Friday, September 02, 2005

More Katrina Sanity

From Varifrank:

Anarchy begins at home

From Reuters:

“Federal disaster declarations covered 90,000 square miles (234,000 square kilometers) along the U.S. Gulf Coast, an area roughly the size of Britain. As many as 400,000 people have been forced to leave their homes.”

This is not a Hurricane. This is an atomic bomb. This was worse than 9/11, its worse than the Tsunami.

This is Katrina.

Katrina did not just wipe out New Orleans, it also did Biloxi, Gulfport and Pascagoula. This one storm has effected anarea roughly the size of Great Britain. These cities are not tourist havens, populated with taffy making retirees who can leave town at a moments notice, these are working towns, working ports where people made things and went about their life outside of the bright spotlight of the worlds attention.

We all are affected by what these port cities do, and now that they are gone, we are all going to be effected by their loss. We are all going to be covered by the debris spread by Katrina.

I can deal with the horror of it. I can get used to the word “refugee”, but I cannot sit back and abide the blame game that is going on. Everyone on the left is working double overtime to make Katrina into George W. Bush’s’ Frankenstein monster. To hear some on the left, it’s as if George himself created the Hurricane. And the people on the right are also working overtime blaming the Mayor and Governor of Louisiana. And for gods sake if I hear one more “Christian” blame the gays and Mardi Gras, I’m going to come apart at the seams.

It’s all crap, and it needs to stop.

Does it occur to those of you that are blaming the mayor and the New Orleans police department that the very people you are castigating for a “lack of leadership” also lost everything in the disaster? The people everyone counted on to have the plans and to be on the job afterwards were also wiped out in this disaster. This is not a simple high water mark on some rich folks barrier island vacation homes; this is the utter destruction of 4 major cities.

I don’t remember any of us walking around last week saying how much we knew about how this was going to play out.

We all sit miles away from the disaster ready to pass judgment, but can any of us have any idea what it must be like to be a low paid civil servant reporting to work, knowing that your house is underwater and your family is missing and there’s 100,000 angry, wet and hungry people staring at you for answers?

Should the Mayor of New Orleans have declared martial law and had a forced evacuation 24 hours prior to the landing of the hurricane? Maybe, but would you have supported him? Was 24 hours enough to move 400,000 people? What about 72? Were there any sort of facilities, any people to carry off such a plan? Could you even implement that today even with all the clear need in full light of day? Were not talking about a few office blocks, this is city after city that needed to be fully evacuated, and where exactly would you have evacuated to? It’s just as likely that Houston was going to be hit, as was New Orleans. We have no idea how to do this sort of mass migration, even today. We are now evacuating to Houston in full daylight outside of the storm and it still takes time to move people en masse that far away. And now, Houston is full – that’s how big this is.

Some of you say “ we should bring in the Military” and we are. But lets remember, the military isn’t just sitting at the airport in their cockpits ready to deploy at a moments notice, they have to get ready, it takes time to move men and material anywhere in the world. Now for comparison purposes, if it takes 4 days to organize a military group, trained and driven to take orders on command to go somewhere, how long will it take to move civilians who do not follow orders and cant even be compelled to leave in the face of a category 5 hurricane. How long does it take when to make matters even worse, the locals start shooting at the people trying to help?

And for those of you complaining about the lack of relief workers, remember, relief workers will not go into any area where their security is at risk, and the locals have decided that shooting at the people trying to help is good sport.

Stop thinking of this as a Hurricane and start thinking of this as an atomic bombing and you can start to see what happened here was just beyond anyone local to have the ability to deal with it. The hurricane didn’t just destroy the buildings; it destroyed the authority and the infrastructure of local government as well.

The lesson here is that in true large scale disasters, you can’t count on the locals to even be there to take the lead. The assumption has to be that the locals are gone and cannot take part in their own rescue. That is not an assumption we make today in our planning, all disaster planning says the locals “drive the show”. Katrina showed the weakness in that idea. Katrina changed the paradigm of disasters in our memory. I always wondered what would take the place of 9/11 in my nightmares, and now I know what it is.

I have my issues with the way this was handled, but for now I’m keeping it to my self. None of this half assed Monday morning quarterbacking is going to do a damn thing to get those people out of there but the corrosive effect it will have on our government serves no one. There must be authority and if the left or the right continues on this game of political gamesmanship, the effect is will end in anarchy for all of us.

It must stop, and it must stop now.

We all learned from this disaster, and none of us is going to get out of it without some of it on us. We’ve all learned a valuable lesson that modern man doesn’t like to admit very often but its true nonetheless - there are things in the world that you don’t have control over that are much, much bigger than you, and on occasion they can and often do reach out and bite your ass. Modern man is pretty comfortable in his certainty and has lots of nice toys, like satellites and telecommunications but nature is much bigger than man and in the end, nature will always win.

We are not out of this yet. Things are possibly going to get worse.

Much, Much worse

When you have large numbers of people in that kind of water, Cholera is not far from the future. We Western people have no idea what a cholera epidemic is like, but I fear we are about to learn. Its not funny, its death inside of a day for thousands of people, the young and the infirmed will go even faster. Based on the current conditions, we are probably within 24 hours of a cholera outbreak in this area. Ladies and gentleman, if that occurs and God help us all if it does, you will look back on these last 4 days as “when things weren’t quite so bad”.

Stop looking for someone to blame and start looking for a way to help, were full up on critics at the moment we could use a few more “backs” in the process of getting these people out.

This is not anyone’s fault; this is simply beyond comprehension. We might have talked about it in academic exercises, but no one in the United States has ever seen anything like this. It doesn’t help anyone get out of there to waste your time on that fruitless exercise of trying to blame anyone for this.

We have no time to waste on such fecklessness. People are dying and more are going to die soon if we don’t get those people out of there quickly.


Anonymous Joan said...

If I was the governor I believe I'd just refuse to talk to most of the TV reporters. It is shameful the way they are handling her precious time in the interviews.

5:44 PM  
Anonymous RedNeck said...

Nicely put David. You are right. The "race card" that has tried to get spun lately finds me wantin' to hurl.

We can, as a country, address that issue later, if in fact is is an issue, but for now, we need to move some people.

Good Job Man.

9:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good calls... The blame game that is going on is a disgrace. The Left is screaming for Bush's head on a platter while a small minority of Right wing so-called Christians are doing the Sodom and Gomorrah song and dance.(the real Christians are working hard pn refief efforts)....I think it will take years to even make NO habitable again,and the destruction is spread over so many towns and cities that no matter what anyone does ,there will be gut wrenching tragedies even as aid pours in.....I'm not particularily religous but I'm praying for the people and your country.(and trying to scrounge up some funds for Sally Ann or red Cross).........Big Al(ps,I'm Canadian and I believe the US is one of the world's bright ,shining hopes,as President Reagan said.)

2:06 AM  
Blogger Allan said...

Thank you for this.

I have been trying to tell friends who are engaging in this blame game the same thing, but all they do is turn on me.

I hate watching this happen.

8:06 PM  

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