Wow, this article seems pretty fair:
At every turn, political leaders failed Katrina’s victims. They didn’t strengthen the levees. They ceded the streets to marauding looters. They left dead bodies to rot or bloat. Thousands suffered or died for lack of water, food and hope. Who’s at fault?
There’s plenty of blame to go around _ the White House, Congress, federal agencies, local governments, police and even residents of the Gulf Coast who refused orders to evacuate. But all the finger-pointing misses the point: Politicians and the people they lead too often ignore danger signs until a crisis hits.
It wasn’t a secret that levees built to keep New Orleans from flooding could not withstand a major hurricane, but government leaders never found the money to fully shore up the network of earthen, steel and concrete barriers.
Both the Bush and Clinton administrations proposed budgets that low-balled the needs. Local politicians grabbed whatever money they could and declared victory. And the public didn’t exactly demand tax increases to pay for flood-control and hurricane-protection projects.
Just last year, the Army Corps of Engineers sought $105 million for hurricane and flood programs in New Orleans. The White House slashed the request to about $40 million. Congress finally approved $42.2 million, less than half of the agency’s request.
Yet the lawmakers and Bush agreed to a $286.4 billion pork-laden highway bill that included more than 6,000 pet projects for lawmakers. Congress spent money on dust control for Arkansas roads, a warehouse on the Erie Canal and a $231 million bridge to a small, uninhabited Alaskan island.
How could Washington spend $231 million on a bridge to nowhere _ and not find $42 million for hurricane and flood projects in New Orleans? It’s a matter of power and politics.
If you didn’t think that was blunt enough, check out this paragraph:
“Look at all they’ve had to deal with,” former President Clinton told CNN shortly after joining former President Bush on a fundraising campaign for hurricane relief. “I’m telling you, nobody every thought it would happen like this.”
That’s not true. Experts had predicted for years that a major hurricane would eventually hit New Orleans, swamping the levees and filling the bowl-shaped city with polluted water. The politicians are doing what they do in time of crisis _ shifting the blame.
Wow, that’s quite the statement. The politician do a lot of finger pointing, and they do a lot that doesn’t need to be done– like the Erie Canal and the Alaska project.
I have to wonder if there is not another reason that this disaster happened. In the Old
Testament, God judged Sodom and Gomorrah with fire and brimstone for their perversion. Now, I’m not from the area, and I cannot pass judgement on them, but is it possible that the wickedness of the yearly Mardi Gras activities in New Orleans finally caught up with them? I
don’t know. As I said to a coworker, if they move Mardi Gras somewhere else and a natural disaster hits there too, I wouldn’t want to be the city where it goes next!
And I think about the people that lost everything– I don’t envy that condition, and we should be praying that this thing can be used for good.