Truth to Power

Must read

On CNN’s “Larry King Show,” Red Cross president Marty Evans was effusive in her praise for President Bush. To a national audience, she said the President “is supporting so strongly the voluntary sector.” Almost gushing, she said Bush is “helping us do our jobs better so that we can provide for the emergency needs and the long-term needs of so many people.” It’s nice she believed the President was finally doing his job by ordering a massive and coordinated federal response. It would have been better if he had respected the scientists who told him about the effects of global warming, and of ocean currents and warmer temperatures that provide a base for more intense hurricanes. It would have been better if he had not sacrificed the environment to developers and the oil industry. It would have been better if he had not decimated the budget of the Corps of Engineers and other agencies that are dedicated to strengthening America’s infrastructure. It would have been better if he had not committed America’s financial and human resources to destroying a country half a world away, and then try to rebuild it. It would have been better had he believed that emergency management disaster professionals, not political hacks, should be in charge of America’s disaster response. It would have been better if he didn’t reduce FEMA’s responsibilities and try to outsource the responsibility for disaster planning, rescue, relief, and recovery to private industry. More important, it would have been better if he wasn’t so fixated upon terrorism and launching a invasion of Iraq, to retaliate for that country’s dictator waving an assassin’s sword beneath George H.W. Bush, that he overlooked America’s needs. More important, it would have been better had he not cut off his five-week vacation by only two days but cut it off by more than a week so he could return to his office and direct preparation for the oncoming catastrophe, one that was magnified by his own failure to focus upon all of the needs of a nation.

As Katrina proved, the federal government, with innumerable problems fighting a war in Iraq, under the failure of leadership of its commander-in-chief, was caught completely unable to fight a two-front war. Because of the policies enacted by George W. Bush, Americans had every reason to believe that two disasters hit New Orleans–Katrina and FEMA.</i>

Although quite long, this is an excellent overview of what led up to the horrible response to Katrina, and points fingers where needed. A must read.

Read Unacceptable’: The federal response to Katrina

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