Wednesday, September 07, 2005


Katrina Disaster Blame Game

Hip-Shooters Grab Microphones

It was a field day for Bush-haters as the blame game began the other day. The blamers zeroed in on Mike Brown, the Undersecretary for Emergency Preparedness and Response at DHS, and cited his lack of experience for such a job; thus blaming Bush for hiring him. Others have pointed fingers at the poor job done by the New Orleans Mayor, the Police, and Firemen. Still others have begun to focus on Governer Kathleen Blanco for her seeming lack of definitive contribution.

Level-headed people are telling everyone in hearing distance to forget about assessing blame for now, and to get on with the rescue, recovery of bodies, and cleanup operations. There will be time later to assess blame. What I think we will find out later is that Mother Nature won out over 35 years of poor planning for disaster in the area, and misuse was made of available funds for beefing up levees and other facilities needed to survive a Cat 5 hurricane ( instead of a Cat 3 as most plans used!) over the same period. There will be enough blame to go around to all parties.

I was impressed by the Police Superintendent's defense of his Department, which went through a toxic wading ordeal for five days -- on foot, for the most part, since cruisers were inundated-- without food or drinking water. Apparently, there were a lot more snipers and pitched battles than have been reported in the MSM. Many officers ran out of ammunition, and there was no place they could go to get more -- all was under ten feet of water.

However, I am withholding my own judgement until more facts are made available. I suggest that others do also.

I agree its too early to start throwing around blame, although as a Canadian I was stunned to find out that NO was the US's largest shipping port - given the importance of that area, I am at a loss to explain why a) there weren't more effective plans drawn up for this kind of scenario and b) why the levees weren't made to withstand a cat SIX (you get my point). And finally.. what in the hell is with the snipers? Good god is this Iraq? I have no idea what would compel some AMERICAN citizen to start shooting at people, helicopters, etc.. when two weeks ago you were (I am assuming here) a reasonably law abiding citizen.

Good lord..
Apparently, they let lots of prisoners out of the local jail, and they promptly reverted to type. That and other criminal elements in the area added up to an explosive mixture.

Other than that, I have heard no solid explanation for such behavior. Police were trying to quell the shooting, but they ran out of ammo, as I said in my blog post.

Perhaps they were covering for others who were looting stores systematically, and needed to protect their huge stash as well, for when the waters receded. Just a guess on my part.

The poor and criminal elements in NO are legendary. Fully an eighth of the population was on the dole there as a more or less permanent underclass, unemployable, often ill, and trapped in their situation.

One of the main public housing areas was totally flooded, but the people had no money or means to leave the city, until the arrival of busses at the stadium.

There have been many plans over the years to improve the levee system up to a Cat 5 level, but it was deferred or defeated for cost reasons, and the problem shoved into the future. Well, that future is now, and they have been caught out: the lot of them, over the last 35 years.

One head of the Army Corps of Engineers lost his job because he stood up for such improvements and refused to be silenced on the cubject. This was some years ago, I believe. So it isn't a new problem at all. But it is mainly a Local and State government problem as they were in the know about their situation and did little to thwart it. They even misspent Federal dollars meant for levees.

Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?