There is no dependable way to foretell the next natural calamity that will befall planet Earth. Actually, the only thing mankind can say about the next planet-shaking catastrophe is that after whatever horrendous event has ended, America will have aid en route. Yes, many countries give assistance to afflicted areas of the world; however, the unchallenged leader of emergency aid is always America. The United States is usually the first to arrive at devastated locations of the world by request and is the last to leave, having brought the lion’s share of assistance with no strings attached. In fact, our country’s speed, efficiency and overwhelming willingness to assist nations in need has in some corners become viewed as less of a matter of American charitableness and more of a matter of world entitlement.
This is an unfortunate world mentality that is often reinforced by liberals right here in the U.S. The truth is that Americans are not just exceptional, they are exceptional in their willingness to give to others. How so? America gives proportionally more aid for its size and population than any other developed country. Americans give readily across all income levels. We also give aid as a nation when there is virtually no chance of future reciprocation, such as the huge amounts of aid that have been sent to Haiti. This country sends assistance to places so hostile, such as Somalia, that simply getting the aid to its destination can be a life and death mission. Unlike Islamic nations, America brings charitable goods to countries with dictators that have been designated as enemies of the United States. The ongoing aid in Iraq is a salient example of this; however, a long-standing example of American aid to a previous enemy nation is before the world now in the catastrophe that has struck Japan.
On December 7, 1941, Japan ruthlessly attacked America at Pearl Harbor, prompting the United States to officially enter World War II. After countless American lives were lost to the Japanese the war ended only after America developed and used atomic bombs on the Japanese cities Hiroshima and Nagasaki. America could have walked away from Japan and forced the defeated nation to fend for itself, could have been imperialistic and enslaved the nation as Japan had originally attempted to do with China. Instead, America saved China through Japan’s defeat and saved Japan through American charity and later the infusion of the capitalistic system. No other country of that era attempted, or completed, an equivalent forging of positive bonds as were made between Japan and America after World War II.
Recently as Japan was struck with an 8.9 magnitude earthquake and a subsequently devastating tsunami, the Los Angeles County Urban Search and Rescue team departed to assist the Asian country with 74,000 tons of rescue equipment and supplies followed shortly by another U.S. rescue team stationed in Fairfax, Virginia. These American rescue units, as reported by ABC News, are specially trained to deal with earthquake-related disasters. In addition, the U.S. government has ordered ships, air support and military troops to assist Japan with Humanitarian aid. Many countries will also do the right thing and help Japan in its time of need, but America will do the most and will do it for the longest. More importantly, through the unique, charitable nature of the American citizen and the country that bears its will, the United States will assist a country we have already built from the ashes up, a former enemy that struck the United States first so many decades ago. For all the chiding America takes around the world and internally from liberals of our own country, when it comes to getting emergency aid, or what some might call the charity “green,” the world always looks to the red, white and blue. Americans are not perfect, but we are certainly exceptional.
Paul A. Ibbetson is a former Chief of Police of Cherryvale, Kansas, and member of the Montgomery County Drug Task Force. Paul received his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Criminal Justice at Wichita State University, and is currently completing his Ph.D. in Sociology at Kansas State University. Paul is the author of several books including the 2010 release “Oliver’s Tale: A Squirrel’s Story of Love, Courage, and Revolution.” Paul is also the radio host of the Kansas Broadcasting Association’s 2008, 2009 and 2010 award-winning radio program, Conscience of Kansas airing on KSDB Manhattan 91.9 FM, www.ibbetsonusa.com. For interviews or questions, please contact him at [email protected]