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  1. #31
    jkramsfan Guest

    Re: Anyone notice the Eerie silence of the International Community to Hurricane Katrina?

    Did Anyone Really Expect The Rest Of The World To Come To Our Aid ? Alot Of Great Points Have Been Made, I Really Think We Need To Start Thinking About The Good Old Usa First,we Sure Have Alot Of Issues Right Here To Take Care Of.lets Feed,cloth,educate And Rebuild This Country And Make Sure We Are Setting Up Our Children To Be Successful Down The Road.then And Only Then, If We Have Extra Resources We Can Help These Other Countries.sorry To Sound So Mean And Simplistic But I Am Tired Of Seeing So Much Suffering In What Is Supposed To Be The Richest Country In The World.


  2. #32
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    Re: Anyone notice the Eerie silence of the International Community to Hurricane Katrina?

    Quote Originally Posted by RamsFanSam
    What makes me mad is seeing hungry people on the overpasses, no protection from the elements, no food or water, and the government is not dropping supplies.
    Actually, food and supplies are being dropped.
    Quote Originally Posted by Foxnews.com
    As for criticism that not enough is getting in fast enough, the agency spokesman said the federal government is conducting helicopter drops, and boat rescues but "the infrastructure is blown away, there is no place to pull up a boat and the FEMA guys can't do much without supplies."
    As well, there have been numerous reports of helicopters, boats, and trucks attempting to drop supplies and pick up survivors having to leave because of the animals in the streets opening fire on the rescue vehicles.
    "Before the gates of excellence the high gods have placed sweat; long is the road thereto and rough and steep at first; but when the heights are reached, then there is ease, though grievously hard in the winning." --- Hesiod

  3. #33
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    Re: Anyone notice the Eerie silence of the International Community to Hurricane Katrina?

    It's disturbing to me that so many are so quick to play the blame game at this time in history. There's a crisis going on, and the last thing that anyone involved needs is to see time and effort wasted on whose fault all this is. I'm sure there is enough blame to go around for most aspects of the tragedy surrounding Katrina. However, I feel there is one group of beings (I can't bring myself to call them human) that is the largest factor in the chaos, next to the hurrican itself.....the looters. Here's an insightful op-ed written by Peggy Noonan of the Wall Street Journal.....
    As for the tragic piggism that is taking place on the streets of New Orleans, it is not unbelievable but it is unforgivable, and I hope the looters are shot. A hurricane cannot rob a great city of its spirit, but a vicious citizenry can. A bad time with Mother Nature can leave you digging out for a long time, but a bad turn in human behavior frays and tears all the ties that truly bind human being--trust, confidence, mutual regard, belief in the essential goodness of one's fellow citizens.
    There seems to be some confusion in terms of terminology on TV. People with no food and water who are walking into supermarkets and taking food and water off the shelves are not criminal, they are sane. They are not looters, they are people who are attempting to survive; they are taking the basics of survival off shelves in stores where there isn't even anyone at the cash register.

    Looters are not looking to survive; they're looking to take advantage of the weakness of others. They are predators. They're taking not what they need but what they want. They are breaking into stores in New Orleans and elsewhere and stealing flat screen TVs and jewelry, guns and CD players. They are breaking into homes and taking what those who have fled trustingly left behind. In Biloxi, Miss., looters went from shop to shop. "People are just casually walking in and filling up garbage bags and walking off like they're Santa Claus," the owner of a Super 8 Motel told the London Times. On CNN, producer Kim Siegel reported in the middle of the afternoon from Canal Street in New Orleans that looters were taking "everything they can."

    If this part of the story grows--if cities on the gulf come to seem like some combination of Dodge and the Barbarian invasion--it's going to be bad for our country. One of the things that keeps us together, and that lets this great lumbering nation move forward each day, is the sense that we will be decent and brave in times of crisis, that the fabric holds, that under duress it is American heroism and altruism that take hold and not base instincts born of irresponsibility, immaturity and greed.

    We had a bad time in the 1960s, and in the New York blackout in the '70s, and in the Los Angeles riots in the '90s. But the whole story of our last national crisis, 9/11, was courage--among the passersby, among the firemen, among those who walked down there stairs slowly to help a less able colleague, among those who fought their way past the flames in the Pentagon to get people out. And it gave us quite a sense of who we are as a people. It gave us a lot of renewed pride.

    If New Orleans damages that sense, it's going to be painful to face. It's going to be damaging to the national spirit. More damaging even than a hurricane, even than the worst in decades.

    I wonder if the cruel and stupid young people who are doing the looting know the power they have to damage their country. I wonder, if they knew, if they'd stop it.
    "Before the gates of excellence the high gods have placed sweat; long is the road thereto and rough and steep at first; but when the heights are reached, then there is ease, though grievously hard in the winning." --- Hesiod

  4. #34
    Nick's Avatar
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    Re: Anyone notice the Eerie silence of the International Community to Hurricane Katrina?

