On the question of international aid, and how the US feels that it gives more than everyone else:
I did a fair amount of research on this at one point, for a paper I was writing for my professional exams.
Now, I can't give you any citations, or point you at my research, it was a long
while ago. But at that point, the U.S. gave less as a proportion of its income than most developed nations. I seem to remember that various arab nations were at the top of the league on a per capita
basis. I do not know if this would still be true.
A small amount of googling gave me the following article, which was written after the big tsunami.http://atlanta.creativeloafing.com/gyrobase/Content?oid=oid%3A18114
The author does make the interesting point that the U.S's trade terms make it easier to trade with than most, which is of benefit to poorer nations (a point I don't believe I'd considered) but generally the U.S. do not come out as particularly generous.
Measured by percentage of gross income, we are in fact the stingiest industrialized nation in the world. According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, we devoted just .15 percent of the national booty to foreign aid in 2003
I have no complaint against that, (and no doubt the usual crew will suggest that as theses people are foreign they should be grateful we don't torture and kill them, let alone give them aid - they're all the same after all) but please don't claim that the U.S. "always gives the most", or that Europe "does nothing as usual". The whole world is attempting to rally round on this one, and hurrah for that - and hurrah for the US and their hospital ship, medical staff etc.
"Happiness lies in being privileged to work hard for long hours in doing whatever you think is worth doing. ." R.A.H.