Katrina's Idiot Accomplices: This Is the Perfect Time for Blame

The idea that it's better to wait before placing blame for deaths due to incompetence related to Katrina is plain wrong.
This post was published on the now-closed HuffPost Contributor platform. Contributors control their own work and posted freely to our site. If you need to flag this entry as abusive, send us an email.

The idea that it's better to wait before placing blame for deaths due to incompetence related to Katrina is plain wrong. If Katrina had been an attack by a foreign enemy, I could understand the argument that we must present a unified front. That's why I supported President Bush after the 9/11 attacks.

Hurricanes, however, don't read blogs or watch the news. Giving government officials time to spin will do absolutely no good at all in this case. No future hurricane will be scared away by a good speech or photo op.

Just the opposite: If we prove ourselves incapable of learning from mistakes, isn't that an invitation to terrorists? I note that a small plane crashed into the White House in the years before the 9/11 attacks. Is it not possible that terrorists watched and thought to themselves, "Hey, these guys have no domestic air defense!" Are they not now watching and saying, "Hey, these guys will just stumble like idiots and humiliate themselves if we create heavy casualties with a WMD! The world will blame them as much as us, because they'll be partially responsible for many of their own deaths. What a great opportunity for terrorism!"

I'd rather the bad guys see us engage in tough blame-casting and self-improvement than slick spin.

That doesn't mean we should round up whoever the usual suspects are in our minds. I'm ready to see non-Bush administration idiots strung up when it's called for, but I'm not ready for a corruption of the idea of fairness that would demand an equal number of villains from both parties.

Republicans have tended to concentrate on what happened on the ground in the day before Katrina hit and immediately afterwards, perhaps because it is the best way to focus on the activities of Democratic local and state officials. A large number of people didn't quite achieve mental awareness of the potential for disaster until it was too late. It seems terribly unfair for the Feds to use excuses about how no one could have foreseen what would happen and then in the same breath accuse residents or local officials of not having superior judgment.

Based on the information available so far, there are indeed some reasons to complain about the behavior of local officials, and the worst offenders might turn out to have been members of various local police departments.

For some harrowing reading, see this.

The most damaging incompetence, however, took place in the days after the storm passed, as the flood waters rose. Local resources could not possibly have been expected to cope with what happened, and the Feds screwed up in surreal ways, lied about it, and still haven't been able to speak the truth. This must not be obscured by diversionary tactics. It's so shocking and so weird that it's hard to believe, but believe it, don't forget what you saw: For just one example, Michael Brown, the head of FEMA, said he did not know about thousands of people trapped at the convention center until after everyone else in the world knew. He seemed to think this was a good excuse that would make him look good! How much more inept could he possibly be?

This is the kind of guy who could make terrorists not look quite completely responsible for carnage after an attack. Get rid of him now!

Go To Homepage

Popular in the Community