Monday, September 05, 2005

20/20 Hindsight is Perfect

From Naked Minyan:
"Another disaster, and the evildoers are George W Bush, Mayor Nagin, and Governor Kathleen Blanco. The evildoers are FEMA, the Dept. of Homeland Security, and the armed services. These people sat on their asses and did nothing. Absolutely nothing in the face of disaster. They denied that anything was wrong. Lying in people's faces. We're used to it from politicians, but not while they let people starve to death in a shithole for days. The feds deserve a lot of blame. Bush's negligence was criminal. He ached to fight Iraq, but when the fight came home and the cause wasn't so glamorous, he wasn't up for the job. In fact, he did a job so terrible that in any other line of work they would've kicked his ass to the curb really fucking fast. But, the state and local officials also failed. They should've known that a Flood could happen. How could they not? Why didn't the Mayor who was so incensed at the feds provide bussing to the poor people who ended up at the Superdome and Convention Center? How could people from the state of Louisiana, supposedly qualified government officials, not be able to guess at what sort of disaster might happen. In the least, they could prepare for the worst."

I rode to and from the New Orleans airport with two different cabbies, one male and one female. Because I am in Planning, the topic of New Orleans, its sub-sea level elevation and it vulnerability to hurricane became a topic of conversation. BOTH cabbies knew of the danger and I hope they used that knowledge and evacuated before Katrina.

My point. EVERYONE knew of the problem. MOST people evacuated. Federal, State and local officials did act then and have acted properly since. A tragedy has occurred because too many people CHOSE to ride out the storm and they may have paid with their lives. A bigger tragedy occurred when some people were unable to evacuate and they may have died as a result.

My question is this. Since each one of these people screaming like Naked Minyan obviously knew of the problem, why didn't THEY help with the evacuation? Or maybe they didn't really "know!"

All we can do now is pick up the pieces.