Gulf Coast resources sent to Persian Gulf
- Below is the main editorial from today's New Orleans newspaper, the
Times Picayune. In it, they call for the resignation of all FEMA
I think FEMA is not wholly to blame -- Bush is. FEMA had large parts
their budget transferred to "homeland security", the new department
that they got stuck in by Bush. Specifically, FEMA had slated to
reinforce the new Orleans levee, and those funds went to fight Bush's
war in Iraq.
Additionally, Louisiana National Guard troops were sent to Iraq --
and hence were unavailable to help out in New Orleans. Same for
Mississippi National Guard troops who could have helped along the
Mississippi guld coast.
This is the REAL price of the Bush's Iraq war -- lives lost in the
United States because of Bush's misplaced priorities.
-- Jesse Gordon
Open Letter to Bush from the Times Picayune
Sun Sep 4th, 2005 at 12:24:33 PDT
We heard you loud and clear Friday when you visited our devastated
city and the Gulf Coast and said, "What is not working, we're going
to make it right."
Please forgive us if we wait to see proof of your promise before
believing you. But we have good reason for our skepticism.
Bienville built New Orleans where he built it for one main reason:
It's accessible. The city between the Mississippi River and Lake
Pontchartrain was easy to reach in 1718.
How much easier it is to access in 2005 now that there are
interstates and bridges, airports and helipads, cruise ships, barges,
buses and diesel-powered trucks.
Despite the city's multiple points of entry, our nation's bureaucrats
spent days after last week's hurricane wringing their hands,
lamenting the fact that they could neither rescue the city's stranded
victims nor bring them food, water and medical supplies.
Meanwhile there were journalists, including some who work for The
Times-Picayune, going in and out of the city via the Crescent City
Connection. On Thursday morning, that crew saw a caravan of 13 Wal-
Mart tractor trailers headed into town to bring food, water and
supplies to a dying city.
Television reporters were doing live reports from downtown New
Orleans streets. Harry Connick Jr. brought in some aid Thursday, and
his efforts were the focus of a "Today" show story Friday morning.
Yet, the people trained to protect our nation, the people whose job
it is to quickly bring in aid were absent. Those who should have been
deploying troops were singing a sad song about how our city was
impossible to reach.
We're angry, Mr. President, and we'll be angry long after our beloved
city and surrounding parishes have been pumped dry. Our people
deserved rescuing. Many who could have been were not. That's to the
Mayor Ray Nagin did the right thing Sunday when he allowed those with
no other alternative to seek shelter from the storm inside the
Louisiana Superdome. We still don't know what the death toll is, but
one thing is certain: Had the Superdome not been opened, the city's
death toll would have been higher. The toll may even have been
It was clear to us by late morning Monday that many people inside the
Superdome would not be returning home. It should have been clear to
our government, Mr. President. So why weren't they evacuated out of
the city immediately? We learned seven years ago, when Hurricane
Georges threatened, that the Dome isn't suitable as a long-term
shelter. So what did state and national officials think would happen
to tens of thousands of people trapped inside with no air
conditioning, overflowing toilets and dwindling amounts of food,
water and other essentials?
State Rep. Karen Carter was right Friday when she said the city
didn't have but two urgent needs: "Buses! And gas!" Every official at
the Federal Emergency Management Agency should be fired, Director
Michael Brown especially.
In a nationally televised interview Thursday night, he said his
agency hadn't known until that day that thousands of storm victims
were stranded at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center. He gave
another nationally televised interview the next morning and
said, "We've provided food to the people at the Convention Center so
that they've gotten at least one, if not two meals, every single day."
Lies don't get more bald-faced than that, Mr. President.
Yet, when you met with Mr. Brown Friday morning, you told
him, "You're doing a heck of a job."
There were thousands of people at the Convention Center because the
riverfront is high ground. The fact that so many people had reached
there on foot is proof that rescue vehicles could have gotten there,
We, who are from New Orleans, are no less American than those who
live on the Great Plains or along the Atlantic Seaboard. We're no
less important than those from the Pacific Northwest or Appalachia.
Our people deserved to be rescued.
No expense should have been spared. No excuses should have been
voiced. Especially not one as preposterous as the claim that New
Orleans couldn't be reached.
Mr. President, we sincerely hope you fulfill your promise to make our
beloved communities work right once again.
When you do, we will be the first to applaud.