Saturday, September 03, 2005

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WHY DIDN'T YOU DEPLOY THE BUSES DURING THE MANDATORY EVACUATION, MAYOR?...
An aerial view of flooded school buses in a lot, Thursday, Sept. 1, 2005, in New Orleans, LA. The flood is a result of Hurricane Katrina that passed through the area last Monday

Man Made Diaster

Well since I know the leftist media and Democrats will continue to hammer at the FEDERAL government and Bush as being responsible for the mess in Louisiana, ole Snoop will focus on the real culprits. Mayor Nagan and Governor Blanco.
I’ll just say this; If these two stupid fucks are elected to their posts for another term, then the state of Louisiana deserves what it gets. Sounds cold and harsh but that is the truth.
I tried to look up the current members of the New Orleans city council because I want to eventually post the names of every city official. They ALL need to be fired.
Mayor Nagan, while you were on the radio yelling at the federal government where were you dumbass? He did not set his black ass back in New Orleans until the president arrived.
Yup you got a chance to ride in Marine One, made you feel like a big shot huh?
Did you get a chance to point out all of your former hangouts? Places that were frequented more than the Mayors office apparently.
He was not very visible. You saw the former Mayors of New Orleans on TV more than him. Also where was Governor Blanco? I hope you know that your incompetence killed those people. Oh and lets not forget the past city officials either, you are also at fault.

Before we pump billions of dollars back in that state we better get a grip on the incompetence down there.
You people were too damm busy drinking Hurricanes rather than preparing for one.


New York Times Editorial
David Brooks

The situation in New Orleans, which had seemed as bad as it could get, became considerably worse yesterday with reports of what seemed like a total breakdown of organized society. Americans who had been humbled by failures in Iraq saw that the authorities could not quickly cope with a natural disaster at home. People died for lack of water, medical care or timely rescues - particularly the old and the young - and victims were almost invariably poor and black. The city's police chief spoke of rapes, beatings and marauding mobs. The pictures were equally heartbreaking and maddening. Disaster planners were well aware that New Orleans could be flooded by the combined effects of a hurricane and broken levees, yet somehow the government was unable to immediately rise to the occasion.

Watching helplessly from afar, many citizens wondered whether rescue operations were hampered because almost one-third of the men and women of the Louisiana National Guard, and an even higher percentage of the Mississippi National Guard, were 7,000 miles away, fighting in Iraq. That's an even bigger loss than the raw numbers suggest because many of these part-time soldiers had to leave behind their full-time jobs in police and fire departments or their jobs as paramedics. Regardless of whether they wear public safety uniforms in civilian life, the guardsmen in Iraq are a crucial resource sorely missed during these early days, when hours have literally meant the difference between evacuation and inundation, between civic order and chaos, between life and death.

The gap is now belatedly being filled by units from other states, though without the local knowledge and training those Mississippi and Louisiana units could supply. The Pentagon is sending thousands of active-duty sailors and soldiers, including a fully staffed aircraft carrier, a hospital ship and some 3,000 Army troops for security and crowd control (even though federal law bars regular Army forces from domestic law enforcement, normally the province of the National Guard).

But it's already a very costly game of catch-up. The situation might have been considerably less dire if all of Louisiana's and Mississippi's National Guard had been mobilized before the storm so they could organize, enforce and aid in the evacuation of vulnerable low-lying areas. Plans should have been drawn up for doing so, with sufficient trained forces available to carry them out.

It's too late for that now. But the hard lessons of this week must be learned and incorporated into the nation's plans for future emergencies, whether these come in the form of natural disasters or terrorist attacks. Every state must now update its plans for quick emergency responses and must be assured by the Pentagon that it will be able to keep enough National Guard soldiers on hand to carry out these plans on very short notice.

Things would have been even worse if a comparable domestic disaster had struck last year, when an even greater percentage of National Guard units were deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan. Some states had more than two-thirds of their Guard forces overseas. After several governors protested, the Pentagon agreed to adjust its force rotations so no state would be stripped of more than half of its guardsmen at any one time. That promise has been kept so far. But honoring it in the months ahead will be extremely difficult with active-duty forces so badly overstretched in Iraq, and prospects for any significant early withdrawals looking bleak.

One lasting lesson that has to be drawn from the Gulf Coast's misery is that from now on, the National Guard must be treated as America's most essential homeland security force, not as some kind of military piggy bank for the Pentagon to raid for long-term overseas missions. America clearly needs a larger active-duty Army. It just as clearly needs a homeland-based National Guard that's fully prepared and ready for any domestic emergency.

Lord Jim in New Orleans: Local Government?


