Hurricane Katrina has come and gone and left New Orleans in a great big mess. One thing that is really interesting is the American's "can do" attitude seems to have "gone with the wind" - I know, a terrible pun.
The whole situation is sad, but come on, it's not like it was a complete surprise. The city is below sea level, between a river and a huge big lake, protected by man-made concrete dykes and levees (and they expected these to last?), on the coast of a gulf prone to hurricanes... ummm, hello!! I can't be the only one to see that this isn't a very safe or sensible place to put a city. Man-made structures are notorious for not standing up to the wrath of nature, so why would anyone believe this would be any different? And to top it all, they knew it was coming.
So, the damage has been done, nothing we can do now to prevent it, however I don't understand how things could deteriorate so quickly following the event - this is first world America after all. First we hear of thousands people being stuck in their homes with no food and water... ummm, why didn't the US government force them to leave? If Cuba can effectively evacuate citizens out of their homes for their own safety, why can't the US?
Then we hear about the looting... ok fair enough, some people were knicking food, but if Maccy D's, Taco Bell and WalMart are all closed, you can't really blame them - where else are they going to get food? What I do want to know, is what are the real looters are going to do with the 23" telly they've just knicked when they no longer have a living room to put it in? Didn't it cross their minds that they'd look just a little silly and suspicious wading down the road with a TV under their arm?
Then couple the looting with the good ol' American constitution and the Bill of Rights and things get even worse... seems it's bitten them on the bum again. I bet they're now wishing they didn't have the "right to bear arms". Had they not had that tiny little clause in the Bill of Rights, then guns wouldn't be so readily available in the now abandoned and looted shops and they wouldn't be in the situation they're in with vigilantes and hoodlims running amok shooting, raping, rioting and generally causing chaos. Due to this little oversight, several rescue operations have been halted because, like you and me, they don't want to get shot helping out their fellow citizens. I don't quite see the point of hampering a rescue operation anyway, but I suppose, when you've just got yourself a 23" telly for nothing, you don't really want it taken away.
Then of course there's the fires - people are deliberately setting things on fire which haven't been washed away yet... why? Chances are you're going to get your insurance claim approved anyway (assuming "acts of God" are covered), so there's no need to burn the place down too.
Now back to the "can do" attitude - if these people have no homes and are starving and thirsty, why the hell are they hanging around in the convention centre? They may not be able to drive anywhere, but most of them sure as hell can walk. Some people have been without food and clean water for over 3 days - it wouldn't have taken anywhere near that long to walk (or wade) to the nearest city. It's not uncommon for the residents of third world countries to trek hundreds of miles to get to food, water and safety... so why not in America?
And then of course there's Dubya and his government - he's no better. He started off well by cutting his jollies short and heading back to Washington and declaring a state of emergency, but then was quoted calling the hurricane "a temporary disruption". Well, darn he's right, give me twenty minutes and I'll have it all mopped up with my super absorbant cloth from JML/QXL/Verimark.
Of course, what New Orleans needs right now is a great big bunch of military dudes to march in there and restore law and order and put all this anarchy to rest. But wait... can Georgie boy afford to send a great big bunch? Nope, a fair whack of his troops are needlessly getting their arses shot at in Iraq. Sorry folks, only 300 battle-worn, shoot-to-kill, sandy eyed soldiers for you. One word of warning... be careful of these guys, some of them have been staring at sand for months without firing a single shot - they'll be gagging to let off a round or two.
I know this isn't the whole story and there's probably a lot more to it, but I can't help but feel that this little "African-American" corner of the US is not highly rated amongst the powers that be and not really considered too important. Had Katrina been heading towards and hit Florida or Texas, a hell of a lot more would have been done to limit the casualties and get the clean up on the road.
Come on George, stop dragging your feet - these are your voters (ok probably not, but you get the idea).