Americans the largest donors of foreign aid

PUBLISHED : Monday, 30 September, 2002, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 30 September, 2002, 12:00am

In engaging in a debate about irrelevant TV programming, Tony Mellow (South China Morning Post, September 25) closed his rather antagonistic letter by pointedly accusing all Americans of being at fault in the World Trade Centre bombings.

This is deeply offensive not just to Americans, but to all civilised people. The same Americans who need to 'be more sensitive to the feelings and needs of other peoples' happen to be the largest donors of foreign aid, the most prolific philanthropists (for example, Bill Gates), and most willing to risk their lives in protecting others.

Somalia, Kosovo, and the Philippines are just a few examples of countries where US lives recently have been risked or lost in defence of places or peoples unfamiliar to most Americans.

Mr Mellow's mention of natural disasters in Turkey, India and China is ironic in light of the millions of dollars in American aid, both governmental and private, that flowed in immediately following those events. Show us a country that has been more financially and politically engaged in the rest of the world, Mr Mellow.

We do not ask that the world comes to a standstill on our behalf. In the US, the World Series was held, basketball was played, and yes, even the horses ran, after September 11.

Is it asking too much, however, to respect the memory of the thousands of people, of dozens of nationalities, who died in the World Trade Centre on September 11?


Discovery Bay