My heart goes out to everyone effected by Hurricane Katrina.
Like many people in the Gulf, I’m sickened, distressed and angered by our federal government’s poor response. FEMA especially has come under a lot of pressure, and rightly so. The director of FEMA said last night on national TV that they are unable to provide food and water to the refugees fleeing the Gulf and that they are relying on the Red Cross to provide these essential services.
For the evacuation of New Orleans, I think our military should be scrutinized. They are clearly too understaffed and underequipped to perform this task. We have the largest standing army in the world, the largest defense budget in the world–yet we can’t save our own people. People in New Orleans are dying from dehydration. Where are the choppers air-dropping crates of food and water? Where is the big invasion to rescue all these people? We have the resources–why aren’t they being allocated for this task? If we had the foresight to order an evacuation, why didn’t we have the foresight to station troops and supplies closer to the Gulf in preparation?
Here’s what I would have liked to have seen:
August 26th: Louisiana orders evacuation of low-lying areas next to the coast.
August 27th: DoD redeploys 30,000+ troops to stations around the Gulf.
August 30th: DoD launches unprecedented military raid on New Orleans and other areas in the Gulf to keep the peace and evacuate the people.
Sep 2nd: Everyone effected by the storm is sitting comfortably in a refugee camp hundreds of miles away. FEMA gives everyone money, people move on with their lives.
Would that have been so difficult? If we can launch a military assault with 100,000 troops on a country on the other side of the Earth I think we could have stationed ourselves to be ready to protect one of our own cities pretty quickly.