    Quote Originally Posted by HUbison
    It's disturbing to me that so many are so quick to play the blame game at this time in history. There's a crisis going on, and the last thing that anyone involved needs is to see time and effort wasted on whose fault all this is.
    Well, for those of us not in the New Orleans area, the only assistance, time, and effort we can provide is donations to respective organizations who are helping.

    After that, we're left with watching the coverage of the aftermath on a variety of news channels, most of which seem to show a very poor response to what's going on, and on top of that, discussing the state of the levees before and after the hurricane.

    It's only natural to wonder what went wrong, and why it went wrong, in my opinion.
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  5. #35
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    Re: Anyone notice the Eerie silence of the International Community to Hurricane Katrina?

    While heartbreaking to watch, the situation in New Orleans was impossible to deal with in an expeditious way. Think about it, you have a major US metro area with over a million people, violently thrown into disarray by a devastating flood with no electricity, no potable water and transportation for all intents and puposes completely shut down. The worst natural disaster in this countries history as far as scope and complexity. There was absolutely no way to address every problem and assist every citizen in peril at the onset. The press never had to look far to find an exploitable tragedy.

    To deal with a disaster of this magnitude, you have to develop a monumental plan that includes assessing the situation, determining the best course of action, organizing agencies, mobilizing personnel and equipment, amassing relief supplies and finally putting everything in motion. A daunting task that considering the circumstances, has been reasonably carried out IMO.

  6. #36
    SFCRamFan Guest

    Re: Anyone notice the Eerie silence of the International Community to Hurricane Katrina?

    It's disturbing to me that so many are so quick to play the blame game at this time in history. There's a crisis going on, and the last thing that anyone involved needs is to see time and effort wasted on whose fault all this is. I'm sure there is enough blame to go around for most aspects of the tragedy surrounding Katrina.
    Yes plenty of blame; from both sides of the political aisle. I have been disappointed in the timing or limited amount of assistance that has been reported by the press; more has gone on than is reported.
    Misery sells and that is why you see more of that. It just got way out of hand in a big hurry. It looks like New Orleans has become the movie set for Escape from New York / LA. The thugs have limited much of the response. However, if the governor and mayor had acted sooner then people could have been bussed out ahead of time. After all, the hurricane did churn in the gulf for days on a direct path.
    As for the levees, I have seen the true power of water at work in 1993 & 1995 on the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers. I spent months sandbagging and laying rock on levees. No matter how big or strong the levee is, Mother Nature takes what she wants...Let's just be thankful that we have the resources that we have and put them to use now to help people. There is plenty of time to play the blame game and point fingers at a later date...
    Last edited by SFCRamFan; -09-02-2005 at 07:25 PM.

  7. #37
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    From FactCheck.org, more details about what's happened

    Is Bush to Blame for New Orleans Flooding?
    He did slash funding for levee projects. But the Army Corps of Engineers says Katrina was just too strong.
    September 2, 2005

    Summary

    Some critics are suggesting President Bush was as least partly responsible for the flooding in New Orleans. In a widely quoted opinion piece, former Clinton aide Sidney Blumenthal says that "the damage wrought by the hurricane may not entirely be the result of an act of nature," and cites years of reduced funding for federal flood-control projects around New Orleans.

    Our fact-checking confirms that Bush indeed cut funding for projects specifically designed to strengthen levees. Indeed, local officials had been complaining about that for years.

    It is not so clear whether the money Bush cut from levee projects would have made any difference, however, and we're not in a position to judge that. The Army Corps of Engineers – which is under the President's command and has its own reputation to defend – insists that Katrina was just too strong, and that even if the levee project had been completed it was only designed to withstand a category 3 hurricane.


    Analysis

    We suspect this subject will get much more attention in Congress and elsewhere in the coming months. Without blaming or absolving Bush, here are the key facts we've been able to establish so far:

    Bush Cut Funding

    Blumenthal's much-quoted article in salon.com carried the headline: "No one can say they didn't see it coming." And it said the Bush administration cut flood-control funding "to pay for the Iraq war."

    He continues:

    Blumenthal: With its main levee broken, the evacuated city of New Orleans has become part of the Gulf of Mexico . But the damage wrought by the hurricane may not entirely be the result of an act of nature.

