Bush is in Biloxi showing his concern about the hurricane damage. Good for him. Now let’s see him in New Orleans. At the Superdome.
“Help is on the way.” President Bush says that a lot. And every time he does, sadly, I’m reminded of the old jokes “the check is in the mail” and “we’re from the government and we’re here to help.”
The breached New Orleans levees were built to withstand only a category 3 hurricane, according to Lt. Gen. Bob Flowers, former commander of the Corp of Engineers, in an interview Wednesday with Bill O’Reilly. On the same program, Stephen Leatherman, PhD, of the Hurricane Research Center, noted that the Dutch, the world’s experts in levee construction, have a system of no less than three levees protecting them.
Incredible. Why did Washington, Louisiana, and New Orleans tolerate such short-sightedness and inadequacy in this country? The question comes way too late for for the people of New Orleans.
I’ve watched with awe and horror the devastation wrought by Hurricane Katrina, and I haven’t words to describe it. It is simply beyond my comprehension.
Yet sadly, as I contemplate how the South will recover from this disaster, in some back corner of my mind a tiny voice asks: Where are the other nations rushing to help us, as we would be rushing to help them? Could it be the rest of the world views us, smugly, as an imperialist superpower receiving our just deserts? We probably don’t need their help, and they probably know it. Still, I can’t help wondering…
Another tiny voice, refusing to be suppressed, keeps commenting: Wow, look what a few terrorists with explosives could have done to those New Orleans levees… and to New Orleans.