Skip to comments.LOCAL, STATE FAILURES DOOMED NEW ORLEANS (Lonsberry)
Posted on 09/06/2005 6:35:29 AM PDT by shortstop
One of the astounding aspects of the Hurricane Katrina tragedy has been the profound incompetence of Louisianas politicians. Never has it been more clear that winning an election and being a leader are two completely different things.
From the run-up to the storm to the events since, Louisianas governor and New Orleans mayor have been useless, far more concerned with taking political advantage and misapplying blame than with saving peoples lives and doing their duty.
And, with incredible gall, this pair has led the ungrateful and dishonest charge against the federal government and President Bush. They, along with various race-baiters and a great many hateful celebrities, have turned this catastrophe to their political advantage, recasting it as an event of racist neglect instead of what it is the largest relief effort in the history of the United States.
Those with blood on their hands dare to indict the rest of us.
And, yes, they do have blood on their hands.
The woeful mismanagement by the city of New Orleans of the evacuation, the shelters and the relief effort undeniably cost lives. What remains to be seen is how many lives.
Lets take the evacuation. Though information has been shifting and hard to come by, it seems clear that while the city did run inadequate transit buses for free to evacuate residents before the storm, the much larger school bus fleet was left idle. In fact, it was not even moved so that it not only did not carry any people to safety, it was lost to rising flood waters.
Literally thousands of people were left to face the storm and its aftermath because the city didnt send its largest transportation tool the school buses to get them.
And the two city-established shelters the convention center and the Superdome quickly turned to misery and violence because the city failed to supply and supervise them in even the most rudimentary way. The city told people to go to the shelters, but the city did nothing to make such a move safe or healthy.
It did not send in emergency supplies of water, food, blankets, cots, medicines or anything else that would be considered essential. It didnt even send in port-a-potties. And it left the shelters understaffed or completely un-staffed. There was no organization, no security, no city officials assigned to be in charge.
There was no provision for the people in the shelters to eat, drink, sleep, be safe or go to the bathroom. And yet the city sent tens of thousands of people to them, directly causing misery and death.
In the wake of the storm, the citys public safety response was confused and ineffective. Blaming its failures on communications gaps, the city astoundingly had no electrical back-up for its police and fire radio system. And it apparently had completely ineffective commanders.
Police officers were able to move around in the city, but did so pointlessly, uselessly and sometimes criminally. As looters gained the upper hand, some New Orleans police joined them.
And some New Orleans police simply ran off.
Nearly one in every seven members of the New Orleans police department abandoned their posts and abandoned their city. Some even stole police vehicles to make their escape, leaving the people they were sworn to defend to suffering and despair.
The cowardice and dishonor of this is all the more obvious when contrasted with the actions of emergency workers on September 11.
The New York firefighters ran in and the New Orleans police ran out.
And the New Orleans mayor is no Rudy Giuliani.
Strength, courage and leadership were absent in New Orleans. Instead of inspiring by their example, the mayor and governor were visibly shaken and afraid. They acted like frightened children. Stupid frightened children.
The governor did little before the storm and little after the storm. She failed to use her National Guard effectively or expeditiously and she refused to let anyone else use it either. She complained that the federal government was doing nothing while refusing to authorize the federal government to operate freely in her state.
Federal officials can only work in a city with the permission and cooperation of state and local officials. That has largely been withheld. Instead, Louisianas politicians have made excuses for themselves and made repeated and dishonest attacks against the federal government.
And beyond Louisiana, those whose bread is buttered by racial division and distrust sowed the hateful lie of racial prejudice in the pace of the response. Completely ignoring the enormity of bringing massive amounts of equipment, supplies and aid workers into the devastated region, they told the people of New Orleans and the gullible of the country that this massive relief effort was something to be hated, not appreciated.
In the words of one idiot, George Bush doesnt like black people.
And in the words of Jesse Jackson, standing with a bunch of refugees to whom he brought no water or relief: This is the hold of a slave ship.
And that is a lie.
What happened is that one of the largest storms ever to hit the American mainland struck the Gulf Coast. It hit a city which, incredibly, is built below sea level. It hit a city and state whose leadership fundamentally failed to prepare or effectively evacuate. It hit a city and state whose leaders then provided no effective relief for the displaced, and whose incompetence was demonstrated by the collapse of basic institutions like law enforcement.
What also happened is the United States and its people moved with compassion and speed to provide relief. Hearts, wallets and homes were opened. The largest relief effort in the nations history was launched and it saved thousands and thousands of people. It is now feeding, housing and clothing those people, and it will eventually reclaim and rebuild their city.
Thats what happened.
But you wont hear that on the news.
All youll hear on the news is the complaint and ingratitude of people who have blood on their hands.
