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Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Katrine Remembered...

Yesterday marked the one year anniversary since Hurricane Katrina made land-fall and ravaged the city of New Orleans. It's after-math left hundreds dead, and hundreds of thousands home-less. One year later, and more than one hundred thousands New Orleanians remain refugees. One year later, and it is abundantly clear that lessons have not been learned from the tragedy. The majority of the New Orleans suburbs remain exactly the way they were a year ago; ravaged by water and infected by toxic mold that has been allowed to fester for the past year. One year later, and the levees still have not been properly fixed. As the new hurricane season kicks into full gear once again, New Orleans is just as vulnerable to be sunk as it was last year. Only this year, there are less people around to die. One year later, and it is also clear that the communication and coordination that was sorely lacking last year has not even been close to being in the vicinity of even being addressed yet. One year later, and the hurricane is not over in New Orleans. Last year, here, in Israel, we were watching Jews being thrown out of their homes. Then, we saw people being thrown out of their homes, not by people, but by nature. And, just like in New Orleans, the Disengagement is not yet over. One issue and one issue, alone, is stopping the city of New Orleans and the entire United States from learning New Orleans' appropriate lessons is: Political Correctness.
Louisiana Governor Blanco, New Orleans Mayor Nagin, and the vast majority of the media are still blaming the aftermath of Katring on racism. They ignore the statistic that the percentage of white or non-black people that died just about equals the amount of black people that died. Even IF more black people had died, it doesn't "make the case" for the claims of racism and remains some intangible claim on which one can pin blame instead of facing down the real issue. We all remember the now infamous picture of the parking lot full of buses, which were supposed to be used for evacuation, sitting in water. Claiming racisim for the failure to properly prepare for and execute evacuations is a sure way to deflect attention and blame from yourself and onto some intangible point that you can say, "Until racisim is eliminated from America, there's no way to be properly prepared for the next Katrina." Just as DM Peretz is trying to place blame for his failure in the war on the military not properly informing on the the capabilities of Hezbollah's rocket arsenal, blaming failure on an intangible is a sure way to ensure that the same mistakes will happen again. READ THE REST...

And, the media buys into it. The media is a sucker. They buy into a lot of unfabricated stories before checking facts. It doesn't just happen in Israel. The media reported the unsubstantiated stories of events that went on in the Superdome where thousands of New Orleanians were forced to ride out the storm. The media reported as fact, mass rapes, mass murder, mass death. None of these allegations were true. But, the damage had already been done, and any retractions that were done after the fact did not dispell the original images of the alleged horrors. The statistic the amount of white people that died as a result of Katrina was buried by the MSM, and they perpetuated the idea that racism played a part, big and small, in the failures in New Orleans. This idea was seen promelgated, especially, by white reporters. In our PC reverse racist world, a white person and, especially, a white reporter can't deny racism. They're white after all. They're the oppressors. The more they try to deny that racism played a role in Katrina, the more they're blamed for just trying to hide the problem. As far as they're concerned, it's still pre 1960s.

All of this takes the spot-light on the real problem: There was a complete break-down in the system from the bottom - up. Why bottom - up, and not top - down? Well, in the United States, in case of emergencies, it all starts at the local level, moves up to the state, then onto the federal. One of the most critical questions asked whle everything was going on, was "Where was the National Guard? Why did it take so long for them to get to New Orleans?" Well, the laws of the land states that no federal Army can police the state. The states must ask for federal assistance. The federal level cannot demand or send help against the state's will. It infringes on states' rights. It seemed the MSM allowed its left-wing leanings to allow it to focus on the federal failings first and ignore the complete break-down of the system at the local and state levels. It is the most vital issue, and it is still not focused on now, which is potentially catastrophic. The fact that 3/4 of the local New Orleans police department went AWOL after the levees broke has not yet been touched upon. The communication break-downs at the city and state levels have still not been touched upon. The fact that Governor Blanco was stationed in Baton Rouge, hundreds of miles away from ground zero has still not been discussed. The fact that she denied help and warnings to implement the city's emergency evacuation plan has still not been seriously discussed.

Rest assured, a category 5 hurricane will strike New Orleans again. There are some that have said that New Orleans shouldn't even be rebuilt. That's a very fatalistic way of looking at one of the most storied and colorful cities in the history of the United States. No, of course, New Orleans should be rebuilt. However, it should not be rebuilt until each level of the system thoroughly investigates and corrects the problems and break-downs of a year ago. Ray Nagin will most likely be relected as Mayor of New Orleans. Governor Blanco is still in power for the time being. If a category 5 hurricane were to strike New Orleans again today, the exact same mistakes would happen, because the city and state have done NOTHING to correct their mistakes and break-downs from a year ago.

Until the day come when the problems are corrected, I would not encourage people to move back and rebuild. They can't ignore the problems anymore. They can no longer claim ignorance and throw the responsibility at the White House door-step. As the people have been doing here, it is time for the people of New Orleans and the state of Louisiana to force their government to step up to the plate, take responisbility for their actions, and correct the mistakes, so that the people of New Orleans can rebuild their lives and communities.

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