8/31/2005

Daily Kos: Somebody Wake The Dead [Updated w/ Speech]

Somebody Wake The Dead [Updated w/ Speech]
by georgia10 [Unsubscribe]
Wed Aug 31st, 2005 at 14:32:43 CDT

There is something about watching a drenched woman guide her husband's corpse downriver that makes you realize that what's going on in your life, well, it really pales in comparison.

I come back briefly because, like all of you, my eyes still can't believe the videos I see, and my ears still can't believe what I've been hearing. Specifically, I can't stomach the actions of this President. I've read RenaRF's diary, and she says it so eloquently. I'll be more blunt. The President fucked up. This is My Pet Goat II.

Over the next few weeks, we will see a devastation none of us has ever witnessed in our lifetime. The devastation will look like a thousand Ground Zeroes. When the waters recede, bodies and broken lives will litter the streets. Thousands will be found dead, either crouched in attics or parched dry in the debris. And thousands more will be affected by disease, hunger, poverty.

* georgia10's diary :: ::
*

As one official said, this is our tsunami. I would add it is our Darfur like our response to Darfur (edited to reflect comments below). It is another instance of acting too late, of not appreciating the gravity of the situation. While the President continued with his schedule these past couple days, declaring that he and Laura were having a "fabulous" time, Americans gasped for their last breaths as the water overtook them. They clung to trees. They grasped at debris. They swam with alligators in their streets. They watched as the water inched up their necks and listened as it filled their ears. Fabulous, indeed.

What damned philosophy of federalism would prompt him or anyone to believe that immediate and comprehensive federal intervention was not necessary or appropriate? What reliance did he place on the local officials and resources during those precious initial hours and days when hundreds, if not thousands, of lives were lost?

Tomorrow is the beginning of National Preparedness Month. And today, we should reflect on how criminally unprepared our government was for this disaster.

Perhaps it is just me, but watching the footage, of people waiting to be rescued, I kept asking myself, where was the military? Why hadn't they descended upon that ill-fated area with the whole entire force and weight of the United States Army to help them? Where were the amphibious vehicles? Where were the portable bridges? Where were the boats and the Navy?

It's remarkable, isn't it? That we made such a swift race to Baghdad, but our military is being deployed to New Orleans like dough through a sieve. It's funny, isn't it, that President Bush took to the airwaves to reassure us during his "Shock & Awe" campaign, but now, when it is US who are shocked and awed as our nation crumbles around us, he has remained silent. Silent, cowardly, afraid to make a move. Just petting the goat all along.

He'll get down there, eventually. And he'll stand upon a pile of driftwood and rubble (I'm sure they'll check to make sure there aren't any bodies underneath) and he'll make a speech about rebuilding and resolve. I'll even bet a tear will glisten in his eye.

But those who are victims of this distaster will know one thing. That, as Commander-in-Chief, he has failed them. That, as the Homeland Security President, he abandoned their homeland when it was the least secure, when they were most in need of immediate assistance. That, at a time when their lives were threatened by real terror, the President acted liked he didn't know the meaning of the word.

So somebody wake the dead. Someone whisper into their water-clogged ears that we are a nation defenseless, unprepared. Someone make sure their eyes are closed so they don't have to see the bumbling, clueless officials act like they know what they're doing. Someone tell them that Mother Nature took their lives, but this administration didn't put up a fight. Because there are more important things in life than mobilizing your military to defend the defenseless. There are more important things then making sure every helicopter is in flight, that every boat is in the water, that every hand reaching up for help will not clasp empty air. There are more important things to be done during those critical 72 hours. Like playing guitar, or laughing it up, and pretending to be President.

Update [2005-8-31 17:33:26 by georgia10]: He speaks. He directed "the folks in his cabinet to work with local folks." Those who watched his speech I think can attest that this man provides no leadership, no guidance, no plan. He uses the stock flash cards of "difficult road ahead", "challenges," "resolve" and "stronger America."

Meanwhile, click here to see how critical an immediate response is, and how every hour delayed hastens death:

4:03 P.M. - (AP) Michael Leavitt, secretary of Health and Human Services, announced he had declared a public health emergency in the area stretching from Louisiana to Florida. "We are gravely concerned about the potential for cholera, typhoid and dehydrating diseases that could come as a result of the stagnant water and the conditions," he said.

3:54 P.M. - Wilson: People were passing out in the heat in front of me.
We had to do something. There's no help.
3:48 P.M. - WASHINGTON (AP) -- From Navy ships and Army helicopters to the USNS Comfort hospital ship, the Pentagon is mobilizing possibly an unprecedented U.S. rescue-and-relief mission for areas devastated by Hurricane Katrina. (nearly 72 hours after landfall, well over a week since the area was on hurricane watch)

3:46 P.M. - Tugboat captain: We have so little help. Send us some food and water immediately!


Daily Kos: Somebody Wake The Dead [Updated w/ Speech]

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