    …By 2003 the federal funding for the flood control project essentially dried up as it was drained into the Iraq war. In 2004, the Bush administration cut funding requested by the New Orleans district of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for holding back the waters of Lake Pontchartrain by more than 80 percent. Additional cuts at the beginning of this year…forced the New Orleans district of the Corps to impose a hiring freeze.
    We can confirm that funding was cut. The project most closely associated with preventing flooding in New Orleans was the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Hurricane Protection Project, which was “designed to protect residents between Lake Pontchartrain and the Missisippi River levee from surges in Lake Pontchartrain,” according to a fact sheet from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. (The fact sheet is dated May 23, long before Katrina). The multi-decade project involved building new levees, enlarging existing levees, and updating other protections like floodwalls. It was scheduled to be completed in 2015.

    Over at least the past several budget cycles, the Corps has received substantially less money than it requested for the Lake Pontchartrain project, even though Congress restored much of the money the President cut from the amount the Corps requested.

    In fiscal year 2004, the Corps requested $11 million for the project. The President’s budget allocated $3 million, and Congress furnished $5.5 million. Similarly, in fiscal 2005 the Corps requested $22.5 million, which the President cut to $3.9 million in his budget. Congress increased that to $5.5 million. “This was insufficient to fund new construction contracts,” according to a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ project fact sheet. The Corps reported that “seven new contracts are being delayed due to lack funds” [sic].

    The President proposed $3 million for the project in the budget for fiscal 2006, which begins Oct. 1. “This will be insufficient to fund new construction projects,” the fact sheet stated. It says the Corps “could spend $20 million if funds were provided.” The Corps of Engineers goes on to say:

    Army Corps of Engineers, May 23: In Orleans Parish, two major pump stations are threatened by hurricane storm surges. Major contracts need to be awarded to provide fronting protection for them. Also, several levees have settled and need to be raised to provide the design protection. The current funding shortfalls in fiscal year 2005 and fiscal year 2006 will prevent the Corps from addressing these pressing needs.
    The Corps has seen cutbacks beyond those affecting just the Lake Pontchartrain project. The Corps oversees SELA, or the Southeast Louisiana Urban Flood Control project, which Congress authorized after six people died from flooding in May 1995. The Times-Picayune newspaper of New Orleans reported that, overall, the Corps had spent $430 million on flood control and hurricane prevention, with local governments offering more than $50 million toward the project. Nonetheless, "at least $250 million in crucial projects remained," the newspaper said.

    In the past five years, the amount of money spent on all Corps construction projects in the New Orleans district has declined by 44 percent, according to the New Orleans CityBusiness newspaper, from $147 million in 2001 to $82 million in the current fiscal year, which ends Sept. 30.

    A long history of complaints

    Local officials had long complained that funding for hurricane protection projects was inadequate:

    -October 13, 2001: The New Orleans Times-Picayune reported that “federal officials are postponing new projects of the Southeast Louisiana Flood Control Program, or SELA, fearing that federal budget constraints and the cost of the war on terrorism may create a financial pinch for the program.” The paper went on to report that “President Bush’s budget proposed $52 million” for SELA in the 2002 fiscal year. The House approved $57 million and the Senate approved $62 million. Still, “the $62 million would be well below the $80 million that corps officials estimate is needed to pay for the next 12 months of construction, as well as design expenses for future projects.”

    -April 24, 2004: The Times-Picayune reported that “less money is available to the Army Corps of Engineers to build levees and water projects in the Missisippi River valley this year and next year.” Meanwhile, an engineer who had direct the Louisiana Coastal Area Ecosystem Restoration Study – a study of how to restore coastal wetlands areas in order to provide a bugger from hurricane storm surges – was sent to Iraq "to oversee the restoration of the ‘Garden of Eden’ wetlands at the mouth of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers,” for which President Bush’s 2005 gave $100 million.

    -June 8, 2004: Walter Maestri, emergency management chief for Jefferson Parish, told the Times-Picayune:

    Walter Maestri: It appears that the money has been moved in the president’s budget to handle homeland security and the war in Iraq , and I suppose that’s the price we pay. Nobody locally is happy that the levees can’t be finished, and we are doing everything we can to make the case that this is a security issue for us.
    -September 22, 2004: The Times-Picayune reported that a pilot study on raising the height of the levees surrounding New Orleans had been completed and generated enough information for a second study necessary to estimate the cost of doing so. The Bush administration “ordered the New Orleans district office” of the Army Corps of Engineers “not to begin any new studies, and the 2005 budget no longer includes the needed money.”

    -June 6, 2005: The New Orleans CityBusiness newspaper reported that the New Orleans district of the Corps was preparing for a $71.2 million reduction in overall funding for the fiscal year beginning in October. That would have been the largest single-year funding loss ever. They noted that money “was so tight" that "the New Orleans district, which employs 1,300 people, instituted a hiring freeze last month on all positions,” which was “the first of its kind in about 10 years.”

    Would Increased Funding Have Prevented Flooding?

