Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Hurricane Katrina: Blame Bush!

Well, that didn't take long.

Eighty-percent of the city of New Orleans remains under water, yet the partisans are already out in force blaming President Bush for the "slow" response to Hurricane Katrina disaster.

Blogger Austin Bay -- who has worked in disaster areas before (as have I) -- commented that the response has actually been quite swift, compared to the relief efforts in the Darfur Genocide and the South Asian Tsunami.

Within days, National Guard troops and relief workers were streaming into New Orleans despite the fact that -- as I already mentioned -- the city remains 80 percent under water.

That's one of the major challenges of working in a disaster area -- it's a disaster area. Communications and electricity are cut off, roads are impassable, areas remain unsafe. What would normally take minutes can take days, weeks or months.

Yet, within four days relief had arrived.

While some partisans say the "slow"public response is the result of racism, interesting to note that more than $350 million in private funds was raised within five days of the disaster. Cities and towns around the U.S. are accepting refugees and people are opening up their homes to the displaced.

Interesting to note also that none of the blame for the disaster seems to be sticking to New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin and Louisiana Governor Kathleen Babineaux Blanco -- both Democrats -- the two public officials closest to the disaster, who failed to evacuate the city prior to the flooding and only issued a mandatory evacuation order afterward at the insistence of President Bush.

Nagin and Blanco -- having fled the city for the relative safety of Baton Rouge -- content themselves to rail at the Feds for the "slow" response.

Smells like...politics. No surprise there.

Update 9 a.m.: WCBS News now reporting that the Army Corps of Engineers has repaired the broken levees in New Orleans -- less than one week after the disaster.

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