participate in the relief efforts, which would include helicoptering supplies to survivors in the transportation-challenged delta.
Hop in the not-so wayback machine to Hurricane Katrina. The US refused all sorts of aid offers from foreign governments in the aftermath.Â According to this article in the Washington Post, 54 of 77 offers from Canada, Israel and Britain were refused, including offers for much needed search and rescue teams.
Put in that light, one might even describe our response to Katrina as criminal neglect. On the other hand, if the US was hesitant to accept so many offers of aid, perhaps we can understand why the rulers of a closed society might do the same.