One week ago today Katrina was a Category 5 hurricane barrelling down on New Orleans. About 75% of that cities population had left for higher ground and the local governments were preparing for the worst.
Well, the worst was nothing compared to what actually happened.
It took about 36 hours for the finger pointing to start, and most of those were targeted squarely at President Bush. The blame game culminated with New Orleans Mayor Nagin going overboard Friday blaming the president for what he perceived to be the poor Federal response to the disaster.
He did not blame himself for leaving 100,000 people in his city with no way to escape. He did not blame himself for designating the Superdome as a safe haven when in fact it was nothing more then a big building below sea level with no emergency facilities. He did not blame himself for having a police force that jumped in and started looting instead of upholding the law. Not to mention the fact that 30 percent of the officers abandoned their posts and ran away, probably to rob Walmart.
No it was easier to shift the blame to the Feds. The same people who helped pour 40,000 troops into the city in four days, organize all of the relief efforts taking place and finally transport the survivors to other states.
I'm not sure what those people not located in the impacted areas expected. I can forgive those directly suffering for screaming and yelling. They are under great duress and do not have the ability to see the big picture that anyone with access to CNN can view.
Anyone watching TV saw dozens of helicopters saving people. The Coast Guard alone pulled out 9,500 people as of Friday. Pretty impressive.
It takes time to organize an effective relief effort. In this case about four days before the government showed up in force, but within 48 hours of the relief convoys arriving the city was all but emptied of people. If buses and Army forces showed up piecemeal even more confusion would have taken place and less accomplished.
Again, the poeple in the city could not know what was being done. They had no power and access to the news, but all the from politicians and idiots like Al Sharpton and Robert Kennedy jr. should have known better. In fact I'm sure they did, but saw an opportunity to bash the president, who does deserve it on several topics, and took their shot.
Oddly, Bush's biggest problem is people around the world think the U.S. can quickly cure any disaster. Tsunami victims last year lashed out at us, Iraqi's cannot understand why we have not destroyed the terrorists and rebuilt their whole country in two years and the hurricane victims expected much more then could be realistically delivered.