"There are only two ways of telling the complete truth—anonymously and posthumously."Thomas Sowell

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Widespread Dissatisfaction

The recovery of survivors from New Orleans has left a lot to be desired. A friend wrote me outraged that babies are dying for lack of adequate food, shelter, etc. How can this be in the richest, most creative, most powerful nation in the world?

I think the answer is as follows: We haven't had a disaster like this in a long, long time and when it happened in the past, the vast majority of victims died rather than surviving. We have not been faced with something of this magnitude spread over such a great geographic area, probably ever. Certainly, we haven't seen a major inner city area suddenly and violently reclaimed by nature.

FEMA probably had enough water, food, drugs, and bandages ready, but not the kind of massive mobilization of search and rescue workers needed for a disaster like this. It was simply incomprehensible.

We don't keep an army of rescue workers waiting around for something like Katrina. I'm not sure we could even afford to do so. But the situation is grave and what must be considered is something new. We can't let the victims die. We have to mobilize. That means it may be time to consider conscription of boats, buses, helicopters, etc. Maybe even the conscription of men if volunteers can't be found. I know I'm offending libertarians. But it may be time to think on those lines. Actually, it simply is time.


Kathy Hutchins said...

Hunter, I'm a close approximation of a libertarian, and the notion doesn't offend me in principle. I'm just not sure it's lack of manpower, or vehicles, or goods that's the problem here. The problem is transporting these things where they need to be, and getting a support structure in place. This effort is really more like planning an army invasion than anything else. So you conscript every shallow draft boat in America -- where does the fuel come from? That seems to be the big problem now. We've been getting local radio updates all day on a search and rescue team from Fairfax VA that's in Gulfport right now. They had to sit on their butts for six hours this morning while they located fuel for their vehicles.

Drudge has had a picture of the National Guard rolling in all day long. It's what needs to happen first -- get a bunch of big guys wearing uniforms and carrying guns in there to restore order and stop the people who are carjacking ambulances and shooting at evacuation helicopters. Then maybe some big equipment can get in with personnel and supplies and start taking the remaining people out. The Coast Guard is already there. Navy ships are on the way. They're even using spy satellites.

David Sae said...

Well, apparently MSNBC, FOX and other media have enough man power to show us footages inside the convention center and Super Dome, where babies are dying. So, if it's a matter of paying the rescue workers to bring food and drugs in, I'm pretty sure there are tons of takers, and I’m likewise sure funding for hiring workers will keep pouring in from all over the country

A.P. reported that a hotel in N.O. tried to hire their own bus and “federal officials commandeered the buses, and told the guests to join thousands of other evacuees at the New Orleans convention center.” (http://www.wwltv.com/local/stories/WWLBLOG.ac3fcea.html)
Did they declare martial law in N.O. that I haven’t heard about? Apparently, there are bus companies (“rescue workers”) out there willing to take the money from private citizens to get them out. One must ask why our government isn’t doing a better job.

David Sae said...

We dropped humanitarian aids in Afghanistan the moment we also bombed them on October 7th, 2001. Can’t we do the same in some areas of N.O. like the Convention Center and Super Dome? Waiting for the big equipment to get there first when people are dying needlessly doesn’t make sense to me.

The Classic Liberal Anonymous said...

I'm with Kathy; the issue is infrastructure, which includes things like passable roads, fuel, AND communications.

Kathy Hutchins said...

Oh, and David....the mayor of New Orleans did indeed declare martial law, at about 7:30 Wednesday evening.

David Sae said...

Kathy, I stand corrected regarding the declaration of martial law. The A.P. piece, however, reported the confiscation of the buses at 12:38PM Wednesday.

David Sae said...

Reported on CNN.com:

"Federal Emergency Management Director Michael Brown told CNN that federal officials were unaware of the crowds at the convention center until Thursday, despite the fact that city officials had been telling people for days to gather there."

They weren't waiting for big equipments before they move in; they just f___ed up! Mind my French. Either they heard that people were at the convention center and ignored it, or they were too preoccupied with something else, and now that they know it's bad, they said they didn’t!

Also, watching Bill O’Riley last night, and Shepard Smith reported that martial law can only be declared by Congress (I leave it to the law degree holders on this forum to enlighten me whether it’s true or false). So, the “martial law” declared by the mayor of New Orleans isn’t worth a dime.