Tuesday, September 06, 2005

The Blame Game

In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, there are several questions that are left unanswered. These are questions about food, water, shelter, and clothing for refugees, how quickly can they rebuild, etc. These questions are being asked but the question that is being brought up the most but is not the most important at this time is who is to blame for all of this? This answer is not as clear as the last major event that took place in this country, September 11th. On that day it was very clear who was to blame, the terrorists who hijacked the planes and flew them into buildings. With this most recent event no one caused the hurricane to form and hit the Gulf Coast. People are upset at the tragedy that has occurred and want someone to blame, and the media has latched onto an easy scapegoat for them, President Bush.

But is he really the cause of this problem? Once you look at the facts, the simple answer is no. The first attack came shortly after the hurricane. A few people blamed Bush for global warming and that is what caused the hurricane to be so big. They said if only he had signed the Kyoto protocol we would not have had to deal with this. The problem with this argument is that any competent scientist will say (and they have said) that, like many things in nature, the weather works in cycles and we are in a heavy hurricane cycle. Nothing can be done about the weather.

The next attack on Bush is the fact that the main reason the city flooded is that the city is below sea level. The only thing saving the city is the leeves that keep the water out. When the hurricane hit, they broke and nothing could stop the city from being flooded. People put the blame on Bush for this because he cut back spending for the city. First off this has been a problem for New Orleans since the 70's and secondly what makes them think that pumping money into the system would equate to the problem being fixed.

The most prominent attack is that Bush did not react quick enough to the problem. Shortly after the hurricane, Mayor Ray Nagin made a moving speech in which he expressed his dissatisfaction with the lack of effort from many; Gov. Kathleen Blanco specifically called out Bush and blaming the federal government for not doing enough quickly. What rarely gets brought up is the fact that the local government is the first step to solving this problem and did not do too much to help. Only 24 hours before the hurricane hit, they local government called a mandatory evacuation of the entire city. They had hundreds of school buses at the ready to deploy those who had no means of transportation out of the city. But did they make any effort to get those people out? Nope. Not a thing. They failed in that aspect and expected the federal government to swoop in and make everything better.

The problem is the government does not work that quickly. Even Bush said that they did not react quick enough. But Bush has the right mindset. He said that he will worry about who is to blame later, the important thing now is to help those who need it. I could go on and on about all sorts of groups who put blame on Bush. But let me follow the example of our great leader and end by saying say donate what you can to help the relief effort and pray for the safety and well-being of all those who were affected by this tragic event.

2 Comments:

At 3:46 PM, Blogger coiledrose said...

Amen!

 
At 10:03 AM, Anonymous zarrah said...

Mike,
Long time, no see (C-dom grad was the last time we spoke), anywho, nice comments.

I think people forget that the residents of New Orleans were fully aware of what would happen in the event of a hurricane and they continued to give their tacit consent to live there. Regardless, everyone loves a scapegoat.

 

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