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Like you I am shocked at what has and has not happened in New Orleans. I cannot imagine why our federal government wasn't poised to handle such a disaster. Surely the idea of a big hurricane hitting the Gulf Coast isn't so far feteched.
President Bush has shamed himself and our country for his lack of timely action. He moved faster to sign legislation, dropping everything while on vacation and rushing to Washington at taxpayers' expense, to keep Terri Schiavo alive, than he did to help those stranded without food or water after the storm.
I'm not particularly partisan, but it's not hard to tell when somebody in that position is not doing his job. Our political machine moved to impeach Clinton but nobody died because of his actions or inactions in that regard. At Bush's hand, the Department of Homeland Security was formed, absorbing FEMA with it, and just look at the results. More "elevated status alerts" but no real preparation or mobilization for disaster.
It takes a humble man to admit when he is wrong. President Bush is neither right nor humble, and with his passive statements such as "It's not enough" he might as well say "mistakes were made".
Fly in, hug a few people, shed some tears President Bush, but in the end you have to reckon with your own ineffectiveness.
Amen! Thank you for stating it so well. I read an amazing article on AOL this morning. It is from The New York Times, dated 9/7/05 by Dan Barry. I haven't read a more moving article than this one. It sums up this tragedy with unbelievable realism. http://aolsvc.news.aol.com/news/article.adp?id=20050908095109990015&ncid=NWS00010000000001
I met a New Orleans psychiatrist and his family over the weekend. They lost everything, but at least have the financial resources to relocate. In my 16 years in the mental health field, I don't think I've ever seen anyone as shell-shocked as this man. I can't begin to imagine the trauma on the faces of those who don't have the resources to start over.
The response by our goverment is completely unacceptable. We can get food and water to Afghanistan within two days of a war starting, but can't get those provisions to our own people in our own country. It's a travesty.
Posted by: Dana at September 8, 2005 1:04 PM
What a great analysis. I hadn't heard the Schaivo comparison before but it is such an excellent one.
And the incompetence continues. It's trivial in the scheme of things, but our students over here at the med school have been "on alert" for days, waiting to go out and provide services at the special hangar that was set up for the anticipated thousands of evacuees at Lambert Field. A small fortune had been spent setting up that facility, not to mention the manhours spent preparing, and now it's been announced that no one is coming. How many other examples of this kind of poor coordination and spending are happening all across the country?
Americans WANT to help. They give money, they volunteer their time. But some level of coordination has to come from somewhere and in this instance, our government has really let us down.
Posted by: Elaine at September 13, 2005 8:45 AM
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