The NYT wins. In case of disaster in your area do absolutely nothing to save lives, protect property or relieve suffering. Your new assignment is to blame Bush, blame Bush and blame Bush. Got that? Good, together we will build a better America.
bill and hill are calling for an investigation....i hope they get one!!!!!!!!!!! maybe this will come out, but i hope it comes out fast
Great column. Hope it gets widely disseminated.
I'm bookmarking to read more carefully.
I would think there is room for improvement, and lessons to be learned, about the response from all levels of government. And the truly frightening fact is that humans are largely powerless in the immediate face of a natural disaster like this. Certainly I can't imagine, and don't ever want to experience, the force of the wind, rain and water of such a storm. Many of the people who rode it out may indeed be "shell-shocked" on top of everything else.
But it does seem to me that the state and local leaders really failed and fell apart here, and that the MSM predictably jumped at the chance to spin it as a "Bush failed" story.
First, we have to save and help the people down there. then figure out what went wrong and fix it. There will be plenty of time to fix blame later.
Find the facts and let the chips fall where they may. No one should be afraid of the truth.
We should watch out for the possibility of the media trying to "bury" this story if it does not turn out as they have already written it.
I'd say he needs some verbiage to address the soft bigotry of low expectations. It's been 40 years and WE cannot take care of ourselves.
When Hillary called for the Commission, my reaction was "BRING IT ON, B!TCH!!!"
It is a lie. New Orleans isn't "the hold of a slave ship". It is the milk farmers fields and barns, where his cows live.
The problem is that the farmer left when the storm came and left his cows to weather the storm on their own.
Build their gallows high
bump for later read
"It did not send in emergency supplies of water, food, blankets, cots, medicines or anything else that would be considered essential. It didnt even send in port-a-potties. And it left the shelters understaffed or completely un-staffed. There was no organization, no security, no city officials assigned to be in charge.
"There was no provision for the people in the shelters to eat, drink, sleep, be safe or go to the bathroom. And yet the city sent tens of thousands of people to them, directly causing misery and death.
"In the wake of the storm, the citys public safety response was confused and ineffective. Blaming its failures on communications gaps, the city astoundingly had no electrical back-up for its police and fire radio system. And it apparently had completely ineffective commanders."
City and local responsibilities ignored or neglected.
THAT is what caused much of the death and destruction.
How much food did Hillary eat in the last week that could've been sent to New Orleans? Hillary sits in Hawaii and New York, eating and gaining weight, while thousands of blacks are starving in New Orleans.
Hillary Clinton - democrat racist.
When you staff political, emergency and law enforcement positions, based solely on social criteria, while ignoring qualifications, the results in New Orleans is what you get. The Mayor probably realized his incompetence and what better way to divert criticism that a tirade against the Federal Government (AKA Bush). The ineptitude of the Governor (installed in that position after questionable election results) could not have been worse, even if she'd tried.
This does not, however, excuse the incompetence of Michael Brown or Michael Chertoff, both of whom should be summarily dismissed.
Who is this Lonsberry guy? He's right on! I forwarded this to several people it was so good and summarized it well.
True but President Hillary will make sure Bechtel gets the lions share of the rebuilding contracts after W is gone.
I keep thinking this thought: The mayor wants to send his traumatized police force to Las Vega and Atlantic City? Hmmmm! Why those two places, of all places? Gambling? IS the city picking up the tab? Why would gambling give the police force a sense of rest and relaxation? Besides, it begs the question: How, when did they earn this trip? What did they do? According to news reports, less than half were available for duty and more than half, according to some articles, participated in the looting? WOW! What a deal! When they start advertizing for jobs post-Katrina, this ought to make the job a lot more appealing!
This police force, IF you could call it one, is poorly trained and lacks discipline. There's your answer for what happened in NOLA. I'm certain that many were traumatized, but that just shows you that they were improperly trained.
If the US Congress does call a "Katrina Commission" investigation, may Lonsberry be the first speaker to appear before it!!!
If there is one national leader to blame, I think it should be Jesse Jackson. Having grown-up in the 7th, 8th and 9th wards in New Orleans, just about every neighborhood had people who were respected are were thus leaders. Then came the 70s and Jesse with a movement to nationalize community role models and leaders. He became the spokesperson for the disenfranchised and with his leadership, his congregation has been growing ever since. Where was he to warn them of the impending storm? Where was Sharpton?
the problem with that statement is that any commission is formed to HIDE the truth. Like the two most important commissions formed over the last few decades was the Warren commission and the 911 commission, both riddled with untruths and back patting. It's given out to the American people as findings and clarification, when in fact it just confirms what most feel. Having chips fall where they may is all well and good as long as ALL the chips are on the table. Connecting "dots" is easier when the dots remain to be connected. As we're learning now, not all dots are clearly visible, especially if your a democrat. (Berger,Corelick etc)
This was a fantasy land, nothing could have been done. The buses could have been there and ready for people but they wouldn't have showed. They could have drilled for weeks practiced evacuation and it would have resulted in what we are seeing now, the welfare/nanny state doomed them.
