Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Bush and Katrina

Americablog has been really hammering Bush on his response to Katrina. Like eating cake and playing guitar all while being on vacation.

I understand where their coming from, it is kinda frustrating to see this guy doing photo ops instead of actual work. But at the same time, when people talk about how liberals blame Bush for everything, they point to shit like this. Even if it is deserved, and I do believe some of it is, I believe its a bit too soon. And it feels like politicizing a national tragedy.

But at the same time, if you want to rip on him for this and this, go right ahead:
An amazing late-breaking article from Editor & Publisher. Bottom line: Experts knew this was coming, and all the preparations ground to a halt because Bush stole New Orleans' disaster preparation money so he could use it for his Iraq debacle:
New Orleans had long known it was highly vulnerable to flooding and a direct hit from a hurricane. In fact, the federal government has been working with state and local officials in the region since the late 1960s on major hurricane and flood relief efforts. When flooding from a massive rainstorm in May 1995 killed six people, Congress authorized the Southeast Louisiana Urban Flood Control Project, or SELA.

...after 2003, the flow of federal dollars toward SELA dropped to a trickle. The Corps never tried to hide the fact that the spending pressures of the war in Iraq, as well as homeland security -- coming at the same time as federal tax cuts -- was the reason for the strain. At least nine articles in the Times-Picayune from 2004 and 2005 specifically cite the cost of Iraq as a reason for the lack of hurricane- and flood-control dollars.

Newhouse News Service, in an article posted late Tuesday night at The Times-Picayune web site, reported: "No one can say they didn't see it coming....Now in the wake of one of the worst storms ever, serious questions are being asked about the lack of preparation."


As more levees breach in New Orleans, the floodwaters are rising. Martial law has been declared.

One of the assets that the military brings to disaster relief is equipment that civilian governments don't usually keep on hand, things like amphibious vehicles. The problem is that President Bush, in his infinite wisdom, decided to send amphibious vehicles to... a desert. Now while you might ask how much water one finds in a desert, there are water hazards at golf courses, right near sand traps, so perhaps the President got a little confused.

To add insult to injury, amphibious vehicles are so ill suited to desert warfare that Marines are getting killed because of it. From CNN:
With tracks instead of wheels, the vehicle is designed to be dropped from ships for coastal assaults, then move through surf at a speed of 6 mph. It cruises on land at 20 mph to 30 mph.

But its biggest drawback in Iraq, analysts said, is that because it must be able to stay afloat, its armor plating is lighter than that in heavier vehicles used by the Army.

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