Sunday, September 04, 2005

Some bloggers have expressed annoyance at people who are riding political hobbyhorses around Katrina. Like those suggesting that the hurricane makes a case for improving government basic emergency services. People like Jonah Goldberg. Damn those knee-jerk liberals.

They awarded the contract to Halliburton before they let in the Red Cross.

The guys in power now are the ideological heirs of Henry Kissinger, who wanted to stay in Vietnam not because we were doing ourselves (or anyone else) any good there, but because leaving would make us look like "a pitiful, helpless giant". Now, the world sees a country letting its own citizens die on camera, after days in heat without food or water that could have easily been airdropped, unable or unwilling to assist. How do we look now, cocksuckers?

They set up feeding stands at the airport for Dubya's visit, and got a lot of construction equipment out to the levee breaches, then rolled it all away when the cameras left. If Karl Rove hadn't done that in real life, The Onion would not dare make it up. He has more imagination, and less shame.

Dubya himself is on record as saying that the initial response was inadequate. Am I being too partisan if I repeat his words, guys?

The Feds aren't letting in assistance which has already been offered by many, domestic and foreign. A common excuse from the Feds is that the local government has not requested the assistance. But they did. Before the storm even hit.

Hanlon's razor says that you shouldn't attribute to malice what is adequately explained by mere incompetence. And what we have here goes well beyond "mere" incompetence. Your head of FEMA got fired amid scandal from his last job --- as head of the International Arabian Horse Association. But the same guy still managed to preposition an extensive hurricane response for a couple of hurricanes last year --- in Florida, where the people on the storm track had a significantly higher chance of voting Republican. No storm god produced the chaos this time. The beings responsible are tangible and mundane, and they live in Washington, D.C.

Fox News reporters on the scene reported that troops at the Convention Center were preventing people from leaving the horrible scene there, and that people trying to simply walk out of the city were being turned back by armed troops on the highways. As offers of assistance were refused and the Red Cross itself was being kept out.

So, what's up with that? Some local officials are blaming fear of the refugees --- a fear evident in the much-blogged Army Times article which refers to stranded New Orleans residents as "the insurgency" and anticipates "combat operations" against them. But it's not just at the Federal level --- they're also saying the Louisiana state government, and Governor Blanco in particular, don't want a horde of black refugees streaming into white neighborhoods. I can believe it.

Happy, guys? I just criticized a Democrat.

Why talk about politics when people are dying? Because political choices made in the past are what's killing them.

More: Read the transcript of today's Meet The Press. After the President of Jefferson Parish breaks down in tears talking about one of his officials whose mother drowned on Friday, the Republican governor of Mississippi praises the Coast Guard for their rapid response to the needs of his people. "Over here, we had the Coast Guard in Monday night". But I shouldn't be talking about that. This isn't the time to play politics.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Re: the "helpless giant" line - As-Safir (a pretty strongly Arabist/leftist newspaper in Lebanon) used almost exactly that phrase (in Arabic):

Katrina stuns the world ... 10,000 estimated dead.
The "Giant" America Powerless and Overrun by Chaos.

Hurricane Katrina exposed the weakness of the "Giant" America, as the world's superpower was left in a state of confusion and responded only weakly to the storm, which was the greatest disaster to strike America since the attacks of September 11, 2001.

(link to my translation on aqoul)

- Tom Scudder

10:28 AM  
Blogger fivetonsflax said...

The neocon crew is actually attached to a rather different strain of thought than Kissinger.

8:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"This isn't the time to play politics"

Then don't.

Look - this was the worst storm to hit North America ever.* It devastated an area the size of Germany, destroying or obstructing many roads necessary for relief efforts. Think about that for just a minute before calling those who can use their brains cocksuckers and engaging in partisan hackery. Then rethink your awful, neocons-and-Karl-Rove-are-behind-everything rant. No wonder no one listens to you.


*Yeah, worse than Andrew. And that guy who cried on camera because Bush killed his mom? He lied.

8:08 PM  
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6:15 PM  
Blogger jiri said...

Cool Blog, I never really thought about it that way.

I have a Hurricane Katrina blog. It pretty much covers hurricane related stuff.

Thank you - and keep up the thoughts!

6:03 PM  
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