Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Thoughts on Katrina

There is finally some good news starting to come out of New Orleans as most residents have been evacuated and the water levels have finally begun to drop. I have no wish to indulge in the tasteless sport of appointing blame before most of the bodies have yet to be recovered. Arthur Chrenkoff has again documented the truly vile attempts of some to exploit the suffering of others in pursuit of their own agenda. In another piece worth reading, James Robbins debunks the myth that the National Guard couldn't respond because "they were all in Iraq".

I have no doubt that the response of government at all levels to Katrina was far from flawless. People, however, need to understand that our government and our country are not invulnerable. Many Americans live in a bubble, complacently secure in the belief that we are somehow immune from the kinds of disasters that plague the rest of the world. We are not. Our national wealth and advanced infrastructure help insulate us from the effects of natural disasters in most circumstances, but in the case of a huge storm like Katrina they cannot prevent widespread destruction and even loss of life. As we have seen, it can indeed happen here. We are as vulnerable to nature as everyone else, and no amount of money or government bureaucracies can change this.


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