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 supplies.
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!