re: "What are the responsibilities of the people of these United States?"
"Now no one questions the motives of those who want to help in Burma, and there's no question that the US military is probably the organization best trained and equipped to deal with a disaster of this magnitude. And I make no doubt that if you took a referendum on the matter, a majority of taxpayers would agree to send the military in to help the Burmans.
My question, though, is just how far does the responsibility of the US go? To give expensive health care to anyone who shows up at a US airport? To send tax supported aid anywhere there is a disaster? To send in the Army if the aid is refused? Shooting our way in to set up Red Cross shelters does seem a bit drastic. It might work with Burma (although I am not sure that it would add a lot to our reputation). Fortunately it hasn't been suggested that we use military force to require China to accept our help.
I can't say I know the answer to this question, but it is interesting. Just what do we owe, and to whom?"