Call It Like It Really Is

At a White House press briefing the members of the media, who some will claim are getting their spines back, began asking questions and trying to lay blame for problems associated with the response to Katrina. There are some who view the answers as talking points or deflections yet the truth is, there has been no federal assessment of the response. Therefore it would be foolish to answer something that has not been investigated. The refusal of the media to accept an answer and move on does not give them a spine, it makes them irritating. There are those who would say that the position taken by Scott McClellan reminds them of yours truly. I guess they are referring to the talking points issue. Be that as it may, it only makes sense to talk about something when you actually have facts. This is where the left goes wrong. They just keep repeating things in hopes (and it is sadly true) that a portion of the population will believe it.

I have a bit more experience in disaster planning and training, as well as conducting disaster drills than the reporters asking the questions and probably the members of the government who are not affiliated with the emergency agencies. I have already pointed out that this response was not delayed and it was not slowed down and it was certainly not different than any other response because of the skin color of most of the people affected.

We have gone over this time and again yet the MSM and the democrats, including 2008 Presidential hopeful, Hillary Clinton, keep beating a drum about response. The first response is from state and local officials. In order to get a federal response they have to ask for it. The President declared an emergency prior to the storm’s arrival so that FEMA could start mobilizing. FEMA however, may not respond until they are requested. Other agencies, such as the Red Cross and the Salvation Army do not fall under the federal government but need permission from the state to respond. The Red Cross had plenty of food and water but were denied entry because the governor did not want people to stick around the Superdome. So while Nagin was crying that he needed food and water for people, Blanco was keeping it from them.

The doctrine for federal response is 72 hours. In that time they will have advance personnel there and an assessment will be made of what is needed. FEMA was hampered because the local government was so inept at their jobs. They did not evacuate according to plan. The governor refused help because she did not want the feds to take over. I also honestly believe she did not have a clue as to what was happening and what she needed. Mayor Nagin did a poor job and if the left and the race baiters want to point fingers for the death of the blacks in New Orleans they need go no further than Nagin and Blanco. He left people there to die. He and that worthless governor are to blame for the deaths of those people. She had control of the national Guard that she did not activate and he had control of a huge number of buses that he did not use. The real damage was done when the storm had passed and NO was not that badly damaged compared to what it could have been and the population along with their elected representatives breathed a collective sigh of relief that they had dodged a bullet. All appeared pretty good until the levees broke.

The levees were built a while ago and for reasons of cost they were built to withstand a CAT 3 hurricane. The people who took that decision knew that anything higher could damage the levees but they were willing to take that risk. They made a conscious decision that the risk was worth it. There has been a lot of finger pointing about budgets for upgrading the levees and how they have been cut. The claim is that the money for the levee upgrades was used instead for the war in Iraq though I have seen no evidence of this. Regardless of why the budget was cut several things need to be addressed. First, is it a federal responsibility to repair the levees? Does the state bear any burden for the cost and how can they best address that? Secondly, would the upgrades have made a difference? There have been reports that the levees failed in areas where they had already been upgraded. If this is the case then the argument that loss of upgrade money caused the breech is false.

I have watched this with much interest and I knew what would come of it. The MSM is blaming the federal government and saying that the problems were because the residents were poor and black. The democrats in Congress want an investigation so they can find out what the feds did wrong. Hollywood is holding telethons to raise money and allow their stars to criticize the federal (read Bush administration) government, Howard Dean and Al Sharpton are race baiting. They are playing a card that no longer wins them any hands but gets attention when it hits the table. All in all an entitlement society is criticizing the federal government while ignoring those who were really responsible and that would be the local government and the people who refused to evacuate. The reality is that people who have been told all their lives that government will take care of them in all aspects of life went about business expecting that very thing to happen. Why worry about evacuation, food, water, or clothing when the government will give it to you? People took no responsibility for themselves because they have been conditioned to do just that (not be responsible for themselves). Perhaps the difference in ideology is why New Orleans had so many problems and other affected areas did not.

When a governor refuses aid it is negligence. When a mayor refuses to use all available means (especially those called for in his plan) to evacuate people then it is negligence. When people criticize Mike Brown, FEMA and the federal government for being slow to respond it is ignorance. They responded in the time established by doctrine. When Brown says things are going well and people criticize them it is ignorance. From the government response things went fairly well, though not flawless. It was the problems caused by local government through negligence that were causing difficulties. Were there things the government could improve upon? You bet but response time is not going to get much better because people still need to be marshaled and transported along with tons of supplies. This does not happen in an instant. That is why states have their own plans and why they are in charge (not to mention the Constitutionality of the situation).

A lack of understanding of the process, a blind eye to incompetence at the local level, and political motivation is driving people to make false claims and to point fingers in the wrong direction. People keep pointing at the republican administration in the federal government while ignoring the democrats at the state and local level. We can be certain that the poor response to this disaster was responsible for the loss of life. That responsibility lies with the state and local officials as well as on the shoulders of those who were able to leave but chose not to do so. I am certain that the response by the federal government, while not perfect, was not responsible for the loss of life. I also believe that the race baiting and the support of the negligence of state and local democrats will not sit well with voters during the next election.



Print This Post

If you enjoy what you read consider signing up to receive email notification of new posts. There are several options in the sidebar and I am sure you can find one that suits you. If you prefer, consider adding this site to your favorite feed reader. If you receive emails and wish to stop them follow the instructions included in the email.

Comments are closed.