After 69 days of oil gushing into the Gulf of Mexico, the United States and BP have finally allowed Norway and several other countries to assist us with our situation. During Hurricane Katrina, many countries offered to help, but were refused. Why?
In my work as a driver and guide for the cruise ship industry here in Juneau, when I ask foreigners their opinion of the U.S., the one word I hear most often is 'arrogant.' We seem to have this idea we are better than other people of the world, that we can solve any and every problem and that foreigners should be viewed as 'enemies,' because we have not grown beyond the Cold War mentality. Many people view immigrants as 'undesirable,' forgetting that they too are children or grandchildren of immigrants.
With all of the negative things about the Gulf oil spill, the one positive thing is it is teaching us a lesson in humility. It is interesting to watch the finger-pointing, when in reality nobody seems to know what they are doing. It is interesting to me that a civilization that is a little more than 200 years old seems to know what is best for civilizations that are over 2,000 years old. What we lack in wisdom we make up for with arrogance.