Regarding post #509...
You have to take into consideration that the person who wrote that statement did so in the 1970's (as the original poster stated). However, the examples you've brought forth as assistance to the U.S. (i.e. The Gulf, Vietnam, Korea, WWI & WWII) are not U.S. aide but aide towards the countries who are trying to defend democracy.
It's unfortunate but every time the U.S. takes a stand to defend or support democracy in the world, it is seen as a U.S. thing rather than a union of free countries... and the U.S. ends up having to pay for it both financially and as targets of hatred from other nations.
I always get goose bumps when I see the British and other countries stand by their allies during world crisis because it's what the U.S. would do and it's what friends/allies do.
I think the point that was being made about lack of U.S. aide was just that... lack of "U.S.A." aide. It's rare that we see other countries sending supplies and assistance during Riots, Earthquakes, Fires, Mudslides, and other tragedies. What happened on 9/11/01 is a U.S. tragedy. It was not aimed at allies, it was aimed at the U.S. and its citizens - it hit its mark.
The U.S. government and its citizens are some of the most generous people in the world and people often forget that. Be it natural disasters, hunger aide, aide with medication for diseases, or even war, the U.S. and its citizens are there with their money and sympathies. People often forget that.
The U.S. won't stop helping its allies or stop defending democracy at home or abroad. However, what happened this week was a direct attack against the U.S. and democracy. Hopefully the rest of the civil world will see this and come to its allies aide, in spirit, finance, and military support.