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.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.