US Govt Picks and Chooses Among Offers of Hurricane Aid

Spurns Offer of Aid From Pakistan's Jamaat-ud Dawa

With a large portion of the American east coast still struggling to recover from Hurricane Sandy, the Obama Administration is picking and choosing among foreign offers of humanitarian aid for hurricane victims, rejecting politically inconvenient offers.

Jamaat-ud Dawa (JuD) was one of the first groups to come forward with an offer. Banned in Pakistan as a “militant” group, the JuD has been remarkably successful in most of its aid efforts, avoiding the massive corruption that has befallen many other efforts in Pakistan.

Their doctors and supplies aren’t welcome in the US, however, as the US Embassy in Pakistan says they don’t take the offer seriously, citing their $10 million bounty on the head of one of JuD’s founders. State Department spokesman Mark Toner also referred to it as “unfortunate” that JuD was even able to give press conferences offering such aid.

They’re not the only one looking for permission to help. The Iranian Red Crescent has offered to deploy rescue teams and aid workers immediately if they are allowed, looking to reciprocate after a 2003 US deployment after an earthquake hit Iran. US officials haven’t commented, but seem unlikely to accept the offer, when so much political effort is being exerted, days before the US elections, on convincing the public of the value of attacking Iran.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.