08 September 2005

We failed Katrina's victims

There's a first-hand account from a couple of people who got caught by the hurricane going around the blogs right now. Click on that link and go read it. I'll wait here.

Then contrast that with Barbara Bush's statement that "...so many of the people in the arena here, you know, were underprivileged anyway, so this, this is working very well for them", and her son's telling the man in charge of the relief effort that he was doing "a heck of a job". It becomes clear that once the kind of people they know — those who have another home, and a private plane to take them there — are taken care of, they really don't understand, or care, what happens to everyone else. The president thoughtlessly delays care to the sick, hungry, and homeless so that he can get his photo opp with firemen. His mother rivals Marie Antoinette in her lack of understanding of the plight of the poor.

We've had four years since 9/11 exposed our lack of preparedness for major disasters, and Bush became president promising to protect us from those disasters. But when the disaster struck — and it could just as easily have been a terrorist bomb which destroyed the levees — no one was ready.

The people I talk to here in Southeast Asia simply cannot believe that things got so bad in New Orleans, that such a rich country which (after a few missteps) helped so much after the tsunami here, was utterly unable to deal with a crisis of its own.

This alone is enough that Bush and his administration should be counted as miserable failures. And we should be ashamed of having allowed such incompetence to govern us.

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