    Blumenthal implies that increased funding might have helped to prevent the catastrophic flooding that New Orleans now faces. The White House denies that, and the Corps of Engineers says that even the levee project they were working to complete was not designed to withstand a storm of Katrina's force.

    White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan, at a press briefing on September 1, dismissed the idea that the President inadequately funded flood control projects in New Orleans :

    McClellan: Flood control has been a priority of this administration from day one. We have dedicated an additional $300 million over the last few years for flood control in New Orleans and the surrounding area. And if you look at the overall funding levels for the Army Corps of Engineers, they have been slightly above $4.5 billion that has been signed by the President.

    Q: Local people were asking for more money over the last couple of years. They were quoted in local papers in 2003 and 2004, are saying that they were told by federal officials there wasn't enough money because it was going to Iraq expenditures.

    McClellan: You might want to talk to General Strock, who is the commander of the Army Corps of Engineers, because I think he's talked to some reporters already and talked about some of these issues. I think some people maybe have tried to make a suggestion or imply that certain funding would have prevented the flooding from happening, and he has essentially said there's been nothing to suggest that whatsoever, and it's been more of a design issue with the levees.
    We asked the Corps about that “design issue.” David Hewitt, a spokesman for the Army Corps of Engineers, said McClellan was referring to the fact that “the levees were designed for a category 3 hurricane.” He told us that, consequently, “when it became apparent that this was a category 5 hurricane, an evacuation of the city was ordered.” (A category 3 storm has sustained winds of no more than 130 miles per hour, while a category 5 storm has winds exceeding 155 miles per hour. Katrina had winds of 160 mph as it approached shore, but later weakened to winds of 140 mph as it made landfall, making it a strong category 4 storm, according to the National Hurricane Center.)

    The levee upgrade project around Lake Pontchartrain was only 60 to 90 percent complete across most areas of New Orleans as of the end of May, according to the Corps' May 23 fact sheet. Still, even if it had been completed, the project's goal was protecting New Orleans from storm surges up to "a fast-moving Category 3 hurricane,” according to the fact sheet.

    We don't know whether the levees would have done better had the work been completed. But the Corps says that even a completed levee project wasn't designed for the storm that actually occurred.

    Nobody anticipated breach of the levees?

    In an interview on ABC’s “Good Morning America” on September 1, President Bush said:

    Bush: I don’t think anyone anticipated breach of the levees …Now we’re having to deal with it, and will.
    Bush is technically correct that a "breach" wasn't anticipated by the Corps, but that's doesn't mean the flooding wasn't forseen. It was. But the Corps thought it would happen differently, from water washing over the levees, rather than cutting wide breaks in them.

    Greg Breerword, a deputy district engineer for project management with the Army Corps of Engineers, told the New York Times:

    Breerword: We knew if it was going to be a Category 5, some levees and some flood walls would be overtopped. We never did think they would actually be breached.
    And while Bush is also technically correct that the Corps did not "anticipate" a breach – in the sense that they believed it was a likely event – at least some in the Corps thought a breach was a possibility worth examining.

    According to the Times-Picayune, early in Bush's first term FEMA director Joe Allbaugh ordered a sophisticated computer simulation of what would happen if a category 5 storm hit New Orleans. Joseph Suhayda, an engineer at Louisana State University who worked on the project, described to the newspaper in 2002 what the simulation showed could happen:

    Subhayda: Another scenario is that some part of the levee would fail. It's not something that's expected. But erosion occurs, and as levees broke, the break will get wider and wider. The water will flow through the city and stop only when it reaches the next higher thing. The most continuous barrier is the south levee, along the river. That's 25 feet high, so you'll see the water pile up on the river levee.
    Whether or not a "breach" was "anticipated," the fact is that many individuals have been warning for decades about the threat of flooding that a hurricane could pose to a set below sea level and sandwiched between major waterways. A Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) report from before September 11, 2001 detailed the three most likely catastrophic disasters that could happen in the United States: a terrorist attack in New York, a strong earthquake in San Francisco, and a hurricane strike in New Orleans. In 2002, New Orleans officials held the simulation of what would happen in a category 5 storm. Walter Maestri, the emergency coordinator of Jefferson Parish in New Orleans , recounted the outcome to PBS’ NOW With Bill Moyers:

    Maestri, September 2002: Well, when the exercise was completed it was evidence that we were going to lose a lot of people. We changed the name of the [simulated] storm from Delaney to K-Y-A-G-B... kiss your ass goodbye... because anybody who was here as that category five storm came across... was gone.
    --by Matthew Barge



    Sources

    Sidney Blumenthal, “ No one can say they didn’t see it coming ,” salon.com, 31 August 2005

    Deon Roberts, “Bush budget not expected to diminish New Orleans district’s $65 million,” New Orleans CityBusiness, 07 February 2005

