Friday, September 02, 2005

Bush's (and our?) Final Embarassment??

Once again we have to go outside the sychophantic media that pass for the fifth estate in the U.S. From The Independent in the U.K.:

- Bush under fire for slow reaction

By Andrew Gumbel
Published: 02 September 2005

President Bush faced not only the fallout of Hurricane Katrina but
also an intense political storm yesterday as relief experts,
government officials and newspaper editorials criticized everything
from his administration's disaster preparedness policies to the
manner in which he made his public entry into the growing crisis on
the Gulf coast.

The New York Times said of a speech he made on Tuesday: "Nothing
about the President's demeanor yesterday - which seemed casual to the
point of carelessness - suggested that he understood the depth of the
current crisis."

No less trenchant - and more heartfelt - was the Biloxi Sun Herald in
Mississippi which surveyed the disaster around its editorial offices and
asked: "Why hasn't every able-bodied member of the armed forces in south
Mississippi been pressed into service?"

As when the Asian tsunami hit last year, Mr. Bush found himself on
holiday at his Texas ranch when disaster struck. As with the tsunami, he
was soon in the firing line for reacting slowly - he spent Monday on a
fundraising tour of the American West - and failing to provide adequate
leadership. As survivors complained of a lack of water, food and medical
supplies yesterday, fingers from across the political spectrum were
pointed at the White House.

Experts on the Mississippi Delta pointed out that a plan to shore up the
levees around New Orleans was abandoned last year for lack of government
They noted that flood-control spending for south-eastern
Louisiana had been chopped every year that Mr. Bush has been in office,
that hurricane protection funds have also fallen, and that the local army
corps of engineers has also had its budget cut.
The emergency management
chief for Jefferson parish told the Times- Picayune newspaper:
"It appears that the money has been moved in the President's budget to handle homeland security and the war in Iraq, and I
suppose that's the price we pay."

The torrent of criticism contrasted sharply to the reaction to the 11
September attacks, when political sniping was put on hold and dissenters
were told their complaints were both unwelcome and unpatriotic. The change
in tone partly suggests a growing disenchantment with Mr. Bush.

The usually restrained New York Times said: "Why were developers
permitted to destroy wetlands and barrier islands that could have
held back the hurricane's
? Why was Congress, before it wandered off
to vacation, engaged in slashing the budget for correcting some of the
gaping holes in the area's flood protection?"


Why indeed? A look at the connections between those developers and the state officials and Congressmen that received campaign contributions from them would probably answer any such questions. Go Capitalism!

Blue Ibis

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