Friday, September 09, 2005

Burn the witches and massacre some Jews!

Dr. Charles Krauthammer cuts through the fog of recriminations to lay the blame for the continuing nightmare in New Orleans at the feet of those most responsible. He says that in the old days when disaster struck, witches were burned, Jews were massacred and all felt better (except the witches and Jews). In the centuries since we have not progressed an inch. Everything that goes bump in the night is blamed on: (1) global warming, (2) the war in Iraq and (3) tax cuts and "sinner-in-chief George W. Bush" is immediately damned.
There is no relationship between global warming and the frequency and intensity of Atlantic hurricanes. Period.

The problem with the evacuation of New Orleans is not that National Guardsmen in Iraq could not get to New Orleans but that National Guardsmen in Louisiana did not get to New Orleans.

As for the Bush tax cuts, administration budget requests for New Orleans flood control during the five Bush years exceed those of the five preceding Clinton years.

The notion that the allegedly missing revenue would have been spent wisely by Congress, targeted precisely to the levees of New Orleans, and that the reconstruction would have been completed in time, is a threefold fallacy.

The argument ends when you realize that, as The Post noted, "the levees that failed were already completed projects."
And he lays out the blame in this order:
1. The mayor of New Orleans. He knows the city. He knows the danger. He knows that during Hurricane Georges in 1998, the use of the Superdome was a disaster and fully two-thirds of residents never got out of the city. Nothing was done. Mayor Ray Nagin has announced that, as bodies are still being found and as a public health catastrophe descends upon the city, he is sending 60 percent of his cops on city funds for a little R&R, mostly to Vegas hotels. Asked if it was appropriate to party in these circumstances, he responded: "New Orleans is a party town. Get over it."

2. The governor. It's her job to call up the National Guard and get it to where it has to go. Where the Guard was in the first few days is a mystery.

3. The head of FEMA. Late, slow and in way over his head.

4. The president. Late, slow, and simply out of tune with the urgency and magnitude of the disaster.

5. Congress. Now as always playing holier-than-thou. Perhaps it might ask itself who created the Department of Homeland Security in the first place.

6. The American people. They have made it impossible for any politician to make any responsible energy policy over the past 30 years.
I guess that pretty much says it all.


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