    Manuel Torres, “Flood work to slow down; Corps delays new projects,” Times-Picayune, 13 October 2001

    Mark Schlefistein, “Corps sees its resources siphoned off; Wetlands restoration officials sent to Iraq ,” Times-Picayune, 24 April 2004

    “Mark Schleifstein, “Ivan stirs up wave of safety proposals; Hurricane-proofed stadium is one idea,” Times-Picayune, 22 September 2004

    Deon Roberts, “Bush budget not expected to diminish New Orleans district’s $65 million ,” New Orleans CityBusiness, 07 February 2005

    Mark Schleifstein, “Bush budget cuts levee, drainage funds; Backlog of contracts waits to be awarded,” Times-Picayune, 08 February 2005

    “Bush budget fails to fund flood control in New Orleans ,” New Orleans CityBusiness, 14 February 2005

    Deon Roberts, “ New Orleans district of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers faces ,” New Orleans CityBusiness, 06 June 2005

    Will Bunch, “ Did New Orleans catastrophe have to happen? ‘Times-Picayune’ had repeatedly raised federal spending issues,” Editor & Publisher, 31 August 2005

    Toby Eckert, “Could disaster have been prevented?,” Copley News Service, 02 September 2005

    Jim VandeHei and Peter Baker, “ Critics say Bush undercut New Orleans flood control ,” Washington Post, 02 September 2005

    “ The City in a Bowl ,” Transcript, NOW, Public Broadcasting Service, 20 September 2002

    Jon Elliston, “ A Disaster Waiting to Happen ,” bestofneworleans.com, 28 September 2004

    Scott Shane and Eric Lipton, “ Government saw flood risk but not levee failure ,” New York Times, 02 September 2005

    Paul Krugman, “ A can’t-do government ,” New York Times, 02 September 2005

    “ Lake Pontchartrain, LA and Vicinity Hurricane Protection Project, St. Bernard, Orleans, Jefferson, and St. Charles Parishes, LA ,” Project Fact Sheet, US Army Corps of Engineers New Orleans District, website, 23 May 2005

    “ Fiscal Year 2006: Civil Works Budget for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers ,” Department of the Army, February 2005

    “ Press Briefing by Scott McClellan ,” whitehouse.gov, 01 September 2005

    Karen Turni, “Upgrade of levees proposed by corps; gulf outlet levee may be too low, officials worry,” Times-Picayune, 12 November 1998

    John McQuaid and Mark Schleifstein, “The big one: A major hurricane could decimate the region, but flooding from even a moderate storm could kill thousands. It’s just a matter of time,” Times-Picayune, 24 June 2002
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  8. #38
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    Re: Anyone notice the Eerie silence of the International Community to Hurricane Katrina?

    Geez Nick, you are the information hound. You can sniff out those sources like no other.

    I am torn after reading these pieces of information.

    On one hand it is a difficult fight against nature to hold back water from low lying lands. Nature has a way of winning these battles.

    But, if it is true, that Bush gave $100 million to help Iraq restore the wetlands over there....I am just plain disgusted. How could he choose to limit funding for New Orleans’s levee repairs and then send our money to Iraq?

    -April 24, 2004: The Times-Picayune reported that “less money is available to the Army Corps of Engineers to build levees and water projects in the Missisippi River valley this year and next year.” Meanwhile, an engineer who had direct the Louisiana Coastal Area Ecosystem Restoration Study – a study of how to restore coastal wetlands areas in order to provide a bugger from hurricane storm surges – was sent to Iraq "to oversee the restoration of the ‘Garden of Eden’ wetlands at the mouth of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers,” for which President Bush’s 2005 gave $100 million.
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  9. #39
    r8rh8rmike's Avatar
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    Re: Anyone notice the Eerie silence of the International Community to Hurricane Katrina?

    This article is disturbing on the surface, but is a bit misleading and unecessarily inflamitory. The funding that was cut was for flood control from surges in Lake Pontchatrain, not multiple breaches in levees and not against a catagory 4 or 5 hurricane. Nothing proposed would have made a difference against Katrina.

    As stated in the article, this has been a decades long issue, meaning previous administrations, along with the Bush administration have failed to properly address the situation. That will obvious change after the tragic events we are all witnessing.

    These events will no doubt be evaluated in the future, but now is not the time to determin "who's to blame".

  10. #40
    Nick's Avatar
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    Frankly, I agree with Utter - it's sickening to me that $100 million was spent to restore wetlands in Iraq while parts of our own country was being under funded and left in a dangerous situation. While it's true that we don't know for certain that full funding could have prevented anything, it surely wouldn't have hurt the situation, and for all we know, could have helped in some instances. The lack of funding effected a number of projects that SELA had drawn out, including one that related to a bridge/levee job directly at the site of the main breach, the 17th Street Canal.

