Monday, September 05, 2005

Please Don't Die in Front of the Cameras - It Ruins the Photo Op

There's been plenty of ink spilled on the Katrina disaster and I would be remiss in not adding mine. It beggered belief to watch it all go wrong from the start. In the wake of the horrors, America is diminished because we let our fellow citizens down. Despite the heroic efforts of the police, fire and EMS, they never had a chance.

I have an 86-year-old mom-in-law. I absolutely adore her. While the disaster was playing out, all I could think of was what it would have been like for her if she couldn't have left New Orleans, too poor to get out when there was time. Though a survivor by nature, I know she would have died. The thought haunts me because others have lost their beloved relatives for reasons that make little sense.

If Homeland Security can't handle a disaster that took days to unfold, one they knew was coming, how in the hell can they handle another 9/11?

The lesson out of this mess? Platitudes and photo ops, news conferences and sound bites don't cut it. If you're incompetent, people die, whether that be in the sands of Iraq or the fetid flood waters in New Orleans.

Or as The New Orleans Times-Picayune wrote:

"We're angry, Mr President, and we'll be angry long after our beloved city and surrounding parishes have been pumped dry.

"Our people deserved rescuing. Many who could have been, were not. That's to the government's shame."

Can I get an "Amen"?

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