Friday, September 02, 2005

Collected Rants

A lot of writers are making the same basic point: we have a failed government that has blithely let a city die, and left thousands of its inhabitants at risk of dying. I'm not going to bother, but here are some:

Steve Gilliard

But the utter lack of imagination here is astounding. The things Special Opeation Command does is quite suited for New Orleans. But no one seemed to realize they could be used en masse. And one of the things they could have done is shore up the police, who are deserting in large numbers. They have just lost their nerve. No food and no communication can do that to you. Special Forces could have provided the professional support needed and aided in rescues. Instead, people are still waiting.
Paul Krugman

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.

Kevin Drum
It took days for this to start happening despite plenty of warning from the weather service and disaster experts and despite the fact that these are the well-understood requirements for almost any large scale disaster. At least, this was all well understood before FEMA got privatized, downsized, and staffed with political hacks. Now all they're left with is pathetic excuses.
And many more...

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