    As for playing the "blame game," I understand that people are still down there fighting for survival. But what would you have us do? Sit on our hands and not wonder why it's taking so long for help to get to them? For those of us not in the immediate area who have already donated to the effort and have nothing else we're capable of doing, why shouldn't we look into what went wrong and why it went wrong? In my opinion, the sooner we can determine where the breakdown took place, the better, because I don't want it to happen again any time soon.

    It's been four years since 9/11, but apparently the government - federal, state, and local - hasn't shown itself capable of responding to a national emergency in an effective, organized way despite having advanced warnings of the kinds of things to expect. Local government revised their hurricane plans earlier this year, but apparently didn't even take into consideration any kind of plan that involved the loss of a number of roadways and entrances/exits in the city, despite many indications that flooding was probable and that. There was even a simulation of a storm, dubbed Hurricane Pam, that showed very similar circumstances to what we're seeing now that was apparently ignored at the federal level, according to Ivor Van Heerden, the hurricane researcher from LSU who ran the exercise.

    There are medical ships with supplies leaving Baltimore today that won't arrive in the Gulf until next Thursday... nearly two weeks after Katrina hit!! The plan for the evacuation of New Orleans apparently didn't even consider what would happen to those too poor to make the evacuation themselves prior to the storm. Therefore, after the hurricane hit, helicopters that could have been delivering supplies to large groups of refugees stationed at various locations they were told to go to, such as the Superdome, were instead diverted to search and rescue missions.

    The mayor of Chicago claims that he offered hundreds of emergency volunteer workers to FEMA, but was only told to send a single truck. According to MSNBC, "A Russian official said the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency had rejected a Russian offer to dispatch rescue teams and other aid." Mayor Ray Nagin complained publically that there weren't enough buses to get people evacuated, but apparently he didn't even consider securing what looks like hundreds of school buses in New Orleans for the effort that sat idle under water after the storm.

    The entire response on all levels was disappointing, and it cost some people their lives. I'm sorry that it's only been five days since the storm, and I'm sorry that people are still stranded. But the only way our future responses are going to get better is if we question what went wrong with this one, and clearly there was a lot that went wrong.
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  11. #41
    Chiledog Guest

    Re: Anyone notice the Eerie silence of the International Community to Hurricane Katrina?

    I humbly withdraw my criticism of foriegn countries for their lack of help and assistance. I obviously spoke too soon.

    World leaders offer sympathy, aid

    LONDON, England (CNN) -- British Prime Minister Tony Blair led world leaders' pledges of aid to hurricane-stricken areas of the U.S. Friday with an offer to help "in any way we can."

    "The whole of this country feels for the people of the Gulf Coast of America" who have been hit "by what is a terrible, terrible natural tragedy," he said.

    Blair's comments added to a growing catalog of prayers, messages of condolence and pledges of money and aid that have been offered from countries across the globe in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.

    Britain's Queen Elizabeth II sent a message to the White House offering her sympathy and the Vatican sent a telegram to say that Pope Benedict XVI was "deeply saddened" by the disaster and that he was praying for the victims and rescuers.

    Australia on Friday said it would donate A$10 million (US$7.7 million) immediately to the American Red Cross as well as sending a team of emergency management specialists to identify what other help could be offered and providing services where most needed.

    Japan donated $200,000 to the Red Cross and would also provide up to $300,000 in aid supplies such as tents and power generators, The Associated Press quoted officials as saying.

    The European Union said it was ready to offer any assistance in the wake of "what is perhaps the greatest civil emergency in U.S. history."

    The International Energy Agency "has agreed to make 60 million barrels of product available" to help the United States weather the economic problems caused by Hurricane Katrina, a Bush administration official said Friday. (Full story)

    NATO said help was available but it would need to know more about what could be needed.

    Germany also said it would offer aid or money if requested by Washington, though officials said the U.S. was well equipped to deal with natural disasters.

    German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder sent a telegram to President George W. Bush saying he was "deeply shocked" by the news.

    "Many Germans know and love the City of New Orleans and feel deeply the great worries the people there and in the region have regarding their safety and future," he wrote.

    French President Jacques Chirac -- an opponent of Bush over the issue of the Iraq war -- added a handwritten "Dear George" to his letter of condolence to the U.S. in which he expressed France's "deepest condolences" and solidarity with those affected.

    At the United Nations, the official spokesman for Secretary-General Kofi Annan said the U.S. was the country best prepared in the world to deal with such a natural disaster.

    But he added that the sheer size of the catastrophe meant outside help might be useful.

    "The American people, who have always been the most generous in responding to disasters in other parts of the world, have now themselves suffered a grievous blow," he said.

