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1029Re: [prezveepsenator] Superdome Evacuation Halted Amid Gunfire

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    Sep 1, 2005
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      From the Washington Post this morning:

      Waiting for a Leader
      E-Mail This
      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
      flood protection?

      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.

      Next Article in Opinion (1 of 9) >

      --- 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
      had guns.

      "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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