The INsane control the airwaves... while WE just sit back and let them!
Many posters on FR have been repeating the claim that the federal authorities were unable to intervene because the local authorities did not give them permission, or that an emergency had not been declared. This turns out to be incorrect -- Blanco declared an emergency on Saturday the 26th. Also, the 2004 National Response Plan already authorizes the federal government to pre-empt local government control in a catastrophe that overwhelms local response.
Now we have the unpleasant spectacle of Chertoff and Brown repeating their lame talking points that it's too soon to assign blame, that we must concentrate our efforts on rescuing people lest more die. Newsweek reports that Rove developed this strategy when the Bush people realized they were in deep political trouble. I wish the Bush team had shown the same alacrity in intervening in this incredible disaster that they are displaying in political damage control.
I won't say that she intentionally did this to harm Bush, but I will say that from the beginning of this crisis, every decision she made was political, looking for scape-goats. I don't want to repost this article because its rather long, but here is a link to it and some of those reasons:
Good point! The 9/11 Commission was largely a waste - imagine how infuriated we would be if Bush had lost the election in 2004 and we only found out about Able Danger this summer. Yet that's undoubtedly what some on the left hoped would happen.
I can't even begin to think about the Warren Commission this early in the morning . . .
..Newsweek also reported Bush's military records "recently uncovered" show he did not complete his military obligation.....WE ALL KNOW HOW THAT TURNED OUT
For pity sakes why?"OSullivans First Law" states thatWhich is just another way of stating the fact that people with the courage and principle to resist the bullying of "objective" journalism will be labeled "right-wing.""All organizations that are not actually right-wing will over time become left-wing."
Nobody is objective - least of all people who actually think that they are objective. Journalists are negative, superficial, arrogant and timid. IOW, journalists are left-wing bullies.
We have one deciding body, the electorate. You are engaging in the fantasy that an "independent" commission will be objective. Which is no different from assuming that an "objective" journalist will be objective.
You just have to accept the fact that if a Democrat voter feels entitled to his own facts, he will vote accordingly. There is no way of getting a commission which is independent of the Republicans - who after all seem to need only the truth in the first place - which will come to the truth of the matter.
My Husband and I saw the same thing in the press conferences before the storm hit. Those press conferences had a real "every man for himself" feel.
I'm afraid the need to blame Bush led to more deaths already. All the energy that has gone into blaming Bush for everything from the hurricane to the failed levee could have been used to save lives. Everyone was so busy pointing fingers, that no one stood up to take action (Gov and Mayor). Seriously, you run for office on the Gulf Coast (or any coast), you can expect that a hurricane will eventually make it your way. You run for mayor or gov in California, you can expect a wildfire, mudslide or earthquake will make it your way. Oklahoma, tornados. And so on and so on. Post 9/11 who knows where and when some form of disaster will hit your neighborhood!
That's why cities have practice runs for disaster..or at least should.
This is a standard DU talking point.
She requested money. She didn't ask for people, i.e., out-of-state NG or FEMA, until after the levy broke.
She is still resisting federalizing the NG even now.
Yes! uh huh!
I agree - the energy right now should be spent saving lives. There will be plenty of time for the rest.
A picture is worth a thousand words . . .
And that is a lie.
Well yes, there is an analogy there. It was other blacks that sold the blacks into slavery, so you can appoint Mayor Nagin captain of the ship and Jesse Jackson is the auctioneer...
One of the best articles yet. Thanks so much for posting this.
Thanks for posting the link, I had missed the original post. People don't believe me when I tell them any city in the US is just a disaster away from letting loose the dangers hidden in their slums. A lot of people seem to think it couldn't happen to them--but truly, that element is there in most if not all cities, and when authority can't respond because of the emergency, they'll come out, like cockroaches when the lights go out. Best to be ready, as your article states.
For example Eisenhower nationalized the Faubus's Arkansas National Guard. Of course the libs and MSM (and even the critics within the GOP) would howl even louder if Bush had done so.
I certainly hope they have nothing to do with it.
Bill and Hillary will pack the commission with Democrat sychophants and will manipulate it to achieve their own aims and solify their power. For evidence of what they have in mind with such a commission, look no further than the Gorelick, Sandy Burglar, et. al.
Do you really think a commission set up by Bill and Hillary will be fair and truthful?
An investigation, yes, but keep the Clintons 110% out of it!