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Last Updated: Tuesday, 6 September 2005, 12:44 GMT 13:44 UK
World press berates US over Katrina

Newspapers around the world are critical of the US government's response to Hurricane Katrina, and its foreign and environmental policies more generally.

Links are made to regional concerns, with Asian papers recalling last December's tsunami and African commentators highlighting the racial issue.

But some sympathy comes from Indonesia, and an Afghan newspaper takes pride in President Karzai's offer of assistance.

China's Renmin Wang

If the US could shift part of its astronomical military spending to counter-terrorism, guarding against natural disasters, epidemic disease control and other aspects, then the 9/11 attack, Hurricane Katrina, the spread of Aids and other tragedies could be avoided or mitigated.

Malaysia's Berita Harian

When the tsunami hit Asia last December, Bush succeeded in showing off his abilities by offering appropriate and well-organised humanitarian aid, but it seems he has been unresponsive, disorganised and discriminatory in dealing with the Katrina disaster.

Indonesia's Suara Merdeka

People may hate the selfish US stance. They may also condemn its military invasion of Iraq or criticise Washington's threats to Iran, Syria and North Korea. But, it is inhuman to be grateful for the American people's disaster. Indonesia, in particular, must not forget the services of the US military when the tsunami devastated Aceh.

Singapore's The Straits Times

The dead are only beginning to be gathered up. In Aceh and Thailand's beach resorts, those killed by the tsunami last December received the due respect of swift recovery, followed by identification. New Orleans people will not let Mr Bush forget this.

Australia's The Age

President Bush is increasingly seen as out of touch with ordinary people and with reality on the ground - in New Orleans and Iraq - and also on issues such as climate change. The president and, by association, Republicans are highly vulnerable for the first time in years. How the Administration responds has broader implications, too - a deeply unpopular, lame duck president could alter the balance of global leadership.

Afghanistan's Eslah

President Karzai has pledged 100,000 dollars for the victims of Hurricane Katrina. America has helped Afghanistan in various ways. Even if the assistance promised to the victims of Hurricane Katrina seems a symbolic act, it nevertheless shows that our country has credibility and authority in the international community.

Nahum Barnea in Israel's Yediot Aharonot

Just as 11 September 2001 changed the American agenda from internal matters to foreign policy and the war on terror, so Katrina is liable to take America back to its internal agenda: dealing with the environment, society, and the gaps between whites and blacks and between rich and poor.

Adli Sadiq in the Palestinian Al-Hayat al-Jadidah

After Hurricane Katrina, a new section of the American public is waking up to the wretchedness of the administration's policies and to the disasters that have hit Americans as a result. Today's Iraq is worse than yesterday's, and there are not enough helicopters to tackle the hurricane. Bush and his administration will be judged by history.

Iran's Resalat

Katrina was a natural catastrophe, but many experts believe America's policies have deepened the roots of the disaster. America had allocated the budgets for these areas to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Nick Reimer in Germany's die tageszeitung

New Orleans has already become a symbol: never before in human history has a natural disaster been predicted in such exact detail. Despite this, the prediction had no effect. It's as if mankind has lost the power to correct its own mistakes: In New Orleans, it slid into catastrophe submissively and with eyes wide open. Climate change has already arrived.

Russia's Komsomolskaya Pravda

[Russian] Emergencies Ministry planes have been under starter's orders for several days. But the go-ahead from the other side of the ocean never came. It leads you to think: Is Washington afraid of having US citizens rescued by people who are not flying the stars and stripes? Are they trying to preserve the prestige of a state that does not take easily to accepting aid from a "third-world" country? But isn't the saving of human life more important than PR or ideological considerations?

South Africa's Star

The death and destruction wrought by Hurricane Katrina also revealed the racial fissures in American society. Most of the hapless survivors who filled New Orleans' Superdome were black. Bush's other weaknesses are his poor environment record and his management of the US economy.

Zimbabwe's Herald

The fact that New Orleans is a southern town predominantly populated by African-Americans explains why President George W. Bush did not see the need to cut short his holiday. All that Bush has done so far is to issue threats against the victims, and deploying trigger-happy American troops - fresh from abusing Iraqi prisoners - to go and "restore order".

BBC Monitoring selects and translates news from radio, television, press, news agencies and the Internet from 150 countries in more than 70 languages. It is based in Caversham, UK, and has several bureaus abroad.




SEE ALSO:
World press: Katrina 'testing US'
05 Sep 05 |  Americas
Arab press sympathy over Katrina
05 Sep 05 |  Americas
Press dismay at Katrina chaos
03 Sep 05 |  Americas


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