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.

Saturday, September 03, 2005

Some local blame game

Edward Hobson follows the liberal play book in "Disgraceful disaster response," September 3, 2005
The pitiful response of the Bush Administration and the Homeland "security" department to the recent hurricane in New Orleans only shows how inept this administration is, how our National Guard (and regular forces ) are being misused, how a storm well predicted and even simulated recently caught Bush and his cronies ill prepared. It's time to bring the Guard home to protect our own; It's time to impeach George W. Bush for misleading the U.S. and the world about Iraq's WMD and starting an illegal war.
As I blogged earlier, the antiwar folks would blame all the problems on the President. He called for mandatory evacuation of New Orleans 48 hours before this storm hit, yet the City was unprepared evacuate its citizens. The National Guard Charge is unwarranted, as only 10.2. percent of the Army and Guard are in Iraq. Add Kuwait and Afghanistan, the total comes to 10.6 percent. That leaves 79 percent to responded, which they did. The National Guard has 75 percent of its troops available, according to the commander, and, 7,500 we on the ground in the first 24 hours. More details here at NRO.
The DOD response is well ahead of the 1992 Hurricane Andrew timetable. Back then, the support request took nine days to crawl through the bureaucracy. The reaction this time was less than three days officially, and DOD had been pre-staging assets in anticipation of the aid request from the moment Katrina hit.
Remember that FEMA required authorization, and they tell everyone, the process takes five days and people must be prepared to survive for five days, with a disaster preparedness kit.

The real clue about his letter was the final statement about WMDs and illegal war. These have been debunked time and time again, but it is a bone the liberal dog will not give up.

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Blogger Frederic Christie said...

I wonder if the fact that the city was unprepared to evacuate its citizens might have to do with cuts in federal aid to state/local programs and the fact that evacuating a massive city such as New Orleans with many poor individuals using, what, local and state police has chances that are slim and none? The National Guard, the army, etc. are TRAINED AND DESIGNED to handle riots and deliver humanitarian aid. NO police aren't.

Actually, the National Guard and most federal authorities did nothing for quite a few days early on. As Street says:

"They announced that everyone should evacuate. Everyone was expected to devise their own way out of the disaster area by private means, just as the free market dictates, just like people do when disaster hits free-market Third World countries...

As for the rescue operation, the free-marketeers like to say that relief to the more unfortunate among us should be left to private charity. It was a favorite preachment of President Ronald Reagan that "private charity can do the job." And for the first few days that indeed seemed to be the policy with the disaster caused by Hurricane Katrina.

The federal government was nowhere in sight but the Red Cross went into action. Its message: "Don't send food or blankets; send money." Meanwhile Pat Robertson and the Christian Broadcasting Network---taking a moment off from God's work of pushing John Roberts nomination to the Supreme Court---called for donations and announced "Operation Blessing" which consisted of a highly-publicized but totally inadequate shipment of canned goods and bibles.

By Day Three even the myopic media began to realize the immense failure of the rescue operation. People were dying because relief had not arrived. The authorities seemed more concerned with the looting than with rescuing people. It was property before people, just like the free marketeers always want.

But questions arose that the free market did not seem capable of answering: Who was in charge of the rescue operation? Why so few helicopters and just a scattering of Coast Guard rescuers? Why did it take helicopters five hours to get six people out of one hospital? When would the rescue operation gather some steam? Where were the feds? The state troopers? The National Guard? Where were the buses and trucks? the shelters and portable toilets? The medical supplies and water?

Where was Homeland Security? What has Homeland Security done with the $33.8 billions allocated to it in fiscal 2005? Even ABC-TV evening news (September 1, 2005) quoted local officials as saying that "the federal government's response has been a national disgrace."

In a moment of delicious (and perhaps mischievous) irony, offers of foreign aid were tendered by France, Germany and several other nations. Russia offered to send two plane loads of food and other materials for the victims. Predictably, all these proposals were quickly refused by the White House. America the Beautiful and Powerful, America the Supreme Rescuer and World Leader, America the Purveyor of Global Prosperity could not accept foreign aid from others. That would be a most deflating and insulting role reversal. Were the French looking for another punch in the nose?"

What, the illegal war and the no WMD? Actually, the first part was mostly conceded even before the war and most conservative concede the second now.

Wed Sep 07, 10:33:00 PM PDT  

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