Local Governance | Matthew J. Peterson

David Brooks' column yesterday (POST ABOVE) was dead right—when one sees the shocking images on TV of the "predominantly black and poor" trapped and suffering, it is clear to all that "[t]he political disturbances are still to come." When, as now, there is a rising sense of anger in the air, the blame game is never far behind. The MainStream Media is already questioning the feds and the President rather than putting the hard questions to those actually responsible on the ground in New Orleans.

The MSM feels justifiable anger about the awful scenes the country has witnessed, but the usual righteous indignation they like to cloak themselves in is usually directed at the wrong targets. Ted Koppel slammed the deathly calm director of FEMA in a live interview last night, but as Powerline points out no one can tell us how, exactly, the feds are to blame. (See also Michelle Malkin here). Nevertheless, I'm sure over the next few weeks the MSM will let us know about every conceivable way in which the actions of FEMA and the President could be construed as a mistake.

Let us not make the same error—whether due to incomptence, circumstances beyond its control, or a combination of both, the city government of New Orleans has utterly failed its residents.

Did no one working for the city or state foresee the problems that would arise at the Superdome? Why and when were the people there abandoned by city officials? The same goes for the now infamous convention center. If city officials told people to go to the convention center for days, how did they just forget about all the people they walked away from? Did anyone from the city or state think about something so obvious as evacuating hospitals? Are all these reports about the breakdown of the city's police force true? If so, why did so many officers desert the city or even take part in the looting?

How, exactly, were the city and the government co-ordinating things together? Was the city working with the state at all? We have seen frequent and justifiably emotional pleas for help from the governor of Lousiana and the mayor of New Orleans, but it is hard to see how they have led or what they have organized over the last few hellish days. Everywhere one turns one sees shockingly ignoble acts of absolutely astounding incompetence. State and local governments simply failed to maintain the rule of law. Of course, the mayor and governor are under severe stress, but the reason we have government at all—the reason we elect leaders is to lead, especially in times of crisis.

Who was running things before the feds came? Who was in charge and how did the chain of command work? FEMA officials didn't even know that thousands of people were in the convention center until sometime yesterday—which leads one to believe that they must not have been told by whatever centralized command and control structure the city of New Orleans and the state of Louisiana had set up in the area (or did the city and state even set up such a structure?). It sure seems like disorganized and fragmented state and city officials and agencies communicated with the feds about as well as they did with New Orleans' poor.

Before anyone starts blaming Washington D.C., one has to wonder about the local and state officials co-ordinating the evacuation. Were thousands of people left in harms way because a bunch of "Lord Jims" abandoned their posts, shamefully leaving the poor and the sick in the midst of a disaster zone?

Maybe not—maybe circumstances were beyond their control—but this is the question that must be answered before we start blaming anyone in the District of Columbia. Given the sorry state of weakened local governments across the nation, one can guess what the answer will likely be.

Terry Ebbert, the chief of Homeland Security for the city, complained that FEMA did not set up a command and control center fast enough—what isn't clear is whether or not Ebbert and the rest of the relevant state and local authorities had such a center in place or even a workable plan to evacuate their own city. (See this for more on Ebbert.)

Meanwhile, in a recent interview, the mayor of New Orleans had harsh words for President Bush and the Iraq war even as he praised the leadership of Army Lt. General Russel Honore, about whom he said:

...he started cussing and people started moving. And he's getting some stuff done. They ought to give that guy—if they don't want to give it to me—give him full authority to get the job done, and we can save some people.

This sounds like a man understandably overwhelmed by his circumstances. Yet his attitude is troubling: "they" ought to "give" authority to the Army to get the job done? Aren't "they" there to help the man who is supposed to be in charge—the mayor? He also admitted he didn't know much about what the governor was up to, and then said:

"I don't know whether it's the governor's problem, or it's the president's problem, but somebody...the two of them...[needs to] figure this out right now."

What about himself—doesn't he think he should be involved too? Once again, he exempts himself from leadership and puts the burden on the shoulders of the governor and the president—one wonders to what extent he thinks "it's the mayor's problem." It sure sounds like the mayor wants to cede responsiblity—how has he directed the resources he has now? From the looks of things, not very well, and although its obvious that everything possible that could go wrong did go wrong, one still wonders.

There are obviously many mitigating factors in the midst of a natural disaster of this size and intensity, and no one should start seriously pointing fingers until all the people in danger are brought to safety—yet the mayor of New Orleans and Terry Ebbert have some explaining to do even as they point towards the feds.

To what extent the federal government has failed anyone remains to be seen, but it ought to be clear to the world that the City of New Orleans and the state of Lousiana was not in any way prepared for Katrina. There is no also doubt that for whatever reason, understandable or not, state and local government failed to govern, abandoning thousands of impoverished people to fend for themselves. Further, state and local government officials were unable to keep the rule of law in the City of New Orleans, and it is likely for this reason more than any other that rescue operations have been so painfully slow.