Sunday, September 04, 2005

Times-Picayune: "We're Angry, Mr. President"

Those of us who live far from New Orleans and know little about its topography aren't qualified to understand or judge many of the charges being made in the wake of last week's relief fiasco. For example, I don't know how to gauge the accuracy of claims by the Bush administration and its defenders that flooding and hurricane damage simply made it impossible for the National Guard, US troops, and relief workers to reach stranded citizens.

However, the writers and editors of the New Orleans Times-Picayune do. Here's what they say:

Despite the city’s multiple points of entry, our nation’s bureaucrats spent days after last week’s hurricane wringing their hands, lamenting the fact that they could neither rescue the city’s stranded victims nor bring them food, water and medical supplies.

Meanwhile there were journalists, including some who work for The Times-Picayune, going in and out of the city via the Crescent City Connection. On Thursday morning, that crew saw a caravan of 13 Wal-Mart tractor trailers headed into town to bring food, water and supplies to a dying city.

Television reporters were doing live reports from downtown New Orleans streets. Harry Connick Jr. brought in some aid Thursday, and his efforts were the focus of a "Today" show story Friday morning.

Yet, the people trained to protect our nation, the people whose job it is to quickly bring in aid were absent. Those who should have been deploying troops were singing a sad song about how our city was impossible to reach.

The editorial quoted above goes on to discuss how many lives were saved by Mayor Nagin's action in opening the Superdome to those who were unable to evacuate (contrary to the emerging rightwing meme that "All the screwups can be blamed on the [Democratic] mayor and the [Democratic] governor"). There's much more at the link that's worth reading, not only in the editorial but also in related articles. Pay a visit to get a perspective beyond what the MSM are offering.
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