Tuesday, April 12, 2011,
WASHINGTON -The Obama administration is leaving no humanitarian crisis go to waste, after the Pentagon announced Monday it will be sending over 500 tons of concern to the Ivory Coast.
After months of intense civil war which has left thousands dead, raped, and ravaged throughout the West African nation, the massive shipment of concern and other anxiety-related emotions comes as a great relief to its remaining traumatized residents.
While some question the U.S.’s timing in the matter, accusing the administration of moving too slowly in addressing the African nation’s bloodbath, the White House insists the differences in how it has responded to the Ivory Coast compared to Libya are minuscule.
Defense Secretary Robert Gates has also gone on record, saying he has no doubt the multi-ton flotilla of American sympathy will have a rejuvenating effect on the Ivory Coast's jaded citizens, now in the first week after the bloody ousting of President Laurent Gbagbo. Gbagbo still clung to power despite being defeated in an election last November by Alassane Ouattara, who's supporters have been battling -often fiercely, killing civilians indiscriminately- for power since December. The United Nations has thrown its support behind Outtara, but rumors of massacres committed by Outtara’s troops persist, even days after the capture of strongman Gbagbo.
Nevertheless, the shipments of concern to the Ivory Coast by the U.S. is nothing to scoff at, according to Press Secretary Jay Carney. “This is pure grade, one-hundred-percent American concern,” said Carney. “This concern is massive. It comes straight from the heartland and the White House. This isn't your run-of-the-mill concern you'd see being sent by previous administrations."
The first tons of the massive sympathy shipments has already reached Ivory Coast refugees, some of whom have had to flee to neighboring Liberia and Ghana. With daughter in hand, but husband and 16-year-old son still unaccounted for in the capital of Abidjan, refugee Aimee Kouidé said she feels better already now that an international Red Cross worker had delivered her (remaining) family members their first box of authentic U.S. sympathy.
"I'm shocked how much this delivery of concerned feelings and good energies has helped us deal with this tragedy," said Kouidé, all but certain her husband is dead and her son abducted and conscripted into the army of now-President Ouattara. "This box of concern is certainly helpful, but is it enough?" asked Kouidé. "Too bad our country's only claim to wealth is cocoa. If we had oil, we may have gotten a box of actual empathy."
Battle-racked residents can expect more from where that concern came from, said Defense Secretary Robert Gates to the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on African Affairs Tuesday.
"The civilians in Libya have their 'aide' from the U.S., and the civilians in the Ivory Coast have theirs. Some say 500 tons of concern from the U.S. is nothing compared to the hundreds-of-millions of dollars, warplanes, bombs, and NATO assistance being spent in Libya," said Gates, "but imagine the face on a newly-orphaned Ivory Coast child as he opens up that Hallmark sympathy card from none other than the President of the United States, and it says, 'So your parents have been massacred in your country's civil war. Our deepest sympathies. Good luck with that!' ...Now tell me that's not worth fifty-million a day. The Libyan rebels should be jealous of the Ivory Coast, I'd say."