September 6, 2005

The Blame Game
Current status: neutral

By now we've all heard the arguments in the nation wide debate on whether Katrina was handled properly.

I've heard arguments from both sides, and I still have to claim neutrality.

One of the best questions is why wasn't the National Guard pre-posted near the area so that they could get to the city as soon as the storm passed? This hurricane did not just sneak up on us. That sucker was coming. So why was New Orleans left to fend for itself for the first two days? I haven't heard an answer to this question yet.

On the other side of the argument, I've heard that the government of Louisiana has received vast amounts of money from the Federal government, but used none of it for things that were needed, such as levee repairs. I've heard that every computer model of a cat 3 or higher storm hitting New Orleans showed that the levee would breach. So if the state of Louisiana really had recieved as much federal funding as some right-wingers have said they did, shouldn't the state and local government be the one's to blame?

There are many more arguments and accusations that have been made, but I see these two as the main ones.

I'm sure I'll develope an opinion about this whole thing soon.


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Ron said...

Laying aside Mr. Anonymous' comment about the responsibility of the "satellite dishes," for me, the key document is on the DHS website, and contains this statement:

In the event of a terrorist attack, natural disaster or other large-scale emergency, the Department of Homeland Security will assume primary responsibility on March 1st for ensuring that emergency response professionals are prepared for any situation. This will entail providing a coordinated, comprehensive federal response to any large-scale crisis and mounting a swift and effective recovery effort. The new Department will also prioritize the important issue of citizen preparedness. Educating America's families on how best to prepare their homes for a disaster and tips for citizens on how to respond in a crisis will be given special attention at DHS.

Click here to see it in it's context.

By their own statement, DHS "assume(s) primary responsibility." Yeah, all levels of government screwed up, but in the wake of the emergency response failures of 9/11, Bush decided that it had to be the Federal Government that would make sure that such a thing never happened again. Billions of tax dollars have flowed into DHS since then for that very purpose. The right wing can rail away all they want about how Nagin screwed up, and he did, but all that is simply a diversionary tactic to take focus away from one simple fact: DHS has "primary responsibility." End of debate.

By the way, you do realize that it has been for decades now the responsibility of the Army Corps of Engineers to manage flood control along the Mississippi River. Louisiana most assuredly was given federal money for whatever purposes, but the money for the levees, several hundred million dollars to be used by the Corps, was actually CUT by the Bush administration, and reappropriated for the Iraq war.

There's simply no debate here. It's all right-wing smoke and mirrors, and that's what disgusts me the most.