1029Re: [prezveepsenator] Superdome Evacuation Halted Amid Gunfire
- Sep 1, 2005From the Washington Post this morning:
Waiting for a Leader
Published: September 1, 2005
George W. Bush gave one of the worst speeches of his
life yesterday, especially given the level of national
distress and the need for words of consolation and
wisdom. In what seems to be a ritual in this
administration, the president appeared a day later
than he was needed. He then read an address of a
quality more appropriate for an Arbor Day celebration:
a long laundry list of pounds of ice, generators and
blankets delivered to the stricken Gulf Coast. He
advised the public that anybody who wanted to help
should send cash, grinned, and promised that
everything would work out in the end.
We will, of course, endure, and the city of New
Orleans must come back. But looking at the pictures on
television yesterday of a place abandoned to the
forces of flood, fire and looting, it was hard not to
wonder exactly how that is going to come to pass.
Right now, hundreds of thousands of American refugees
need our national concern and care. Thousands of
people still need to be rescued from imminent peril.
Public health threats must be controlled in New
Orleans and throughout southern Mississippi. Drivers
must be given confidence that gasoline will be
available, and profiteering must be brought under
control at a moment when television has been showing
long lines at some pumps and spot prices approaching
$4 a gallon have been reported.
Sacrifices may be necessary to make sure that all
these things happen in an orderly, efficient way. But
this administration has never been one to counsel
sacrifice. And 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.
While our attention must now be on the Gulf Coast's
most immediate needs, the nation will soon ask why New
Orleans's levees remained so inadequate. Publications
from the local newspaper to National Geographic have
fulminated about the bad state of flood protection in
this beloved city, which is below sea level. Why were
developers permitted to destroy wetlands and barrier
islands that could have held back the hurricane's
surge? 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
It would be some comfort to think that, as Mr. Bush
cheerily announced, America "will be a stronger place"
for enduring this crisis. Complacency will no longer
suffice, especially if experts are right in warning
that global warming may increase the intensity of
future hurricanes. But since this administration won't
acknowledge that global warming exists, the chances of
leadership seem minimal.
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--- Greg Cannon <gregcannon1@...> wrote:
Superdome Evacuation Halted Amid Gunfire
20 minutes ago
NEW ORLEANS - The evacuation of the Superdome was
suspended Thursday after shots were fired at a
military helicopter, an ambulance official overseeing
the operation said. No immediate injuries were
"We have suspended operations until they gain control
of the Superdome," said Richard Zeuschlag, head of
Acadian Ambulance, which was handling the evacuation
of sick and injured people from the Superdome.
He said that military would not fly out of the
Superdome either because of the gunfire and that the
National Guard told him that it was sending 100
military police officers to gain control.
"That's not enough," Zeuschlag. "We need a thousand."
He said that shots were fired at a military helicopter
over the Superdome before daybreak.
He also said that during the night, when a medical
evacuation helicopter tried to land at a hospital in
the outlying town of Kenner, the pilot reported that
100 people were on the landing pad, and some of them
"He was frightened and would not land," Zeuschlag.
He said medics were calling him and crying for help
because they were so scared of people with guns at the
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