Then watch this: the President of flood-wrecked Jefferson Parrish in Louisiana, Aaron Broussard, breaks down while responding to a question on Meet The Press.
For all those who wish to defend the US federal government’s role in the ongoing debacle that is Katrina –you know, with the argument that it’s ultimately the responsibility of the local officials to restore order– I give you this:
“[During times of] any natural or manmade incident, including terrorism, that results in extraordinary levels of mass casualties, damage, or disruption severely affecting the population, infrastructure, environment, economy, national morale, and/or government functions, [the federal government pre-empts local and state government in its responsibility to act quickly.]”
That is from Bush’s own 2004 National Disaster Response Plan. The clusterfuck that is the response to Katrina in New Orleans is the responsibility of FEMA, a federal agency, and hence the responsibility of the President and his kakistocracy. That this happened in the wealthiest nation in the world is ridiculous. That this happened after 4 years of preparing for terrorist calamity is unthinkable. What if Al Qaeda, and not Katrina, had burst the levees? The result would have been the same. Indeed, I find it unthinkable that a sabotaged levee would not be a terrorist scenario modelled by the feds. What then has Homeland Security been doing all this time, with its enormous war chest and mandate? Where is their response plan? Is the automatic response to mayhem always going to be, “let’s bomb some country that can’t hurt us”?
When Bush promised his people that he would do all to prevent 9/11 from happening again, did he mean, in the words of Andrew Sullivan, the specific case of hijacked planes flying into buildings in New York and Washington? Or did he mean, as the world took him to mean, the plight of hundreds of thousands of Americans fleeing for their lives within an American city? Surely his voters assumed the latter. Any viable terrorist response plan would have been called into action to save the people of New Orleans. Conclusion: there is no viable terrorist response plan. Is anyone really surprised? The “I will keep you safe” President is, of course, full of shit. And, again, innocents are dying because of his incompetence.