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The nation of Thailand, has despite their own problems of an order of magnitude that many here just don't seem to understand, has graciously offered to pay for the plane tickets for any foreign national impacted by the tidal waves and lost their tickets, passports, and access to money to leave the country.

Thaksin said the government would provide tourists who had lost their money in the disaster with plane tickets to return home.

Many foreign countries in Thailand have setup relief centers at major airports to aid their foreign nationals. Survivors of Sunday's disaster largely lost everything except their lives and their shirts on their backs. Their passports, money, identification, plane tickets, credit cards swept out to sea. To help repatriate their nationals the local consulates have centers setup, except for one major western country.

The United States of clueless America.

Oh wait, it gets better. Despite losing their passports for obvious disasterous reasons, and many having NOTHING except the clothes on their back, US officials were making US citizens PAY FOR NEW PASSPORTS TO BE ISSUED. Many people were stuck because they didn't have any way to pay, not because their dirt bags, but because their belongings are now somewhere in the Indian Ocean. Sure, go to the local American Express office, also somewhere in the Indian Ocean.

It just seems to me that our government either:

1) Doesn't GET the order of magnitude of the disaster or,

2) Doesn't CARE about the order of magnitude.

When 9/11 happened even Lybia offered condolences. Even Cuba offered to send to doctors. Sure it was in a way a "jab" at us but the whole world rallied behind our nation. For India, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Malyasia, and Indonesia, this IS their 9/11. India is a nuclear power, a major trade ally, and a key supporter of our military operations and working on the war on terror. Indonesia is the largest Muslim nation in the world, a supporter of the United States, fighting the war on terrorism, and a major trading partner with large oil reserves. Malyasia is another major trading partner.

I don't understand why President Bush couldn't rip himself away from cutting brush and riding his bike for photo ops to say, "man that sucks, we'll help anyway we can and I plan to head back to Washington on XYZ date. My boy Powell is on it and we're working on a plan."

Here was a GOLDEN opportunity for us to shine, for our nation to buy some great PR and publicity, especially among the Muslims of Indonesia, who aren't very keen on the whole War On Terror.

Instead we're making our own citizens pay to get back into our own country, when the vastly poorer and vastly overwhelmed nation of Thailand pays for our citizens plane tickets home.

It's just disgusting, but not surprising by a tangled web of bureaucrats that couldn't give a rats ass about anything except keeping their jobs and an administration that doesn't give a flying leap about foreign policy.

Remember and it is written in the good book that neoCONs are so proud to quote from.

Ye reaps what ye sows. I expect a bitter harvest is coming for this nation of self centered buffoons.
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