Bush claimed this morning that recovery efforts in New Orleans “are not acceptable.” Pardon my language here… but No Shit Sherlock! The blame for the unacceptable rescue efforts lies firmly on your shoulders Mr. President, and the shoulders of the inept members of your Cabinet.
In his column today, Paul Krugman asserts…
I don’t think this is a simple tale of incompetence. The reason the military wasn’t rushed in to help along the Gulf Coast is, I believe, the same reason nothing was done to stop looting after the fall of Baghdad. Flood control was neglected for the same reason our troops in Iraq didn’t get adequate armor.
At a fundamental level, I’d argue, our current leaders just aren’t serious about some of the essential functions of government. They like waging war, but they don’t like providing security, rescuing those in need or spending on preventive measures. And they never, ever ask for shared sacrifice.
In recent months there has been much talk about the a quagmire in Iraq. The quagmire is no longer in Iraq, it is here in America, in the Gulf Coast, in New Orleans.
Americans are dying because our Federal Government failed to respond in a timely manner. Americans are dying because our Federal Government failed to have rescue and recovery teams ready to move the moment the storm moved past New Orleans and other areas affected.
Unlike 9/11, there was forewarning on Hurricane Katrina. No one, absolutely no one, should have sat by and waited to begin sending in supplies, medical assistance and rescue teams. Americans outside of the area sat stunned watching their TV’s asking: Where is the help for these people?
On Monday, I knew it was evident that this would be a disaster of epic proportion. How could our President not see this?
There are many questions that need to be asked in the coming days. Asking these questions are not a matter of playing politics as Bush inferred yesterday. These are questions that every American has a right to ask. Tim Russert said this morning in an interview with MSNBC:
So the questions that have to be asked are:
Why weren’t the poor people evacuated? They don’t have SUVs. They travel by public bus. Could they have been evacuated?
Secondly, in terms of pre-positioning, where were the troops, where were the National Guard? If people were to be sent to the Superdome, why weren’t there cots and water and food there?
Second-guessing is easy, but it is also, I think, a requirement of those in a free society to challenge their government, when the primary function of the government is to protect its citizens and they haven’t been protected.
The president has now admitted that rescue and recovery efforts to date “are not acceptable.” We, the American public, must demand answers and must demand that he and his administration be held accountable. There are no excuses viable. This is the final straw for the Bush administration, they have broken the trust of millions of Americans. They have proven what what many of us already knew. For every person that has suffered from Hurricane Katrina, we who have not must stand up and fight for those people and help to restore their faith.