New Orleans: Destroyed
by Presidential Negligence
* Hold your mouse pointer over the text to display the article links *
Before 9/11 the Federal Emergency Management Agency listed the three most likely catastrophic disasters facing America: a terrorist attack on New York, a major earthquake in San Francisco and a hurricane strike on New Orleans. "The New Orleans hurricane scenario," The Houston Chronicle wrote in December 2001, "may be the deadliest of all."
After New Orleans thought it had narrowly escaped the worst of
Hurricane Katrina's wrath, water broke through two levees, embankments
built to prevent flooding, and virtually submerged and isolated the city,
causing incalculable destruction and rendering it uninhabitable for weeks
The enormous devastation wreaked upon parts of Louisiana, Mississippi
and Alabama by Hurricane Katrina is only beginning to come to light, even
as the situation in New Orleans grows worse by the hour. Large parts of
the coastal regions of these states along the Gulf of Mexico have
experienced extensive flooding, destruction of buildings and homes, and
loss of life.
Murky water, laced with junk and pollutants, coursed through the city,
including many downtown streets. Residents and rescuers came across
floating bodies, though the city's death toll was unknown late Tuesday.
Flooding specialists predicted that conditions could worsen as authorities
focused first on saving people trapped in buildings.
Hurricane Katrina has probably killed thousands of people in New Orleans, Mayor Ray Nagin said today [August 31]. If that estimate is accurate, Hurricane Katrina would be the nation's deadliest natural disaster since at least the 1906 San Francisco earthquake. "Minimum, hundreds. Most likely, thousands," Nagin said when asked for specifics at a news conference.
Chalk up the city of New Orleans as a cost of Bush's Iraq war. There were not enough helicopters to repair the breached levees and rescue people trapped by rising water. Nor are there enough Louisiana National Guardsmen available to help with rescue efforts and to patrol against looting. The situation is the same in Mississippi. The National Guard and helicopters are off on a fool's mission in Iraq.
The president told us that we needed to fight in Iraq to save lives here at home, and yet -- after moving billions of domestic dollars to the Persian Gulf -- there are bodies floating through the streets of Louisiana. What does George W. Bush have to say for himself now?
|A sign against US President George W. Bush and the Federal Emergency
Management Agency (FEMA) is hung in front of a house in the Algiers
neighborhood of New Orleans, three weeks after Hurricane Katrina hit the
Top federal and local relief officials were to hold a summit in a bid to iron out their dispute over whether it is safe for thousands of New Orleans residents to return to their hurricane-battered city(AFP/Omar Torres)
The message is clear. You are on your own. The levees that collapsed were the ones the canceled funds were intended to strengthen.
Bush cut the levee strengthening funds to help pay for his war in Iraq, a war started with lies. This is not wise leadership. It is reckless "loot the treasury to pay for phony wars" leadership. Bush has, through incompetence, wrecked a major US city just as thoroughly as any terrorist could ever hope to do.
See also: New Orleans: Index of What Really Happened
What Really Happened