The answers can be found with adequate investigation, and they do lie near the top of our political structure.
According to a CNN poll, "When asked to rate the performance of federal government in responding to the hurricane, 36 percent said "good" or "very good" while 63 percent said "poor" or "very poor." Given the facts, it's hard to imagine that the 36 percent are other than Fox News fans, staunch Republicans, and those who live nowhere near the affected region.
Robin Lovin, an ethics professor from Southern Methodist University in Dallas Texas, told Scotland's Daily Record, "Bush, Congress, the mayor - each of them are symptoms of a bigger problem, that we don't have accountability for disasters or
challenges of this scale. That's all the public wants in trying times - accountability ... Lovin added that it's too convenient to blame one branch of government when they are all, at some level, failing people" ("God Help Them").
Lovin's sentiments seem liberal and noble on the surface. ...
And the culpability in this matter is not equally shared.
The United States government has known for decades that large scale natural disasters necessarily go beyond the response capabilities of state and local authorities. According to the Fort Worth Star Telegram, it is likewise well-known, by our top disaster planning experts, that a quick mobilization of the United States active military is the only adequate response in such disasters.("Feds rethinking handling of Katrina"). Could anyone really look New Orleans mayor Ray Nagin in the face and say, "The Federal response was too little and too late, but you are equally culpable in this calamity."
Not only was Ray Nagin an immediate victim of this natural disaster, along with first response police and fire departments and quite simply any native of the region, but he also does not command the United States military. As the article from Knight Ridder News Services makes clear, President Bush and Homeland Security secretary Michael Chertoff do have such powers in time of national crisis. According to the article:
Two days after Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast,
President Bush went on national television to announce a massive
federal rescue and relief effort.
But orders to move didn't reach key active military units for another
Once they received them, it took just eight hours for 3,600 troops from
the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg, N.C., to be on the ground in
Louisiana and Mississippi with search-and-rescue helicopters. Another
2,500 troops soon followed from the 1st Cavalry Division at Fort Hood.
One wonders how many lives might have been saved without this delay of three days. Also, what sort of bureaucratic red tape could begin to