Friday, September 02, 2005

A different perspective

posted by Rob at 8:08 AM

Over at Instapundit, an e-mailer makes the case that what's occurring in New Orleans is undeserving of too much criticism. I agree with some of his assessment, but the point where he loses me is here:
They established a location people could go to so they wouldn’t die in flood waters.
No, they didn't. The Superdome was - and is - not safe. There apparently was no authority there - or anywhere. What's the point in having a place people can go if:

1 - It has no power

2 - It has no fresh water or food

3 - No one is there to say what's next

Yesterday I referred to the work of Guliani on 9/11. It is somewhat of an unfair comparison. While the attacks in NY struck a central location, Katrina devestated hundreds of miles. How do you send relief to a wasteland full of sick water? Or to a land with no standing buildings?

People - primarily Bush-haters - argue the Bush administration should have been prepared for a 9/11-style attack. They should have had a plan for plans to be used as missiles. That's a point of debate.

What is not arguable is that New Orleans has always been under sea level. Just as the case when the "Big One" hits California, it was taken as fact that eventually New Orleans would face such a situation as it does today. There should have been a better plan in place. There wasn't. Pointing fingers won't help those now shivering scared. But - just as was the case on 9/11 - cities and states should learn from this mess and reevaluate their own emergency contingency plans.

Jonah over at The Corner shares my sentiments:
I have the utmost faith in the kleptocratic and dysfunctional governments of New Orleans and Louisiana to waste and steal money. But, we were supposed to be preparing --at the national level -- for a major terrorist attack for the last four years. I just don't see much evidence of that preparation. Congress re-assembled lickity-split to deal with Terri Schiavo -- a decision that didn't and does not bother me the way it bothers some. But however you define the issues involved in that case, in terms of real human suffering they are very hard to stack-up against what's happened in New Orleans. Congress should have convened yesterday and rescinded the highway bill. It should have broken-open the farm bill like a piñata and reallocated the monies therein.
Start there and scroll down. If you're a Democrat looking to gain ground in the mid-term elections, there's a lot of winning issues buried down there.


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