All the Katrina links are in the sideblog. I’m too angry to write. I might have to cancel all my fall plans, because there’s a strong possibility that I’m going to be camped out on the steps of the White House and/or FEMA headquarters, wherever that is, SCREAMING MY FOOL HEAD OFF.
The Times-Picayune may be pissed, but they shouldn’t be focusing all their anger on Bush.
One thing they miss is that Bush called and asked that a mandatory evacuation be ordered. The first ever in that area. If he hadn’t done that, who knows how many more would have died.
They complain that more people weren’t evacuated. There is an AP photo of a huge fleet of school buses just sitting in a parking lot. Those buses now sit in 4 feet of water and are leaking fuel. Why weren’t they used to get those out who were too poor to do so on their own?
In regards to the law and order problems, why didn’t the mayor and governor call in the National Guard the second it was apparent there were going to be problems. They are the ones that have the responsibility to do so.
Bush deserves a lot of critisism for some things, but more of the blame should rest squarely on the shoulders of the Mayor of NO and the Governor of LA.
Scott Janssens says
I think most of the blame resides with the local and state governments. A plan was in place five years ago and it wasn’t followed. http://www.ohsep.louisiana.gov/plans/EOPSheltersupplement.pdf (see Assumptions starting on page 8 of the report [page 13 of the PDF], especially D). I think this plan is inadequate and a better one needs to be written, but it seems clear to me that many lives could have been saved had the plan been put into action.
Sure the feds fucked up and should be held accountable for their failings. But I think the failings of the mayor of N.O. and the governor or LA. are far greater, perhaps even criminal. They are the first line of defense for the actual citizens. It shouldn’t be the federal government’s job to see that individuals are evacuated to safety.
I’ll get my sleeping bag and we can carpool.
Ty, Scott: of course there’s plenty of blame to go around, and I have no doubt that the citizens of Louisiana will have plenty to say to their elected officials, but my problem with the federal response is that they’ve proven just how enormously unprepared they are for a national emergency. What the hell have they been doing with their time since Homeland Security was created?
The FEMA director’s resume pretty much sums it up.
Wendy: I’ll bring the Dr. Pepper.