What Went Wrong

Many, many things, but I’ll only name three:

10,000 members of the Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama National Guards are in Iraq, and so are unable to mobilize for this domestic crisis.

Coastal erosion has resulted in the reduction of the buffer between New Orleans and the Gulf of Mexico from 150 miles of marshland to 60 miles; because of this, hurricanes have less time to lose strength over land before striking the city. Much of this erosion is due to offshore drilling, as well as to the rising seas that are resulting from global warming.

The budget for shoring up and protecting New Orleans’s levee system was slashed to almost nothing in 2003, as the administration looked for ways to fund the war in Iraq.

9 responses to “What Went Wrong”

  1. your first and third items are directly linked to Iraq, a war supposedly waged to make America safe from terrorism (one of the nominal reasons sometimes advanced by war supporters). Resources for prevention and for crisis management have been diverted off to war in Iraq.

    And looking at the chaos unfolding in NO I wonder how anyone could feel we are thus more ready to face a large-scale, unexpected terrorist attack, if things fall apart for a scenario foreseen for a long time.

    What if this had been some sort of dirty bomb–a scare tactic used in the drumbeat towards Iraq– creating refugees in a climate of nuclear fallout ? Or a bomb at a nuclear plant ? Watching the miscommunication and disorder in NO doesn’t make me optimistic for other, less foreseeable disaster scenarios.

  2. here they’ve been blogging quite a bit on the administration’s failure to prepare for Katrina or react to its aftemath :


  3. and here’s an article from a year ago about how the current administration has diminished the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s mitigation programs, designed to prepare communities for disasters :


  4. You might find this interesting – a web company has been running non-stop off of generators in a highrise, and blogging/running a webcam non-stop.

    Pics of looting and more.


  5. In absolute numbers 10,000 is a lot of National Guards. I wonder what it represents as a percentage of the total for those three states.

  6. You know what I’m pre-emptively pissed off about? Although I haven’t actually read or heard such statements yet, it’s guaranteed that Fox News types will be or already are busy condemning anyone who points out facts like the ones you’ve cited above as politicizing a tragedy.

  7. Oh, yeah. And the Bush administration has already beaten Faux News to the punch: Scott McClellan, in a news conference today, responded to a reporter who asked about my third item by saying that this wasn’t the time for playing politics…

  8. If you criticize the Bush administration, then you’re giving aid and comfort to the hurricanes.

  9. The BBC reported today that Al Qaeda just claimed repsonsibility for the London metro bombings, Hurricane Katrina, and the last 2 seasons of Saturday Night Live.

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