Underlying Issues

Friday, September 02, 2005

Underlying Issues

From a writer over at Kos on what is truly disturbing about the aftermath of Katrina.
This was a disaster the country had been preparing for. This was one of the disasters most predicted, most feared, most planned for. There was two days of advance warning, as the massive, category 5 hurricane shifted purposefully towards New Orleans. This was no terrorist attack -- this time, there was warning. This time, there was knowledge.
The apparent and most likely explanations for the failure, known long before the fact, are almost shattering when reread today, while the ongoing catastrophe unfolds around us.

We have witnessed two disasters this week. The first was an act of nature. The second was not. The second disaster, still ongoing, is unforgivable.

That's the only word that comes to mind, a word I keep repeating to myself. These deaths, these men, these women, these infants dying now in these hours didn't have to happen. They did not have to die waiting for convoys to gather outside their city or for reservists to stand alongside their shattered police forces. They did not have to wait in darkness and fear for help to arrive, only to struggle for days without that help ever coming.

This is not politics. This is not partisanship.

This is unforgivable.
I can't think of a time in the past several years where whenever visiting New Orleans came up in conversation people would always add something about going before it's gone, before it's underwater. I know I've said it a mere 10 days ago when I was talking with a friend about doing the AIDS marathon that (was) scheduled for New Orleans in February 2006. She said she'd never been there and hoped to get there before it's gone.

(deep sad sigh)

Watching tv news coverage has been pretty extraordinary. As mentioned elsewhere, even Tucker Carlson seems perplexed about where the aid is and why it's taking the government so long to help people. All of these reporters who have been down there for 4 or 5 days, all of them repeatedly saying that they don't know where FEMA/National Guard is, they just can't figure out what is taking so long as everything descends into chaos.

I suppose this is what happens when you elect leaders who are ideologically committed to the idea that government isn't good for much of anything. Maybe things would have been better if FEMA and the National Guard had been privatized and outsourced.

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