mr. zilla goes to town

Friday, September 02, 2005

miserable failure

Get over to Americablog for an inkling of how poorly the US federal and state governments have utterly failed thus far to plan for, or respond to, the immediate relief requirements in Louisiana. This is not outlying Aceh or Tamil-controlled Sri Lanka - this is an iconic metropolis in the heart of media saturated 'murrka. There's no excuse for institutional ignorance of the scale of the problem, nor for the post 9/11 Homeland Security department to have been without comprehensive and complete evacuation and disaster response plans.

The revelation that Secretary of State Condi Rice was observed still shopping for thousand-dollar shoes in Manhattan the day after Bush declared the event America's "worst distaster in a century" is just gobsmacking. I guess with Iraq off the front page for a couple of days she thought she was free to take some time off?

Continued. Kruggles in the New York Times:

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." It described a potential catastrophe very much like the one now happening.


At a fundamental level, I'd argue, our current leaders just aren't serious about some of the essential functions of government. They like waging war, but they don't like providing security, rescuing those in need or spending on preventive measures. And they never, ever ask for shared sacrifice.

Yesterday Mr. Bush made an utterly fantastic claim: that nobody expected the breach of the levees. In fact, there had been repeated warnings about exactly that risk.

So America, once famous for its can-do attitude, now has a can't-do government that makes excuses instead of doing its job. And while it makes those excuses, Americans are dying.


  • Someone once said "We are only 48 hours and not getting two hot meals away from descending into anarchy". New Orleans is a perfect example.

    It was a bustling metropolis with all civil services and a long history. The failure of FEMA, state and federal government services to plan or react is absolutely disgusting. In a city that depends upon a system of dykes and pumps to function the fact that there is no existing contingency plan for if the dykes and pumps fail is one of those pieces of govermental thinking along the lines of "we will put that in the too hard basket".

    For another example have a look at this link. It concerns a sunken warship containg thousands of explosives from WWII. The ship is just kilometers from the planned site of a gas plant.

    This notion of an all powerful, untouchable US of A has been chipped away a little bit more.

    By Blogger jared, at 1:52 am  

  • I thought, maybe I can make some jokes about this on my i cruised the bbc news website looking for material - but I found even myself truly shocked by events. That says a lot.

    PS. yes I am in fact saying that my ability to make fun of a disaster is a barometer of its seriousness.

    PPS. That bit about cond. rice shopping for shoes is quite funny actually.

    By Blogger The Capgras Delusion, at 6:56 pm  

  • you're quite right about the condi thing. definite shades of fiddling while rome is burning. or perhaps imelda marcos in the last days of the regime there...?

    By Blogger mister z, at 12:30 pm  

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