Now I consider myself pretty de-sensitized to most things. I seldom get
emotionally involved in things and look at them with a cold eye. I have
been insensitive in the past when I've made logical comments which
people haven't liked because of the potential consequences of the
actions I was suggesting if they'd taken place.
I've seen a lot of very nasty things over the last thirty years -
luckily the vast majority of them through a TV screen/PC monitor or in
print in papers/books/reports. Torture victims, suicide/murders, burns,
etc. I've even seen footage of hostage executions taking place in Iraq
(something I'd rather forget).
But this evening I actually found myself crying as I watched footage of
so many completely helpless people without food, water, clean clothes
or decent shelter. Now whilst scenes like these are unfortunately
common in many third world countries they are completely inexcusable in
a first world country.
I think everyone has to admit that the authorities just weren't
prepared, even with the warnings they were given, for the problems in
New Orleans and surrounding areas. They also haven't acted anywhere
near quick enough. The relief effort on the ground has tried to do as
much as it can but it is so understaffed and is in dire need of
What is more amazing is that the Mayor of New Orleans has to publicly
issue a 'desperate SOS' for assistance because they aren't getting it
quick enough from the government (Desperate SOS for New Orleans
; BBC News Online; Thusrday 1st September 2005). I've seen so many
angry people, angry Americans, on various forums and Journal
posts/replies who are shocked to see the images coming out of New
Orleans and are seeing so little response from Bush and the government.
A growing portion of the media, both left and right, also seem to be
becoming more critical over the handling of the affair too. By all
accounts it took the public questioning by a very well respected CNN
news reader asking where Bush was and why he was still on holiday to
get prompt him back to the White House, via a fly over of New Orleans.
And now he has the audacity to ask for money to help. How much money
has been spent on Iraq and the War on Terror? How many billions? The
millions that were KNOWN to be needed to keep the levees and canals
maintained that were diverted away from New Orleans into these
fruitless ventures, that many people in New Orleans have begged to be
given over the last few years, are nothing in comparison to the lives
lost and the billions of dollars now needed to rebuild the city and
compensate people and businesses.
Now I am all for raising money to help. Christ, I'd like to get over
there and help myself! But I do get very annoyed when Bush asks for
monetary help after pumping billion upon billion into foriegn wars that
very few support or want, leaving his own country lacking the support
to cope and handle disasters that could have been avoided by paying
more attention and funds to them in the first place.
I'm just immensely glad more people seem to be getting pissed off with
Bush. But let's get the people of New Orleans some food, water and to
safety and then take Bush to the cleaners!