Saturday, September 03, 2005

Beyond words...

As the news pours out of New Orleans since the Katrina disaster, it has become more apparent than ever that the Bush administration ignored warnings about what a hurricane of this magnitude might do to the area, and furthermore neglected to send the troops, food, water and means of evacuation for its victims.

There's so much out in the blogoshpere right now about this issue and how Katrina may further damage Bush's tarnished image. Bush can't even give his brief appearance in New Orleans without looking confused and befuddled... perhaps because he wasn't met by a cheering crowd made up entirely of his supporters. The head of FEMA proves himself to be completely inadequate to the task. The relief effort comes in three days late and several million dollars short. Mass chaos, death, starvation and devastation reign in New Orleans. And our government wants to talk about the estate tax.

These people have no shame. They have no decency.

Call Sens. Feinstein and Boxer NOW, please. Frist and his fellow Republicans are callously focused on the almighty dollar in the face of human suffering, and the Dems. in office need to do everything in their power to bring this latest ghoulish action to a screeching halt.

Unfortunately, this disaster has brought to bear with many Americans what we already knew about this administration - we are dealing with an oligarchy, and if you aren't one of the 'haves', like Bush and his cronies, you are just as expendable as the 'have nots' in New Orleans. Why bother with messy issues like natural disasters when you can play guitar on stage like a country star, or ride bikes with Lance Armstrong, or try to repeal more tax dollars that go to help prevent things like what just happened in New Orleans. Dealing with issues like natural disasters takes leadership... something that Bush clearly cannot offer. When normally vapid anchors on cable news are loosing it during interviews about Katrina, you know something's really wrong with your country.

And as more and more people come to realize that something's wrong with our country, the question starts to get asked... what if this hadn't been a hurricane? What if this had been one of those terrorist attacks that the Bush administration threatened us with throughout the last campaign cycle? What if this had been Chicago or LA or, god forbid, New York once again? Would it take three days for help to get to any of those cities in the wake of an attack?

We're looking at three possibilities here. One, that this administration badly bungled an honest attempt to aid the people in the Gulf Cost area both before and after the damage. Two, that the administration willfully withheld aid and stalled planning and action before and after the damage, for any number of reasons (the major ones possibly that those most devastated are black and poor). And three - and perhaps the scariest possibility - that the government wouldn't have been able to do any better than they did if they wanted to due to the lack of funds and resources thanks to the Iraq war. And if that's the case... god help us all if a terrorist attack ever happens again in this country.

Bush won his re-election on a platform of 9-11, security in the face of a threat to American safety, and the war. Now when he's faced with yet another disaster on American soil, we see that his blank stare in that classroom in 2001 was no fluke. It's easy to play like you're a cowboy when lives aren't at stake. He clearly cannot provide the leadership he so often promises when there are.

As you see in Barbara's previous post, we are in the process of working out what we can do in our area to help the victims, whether it is a donated goods drive or physically going to the area to volunteer with the victims. Whatever it is, we'll post it here and keep everyone in touch.

In the meanwhile, please keep the people affected by this disaster in your thoughts...

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