Tue, Sep 20, 2005 - Page 8 News List

Don't take relief for granted

By Cecilia Ma

Hurricane Katrina created a disaster for New Orleans and a crisis for the entire US. No one ever expected that such a great nation would be in this state today. People are complaining about the slow response of the government, and how they were waiting so long for the military troops to come.

But the reason why the US military took so long to get there is that there are a lot of processes that have to take place, and they are not just bureaucratic processes either. Governors have the power to mobilize their state's national guard, and to bring in reinforcements from other states in a crisis. But the US military is prevented by law from acting in a domestic law enforcement role unless authorized by the president, something that has never happened before.

It reminds me of Taiwan. We see soldiers helping after a typhoon, a flood, an oil tanker wreckage, or even killing sick pigs. We take it for granted. But actually rescue work is never part of their job. Of course they are proud of being able to help. I just think that we might consider the hardship they bear and be grateful to them.

Cecilia Ma

Taipei

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