Tuesday, September 06, 2005

The Easy Way Out

The mainstream media as always has failed to provide adequate explanations for the Katrina disaster. It has told the story that is easy to tell rather than the one that should be told. Heart rending human interest pieces, blame-shifting sound bites from local politicians on the ropes, Bush-bashing and the angry utterances of uninformed observers are the easy way out -- the inevitable Big Easy of the news media so many of us have learned to despise.

In the end, it will be largely sorted out by a vast Internet community dedicated to making honest sense of it all. Chris Regan and Bryan Preston have made an excellent start in a splendid piece published in the National Review Online. Did New Orleans have a viable emergency plan? Did the mayor make any credible effort to use available local resources to evacuate people he knew needed help? You can read the New Orleans and state plans and the history of both in dealing with threats comparable to Katrina if you know where to look. That is something the New York Times is incapable of doing.

Leighton Levy in the Jamaica Star expresses the heartache the majority of decent, hardworking black people feel when an antisocial black underclass takes the low road. The MSM instead features the self-serving bigotry of Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton and Randall Robinson. Another big journalistic Easy. Yes, Leighton, I too feel your pain. It is not because I share your color but because I respect and admire so many who share your skin color with you.

Bob Williams, a former Washington state legislator who knows something of disaster planning provides a brief and cogent analysis of how the hierarchy of disaster response is supposed to work and how it failed in New Orleans. You can't expect FEMA to take charge at a moment's notice of any disaster in every city and state in the nation. The planning has to be ground up.

Douglas Kern amongst others aptly points out that the National Guard is organized to round-out regular Army combat units. This comes at the expense of training and equipment appropriate to disasters like Katrina. Donald Rumsfield and the DOD have been working that problem and policies were put in place before Katrina to fix it.

Mac Johnson takes a good look at the deplorable condition of the New Orleans police department. It was, perhaps, the worst law enforcement organization in a major city in the United States. It was corrupt, poorly paid, poorly led, poorly equipped, understaffed and in the end almost entirely ineffective. Removing this pathetic outfit from New Orleans probably reduced the crime rate and increased public order.

A lot of people needlessly died because city and state politicians were loathe to make hard choices. They gambled with the lives of the most vulnerable and needlessly lost those lives.

The truth will come out in time although you may not discover it by reading the mainstream media. FEMA appeared to arrive late because no one else in Louisiana showed up early.


Blogger Walter Jeffries said...

A more important question is, "What of the future?" We shouldn't be rebuilding New Orleans, or any similar cities. It is foolish to waste the energy, materials and human resources to keep a city like this dry. New Orleans is a sink hole that will constantly require maintenance to keep dry and will invariably be hit again like this in the future. Rather than pouring more money into the hole we should abandon the city and environs to the swamps and the sea.

12:42 PM  
Blogger Moved Elsewhere said...


2:34 PM  

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