No doubt that unless you are in fact a cave dweller and/or have no access to the world outside your residence, then you surely know what is happening on the Gulf Coast. Mother Nature has taken a vicious swipe at our very well-being once again and left a pretty nasty gash in America's chin as it were. However, the wound is seeping not blood but sewage-filled water that has turned the streets of downtown New Orleans into a waste zone of sorts. Before I get political, let it be known that my prayers are with the brave rescue workers and the courageous victims still clinging to life down on the bayou.
Without further adieu, my concerns are as follow:
- This hurricane obviously was one of those events you try to prepare for but never expect to actually occur. It is true that warnings were issued in 2001 that New Orleans was an area succeptible to a cataclysmic disaster, so measures were taken to construct a levee that would offer protection for this vulnerable region. However, as was the case with the new dike system in the Netherlands a few decades ago, construction normally takes at least ten years for something of this magnitude. So how can we blame President Bush for anything pertaining to the lack of preparedness? He has been the nation's leader for less than five years! Perhaps we should be asking why Clinton never sought to fortify the Gulf Coast...
- The sentiment most trumpeted in the network news is that aid has FINALLY arrived for the beleaguered flood victims. Take a step back, a deep breath, collect your thoughts, and explain to me how this is Bush's fault... Now allow me to explain who the blame should really be placed on and why. THE GOVERNOR OF LOUISIANA! Before the hurricane even reached the Gulf Coast, Govs. Barbour (MS) and Riley (AL) issued emergency declarations for their respective states. Many argue that there was precedent for Bush to federalize the matter and take the reins from LA Governor Kathleen Blanco, but they're completely missing the point. It was never necessary for the federal government to take control of the evacuation and rescue missions. Had Gov. Blanco done her job and called in the LA National Guard to be prepared in advance, the situation would be much better in New Orleans. Now everything is log-jammed because the National Guard was thrown into a war-zone and never had time for concise planning.
- Finally, the most absurd claims possible have arisen from civil rights leaders on the left. Somehow, they've managed to pin the "slow" arrival of aid on the "racist Bush administration." Let's take a quick rewind and show why this claim is ridiculous. One, this whole mess is a result of Gov. Blanco dropping the ball on declaring an emergnecy, etc. Two, in what way is saving nearly one thousand people PER DAY not good enough?! If it weren't for the heroic rescue efforts of the National Guard in New Orleans, far more flood victims would be dying in their homes. Three, had an emergency been declared early and evacuation measures been in place, most of these people would most likely have been safe ALREADY. Nowhere in this scenario is there any reason for placing blame on the federal government, much less evidence of racism.
Again, my prayers are with those still trapped in New Orleans, and anyone who has suffered as a result of this terrible week.