    The U.N.'s humanitarian chief, Jan Egeland, said Katrina was one of history's most damaging natural disasters. He said it had caused more destruction than last year's December 26 tsunami that killed an estimated 180,000 across southern Asia, AP reported.

    In the Netherlands, much of which lies below sea level as in New Orleans, there was some consternation that the Louisiana city was so poorly prepared, AP reported.

    The nation installed massive hydraulic sea walls known as the Delta Works after devastating floods in 1953.

    "I don't want to sound overly critical, but it's hard to imagine that [the damage caused by Katrina] could happen in a Western country," Ted Sluijter, press spokesman for Neeltje Jans, the public park where the Delta Works are exhibited, was reported as saying by AP.

    "It seemed like plans for protection and evacuation weren't really in place, and once it happened, the coordination" was poor.

    'Solidarity' among nature's victims
    But from others hit by national disasters, there was more sympathy.

    Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga said she and her fellow citizens felt solidarity with those affected.

    "Having experienced the fury of nature ourselves during the December 26 tsunami, the people of Sri Lanka and I fully empathize with you at this hour of national grief," she said in a message to the U.S.

    And while the small island nation is still recovering from the tsunami disaster, it also pledged $25,000 to the American Red Cross, the AP reported.

    -

  12. #42
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    Re: Anyone notice the Eerie silence of the International Community to Hurricane Katrina?

    I am curious. If, when Katrina was in the Gulf, days before it had made landfall, the President had ordered ships to start staging near the area, had the National Guard load up and make it's presence know before she hit, had FEMA mobilizing in that general direction, all at a cost of probably millions of dollars, and then Katrina hit the coast with a poof, like many hurricanes have done over the years, would you then have asked why he wasted all the money?

    People blaming Bush for this is just about as ridiculous as me saying "It's God's fault that this happened. S/He has been in control for millions of years, knew this sort of thing could happen if s/he didn't start redirecting some of those hurricanes, but no, s/he just let them keep coming, not caring about the Gulf Coast."

    Folks, it is impossible to gauge these storms. We have what? 20-30 hurricanes per year? How many of them end up doing nothing but blowing some signs and tearing some shingles. That and pissing off the Weather Channel. You can't mobilize FEMA and the National Guard every time a cloud forms in the coast.

    Now, that being said, I do wish that the response could have been faster. I do hate seeing people on over passes 5 days after the storm. There has got to be a better way to handle emergencies like this. But this has nothing to do with politics. It's not Bush's fault, and those that say it is are usually those that want to blame him for everything else wrong in the country and world.

    Next, to those that are taking this time to loot. I hope you rot in hell. If you are in need of supplies to sustain your life until help can arrive, please, take what you need. But, a plasma TV is not on that list. You are just making a bad situation look worse.

    Finally... May God (or whatever Supreme Power you believe in) fortify and protect the survivors, Welcome those that have parished with open arms, and Help those that must clean up the wreckage, so that a new life can be started again.
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  13. #43
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    Re: Anyone notice the Eerie silence of the International Community to Hurricane Katrina?

    I'm sure this will all be investigated intensely to determin what could have been done better. It has been by no means a textbook operation, but this is all uncharted territory with no precedent or model to go by. There has never been an event like this with an entire metropolitan area completely devastated and shut down.

    It's natural to want answers and question what went wrong, but to spectulate based on incomplete information and one-sided facts at this point, is an exercise in futility IMO. The time will come when all the facts are presented and sorted out, but until then, we need to concentrate our efforts on helping people and then developing a recovery plan.

  14. #44
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    Re: Anyone notice the Eerie silence of the International Community to Hurricane Katrina?

    Quote Originally Posted by thoey
    People blaming Bush for this is just about as ridiculous as me saying "It's God's fault that this happened. S/He has been in control for millions of years, knew this sort of thing could happen if s/he didn't start redirecting some of those hurricanes, but no, s/he just let them keep coming, not caring about the Gulf Coast."
    thoey, I hope you're not misrepresenting my post to make it sound like I'm blaming Bush for a hurricane. That's clearly not what I'm saying. What I'm saying is that Bush bears some responsibility for the lack of preparation/response, as do officials at the state and local level, along with organizations like FEMA. You suggest that FEMA and the National Guard can't be mobilized every time a cloud forms in the coast. It's a good thing that's not what I'm suggesting.

    Like you said, there are multiple hurricanes every year, each of which cause a varying amount of damage. There's no reason a state and national plan shouldn't already be in place to supply aid as soon as possible to any states near the Gulf effected by such events. There's no reason, in my opinion, we should be spending $100 million to restore wetlands in Iraq when not only are we under funding structures in the south, but we don't even have appropriate response vehicles and supplies ready in the event of something like this.

