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While Bush was on vacation
Wind and rain, lots
and lots of rain, and water came rushing in, within minutes rising by feet
at a time. People drowned, hundreds
of thousands lost their homes, and America lost New Orleans. What happened? Or should we ask
ourselves why did it happen this way?
Levees that kept the sea out failed because they were not strong enough
to hold back the water. Why,
because the money that was supposed to be used to fix the levees, which was put
aside during the Clinton administration, was taken by Bush in 2003 and used
instead for the Iraq war.
Meanwhile, after the
storm hit, Homeland Security instead of getting people evacuated and saving
lives just sat on its hands.
Hundreds of volunteer rescuers who were headed to New Orleans with food,
water and small boats were turned back on highway 10 and not allowed to go into
the city. The Red Cross wasn’t
allowed in, planes from other countries carrying medical supplies, food and
water were turned back. Offers of
help from other countries were turned down. Food from Israel, Spain, and England
was not distributed, it was burned on orders from the Food and Drug
Administration. Why? No one seems
to understand what is going on but Bush seems to be mainly interested in “cash
money and oil” from other countries instead.
Nearly a week into
the crisis New Orleans Mayor Nagin screamed: “I don’t want to hear any more
press conferences… Get off your asses and lets do something. Lets fix the biggest goddamn crisis in
the history of this country!” It
took the United States of America almost one week to send aid to the people of
New Orleans, while Michael Chertoff, Homeland Security chief, was saying how
proud he was of the way his department had handled the crisis. During this time
President Bush was still on vacation, and
V.P. Dick Cheney was also too busy having fun, he stayed on vacation,
nearly two weeks after the crisis hit. I guess lives don’t matter much to either
Mr. Bush or Mr. Cheney.
has served as proof that Homeland Security and President Bush’s administration
are not ready for a national emergency.
Sure we cannot avoid a hurricane hitting our shores, but we can prepare
for one ahead of time. New Orleans
had plenty of warning. Those who
had cars, got out, and those who didn’t
couldn’t, because they were poor and didn’t have a way to get out of the
city. Why weren’t city buses and school buses used to get people out? Maybe what we saw broadcast on network
TV could give us a clue; we saw those who got caught by Katrina were mainly
black and mostly poor. Reporters
who saw white and black people on the ground carrying bags of food, described
those who were black as looters, while those who were white as scrambling to
find food to survive. Racism is alive and
well in America.
Why did it take a
week before food and clean water was distributed to the survivors? Why did it
take a week before the survivors finally get evacuated? Why were people at some
Hotels evacuated before people at the convention center or at the
Superdome? Those at the Hotels had
food. The others did not. Those at the Hotels, were not poor, but
the others at the Superdome who were mainly black, were. Inequality is alive and
well in America.
We should ask
ourselves, is this how Bush responds to a national emergency? Should rich white lives be more
important than other lives? This is not the America I have been brought up to
believe in, nor the one described in history books. Bush has failed our
country. We expect our president to
protect all Americans, all the people, whether they are rich or poor, black, or
white. Bush has failed and the
people of New Orleans are paying the price.
Victor Saraiva is
senior editor, he can be reached by email email@example.com
Posted October 05, 2005
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