If you are wondering why the United States can send troops around the world, but failed to respond to a domestic emergency in a timely manner, you are not alone. Expect the lack of planning for emergency relief, in the aftermath and destruction left behind by Hurricane Katrina, to be the subject of a federal investigation.
The National Guard arrived in large numbers on Friday, September 2nd, but how is it possible that the poor people of New Orleans were left four days to fend for themselves? Does not the United States have a rapid deployment force? Yes, we do, and many large military installations are within an hour of the Gulf Coast, when traveling by air. Many more military bases are within two hours of the destruction.
On Sunday, August 28th – one day before Hurricane Katrina landed on the Gulf Coast it was labeled a category 5 hurricane. So, what was the emergency rescue plan? Was anyone planning any rescue efforts on Sunday night?
As luck would have it, Katrina turned out to be a category 4 Hurricane. Can you imagine the destruction, if this storm had been worse? Some parts of New Orleans are 10 feet below sea level and a system of levees, normally, keeps the surrounding water out.
Referring to the Federal response for relief help, New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin said, "They do not have a clue what's going on down here." Mayor Nagin's comments are an understatement. Logistically speaking, this is not as complicated as a relief effort to Somalia.
President Bush said, "A lot of people are working hard to help those who have been affected." The results are not acceptable. " He is not kidding; if we can airlift food and weapons to Afghanistan, why is delivery to the Gulf Coast and New Orleans a problem?