NC Media Watch

A quest for reason and accuracy in letters to the editor, guest editorials and other issues of interest to the citizens of Western Nevada County.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Again feelings overcomes thinking

Joan Field thinks it is "Time to focus on basic needs of people," but lapses into an anti war screed, September 22, 2005
Our country is looking at a disaster that measures up to anything that weapons of mass destruction could have done.
She is talking about Katrina, not Rita which is smashing in to Texas. Which seems to be better prepared to handle the evacuation of citizens.
I have full confidence in the generosity of Americans and the Red Cross and Rescue Workers and volunteers who are speeding to help the people who need our help. The responsibility we feel to our fellow citizens was deepened by our shock at the 9/11 attacks by foreign terrorists. Now a natural disaster has dwarfed anything that has happened in this country to date. Why isn't our federal government able to respond with immediate food, water, medicine, medical personnel, law enforcement and National Guard troops, ships, boats, planes? With days of hurricane warnings of potentially massive force, wouldn't you think that local, state and federal agencies would do a "heads up" on supplies and emergency personnel available, just in case? Did Homeland Security look at the port cities of Louisiana, Alabama and Mississippi and provide training and emergency evacuation plans? Where did the federal emergency planning funds go?

Yes, Homeland Security sent money for planning and training to State Disaster Preparedness agencies. In may cases this money was spent on high tech toys, not on basic systems. In New Orleans case, the money sent for evacuation planning over a four year period, but it was spend on the Lake Pontchartrain causeway, not on evacuation planning. Now why was this redirection of funds the federal governments fault?

In Houston, it only took two days to convert a stadium in to a functioning city for survivors, because the state and city, had propositioned supplies. The Superdome, which was to be a shelter, did not have any propositioned supplies. The LA Home Land Security blocked the Red Cross from taking supplies to the Superdome, and that is blamed on FEMA? President Bush?

Governor Blanco had 75 percent of the LA National Guard she could call up, and support agreements with Texas for more troops. The Navy and Coast Guard had propositioned ships and were rescuing hundreds with in hours, but the need overwhelmed these forces. If New Orleans had been evacuated, maybe the the propositioned forces could have handled the situation. We will know once the after action report is prepared.

As I read this and other letters, I am amazed how many people let their anti-Bush, antiwar feelings get ahead of their rational thinking. We are a nation of laws, in some cases states rights laws constrain what the federal government can do, until asked. Yet, years of federal government handouts have created a nanny nation. Everything is the federal governments fault! If we want instant federal action, we need to change the states rights laws

Yes, FEMA was slower in responding than people would like, but slow relative to what? They responded faster than they had in other major hurricane disasters in the past, but not as fast as many would like.

As Rita comes ashore, lets see how Texas handles the problems that beset Louisana. Texans can carry guns, so looting will be much less. There is less corruption in Texas, and it is Republican. History will be the final arbitrator.

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Blogger Frederic Christie said...

Again: FEMA's response, though faster than usual, does NOT take into account the days in which they were not being mobilized despite Bianco and Nagin's desperate pleas for help. Look, Russ, Mike Brown, Rumsfeld, Laura Bush, and George W. Bush all have agreed that the relief effort was less than spectacular, and I've shown you link after link describing the wanton cruelty, callousness and ineptitude of the relief operation, both from eyewitnesses and numerous independent analysts. Is this really necessary?

Thu Sep 22, 11:53:00 AM PDT  

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