    We've known for years that the levees have been under funded, and at their current state, could not withstand a large Category 4 or 5 hurricane. Did we just not think a hurricane of that magnitude would ever come? I don't believe that's true. At the beginning of August, a study suggested that hurricanes were getting stronger and potentially more dangerous because of global warming. This was apparently ignored, as such notions have been ignored in the past. Just like the warnings about the lack of natural defense caused by decreasing wetlands in New Orleans has been ignored.

    In 2004, the Army Corps of Engineers proposed a study to demonstrate the kind of effects a catostrophic hurricane would have on New Orleans; the Bush administration ordered them to not complete the study. In 2001, prior to 9/11, FEMA identified a hurricane to New Orleans as being one of the three most likely disasters facing the US; almost prophetically, a terrorist attack on New York was mentioned in that report as well. Apparently no one on the federal level took that report seriously on any front, and now two of those events have marred our country in four years.

    On August 28th, Bush knew that Katrina was a Category Five hurricane and was heading toward New Orleans, and he knew that because he said that in a press conference from Crawford. But then he proceeded to head west for various public appearances. I could post the perhaps not quite infamous picture of Bush strumming a guitar on August 30th at a San Diego naval base, while New Orleans was flooded and people struggling to survive. Vice President Cheney and Secretary of State Rice were not in Washington, but rather on vacation themselves - Cheney in Wyoming and Rice in New York, seeing a Broadway play and shopping! What would I have had them do differently? Well, for starters, I would have had them, the day before the storm hit when the administration recognized what was going to happen, return/remain in Washington and make sure efforts have been properly coordinated and planned out to minimize the loss of life and maximize the response effort.

    But this isn't just about the Bush administration. This is about the entire government's lack of preparation and response on all levels - federal, state, local. This is about FEMA turning down volunteers from Chicago and the government turning down aide from Russia. This is about a local/state evacuation plan that apparently completely forgot the large number of poor citizens in New Orleans, and because of that, helicopters that could have been delivering supplies to areas like the Superdome - where people were told to go for supplies but found nothing there - were instead performing search and rescue missions. This is about the fleet of buses that could have been commondered (sp?) by the mayor of New Orleans to be used as evacuation transports, but sit underwater unused instead. This is about every national news station apparently being able to get people into multiple areas of New Orleans where people are suffering, but our government's inability to do the same. These are just the issues I as a citizen in West Virginia have been able to access, and they demonstrate glaring problems in this country's ability to respond to a national disaster.

    I'm sorry that you feel that anyone critical of the Bush administration regarding this issue is doing it just to find something else to blame on Bush. I praised the administration when I found out they were releasing oil from the national reserve to combat shortages of oil and the loss of the product in the south due to the hurricane.

    But to not recognize that there was a failure on the federal level is a grave mistake, in my opinion. And as I said, it was not just a failure on the federal level, but we cannot just pass the buck onto the state and local governments when the federal government plays such an important role in emergency response as well as local funding for prevention and response. Our country's planning and reponse was unacceptable on all levels of government. It's my understanding that the Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Emergency Management Agency were established to handle events like what we've seen in New Orleans, but thus far their efforts have been too little and too late.

    I've said my peace on the issue. I've made my donations to the relief effort, and now I'll continue to hope that we're able to save the lives of those still holding out for hope in the south. But I'd like everyone to listen and read the following transcript from NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, because I think his panel does an excellent job of looking at what exactly happened and perhaps what's going to happen as a result of our preparation and response to this event.
    ClanRam ModCast: Episode Four
    Rams Discussion Right at Your Fingertips!



  15. #45
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    Re: Anyone notice the Eerie silence of the International Community to Hurricane Katrina?

    But to not recognize that there was a failure on the federal level is a grave mistake, in my opinion. And as I said, it was not just a failure on the federal level, but we cannot just pass the buck onto the state and local governments when the federal government plays such an important role in emergency response as well as local funding for prevention and response. Our country's planning and reponse was unacceptable on all levels of government. It's my understanding that the Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Emergency Management Agency were established to handle events like what we've seen in New Orleans, but thus far their efforts have been too little and too late.
    Nick, I agree with you on this statement, but to specifically blame Bush for this is what I disagree with. Yes, he should be partially blamed. As well as Clinton, as this was a problem then too. And Reagan. And Roosevelt. And the State level. And the City level. The "governments" that have been in control of that area for the last 100 years are to blame for this. Bush is just a small part of it. But he is also the current President, and I see lots of people using this to poke at him.

    Man, I wouldn't want to be Bush, or his legacy. During his watch, we have had both 9-11, the most devastating attack on American soil, and Katrina, the most devastating natural disaster to America. I guess these two things are what he will be remembered for, for good or bad. I guess it's better than being known for a cigar and a stained dress...

    :tongue:
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