Thursday, September 08, 2005

A short assessment of Katrina reactions

I had originally made these comments at Chronwatch.com, but decided after a few days that it really should go here. Well, this VRWNZC (For those of you who are new, that stands for Vast Right Wing Negrocon Zionist Conspiracy) co-founder is going to share his thoughts on this little "BLAME GAME" the leftists started and now everyone BUT President Bush is getting involved in.

I have done a little re-assessing of the Katrina aftermath and the woeful unpreparedness of local, state, and federal officials. I will be briefly addressing each level in the next few paragraphs. After that, I will give my assessment of what might need changing.

First, local, particularly New Orleans:

Mayor Nagin should have, at the very latest, on the day before the storm hit, ORDERED the city's school bus drivers to head to work, get their buses, and go start getting people out. This could have been done at designated points in the poorest areas where many could not get gas money together or had no vehicles. Also, Nagin should not have been yapping so much after the storm went through. Local reaction and response in New Orleans was horrid, but one can make a case for it being bad due to the fact that the command center Mayor Nagin might have used was taken out by the storm and levee breakage. Thus, after the storm, local law enforcement and city officials would not have had proper communications for several hours after the storm.

State: The delayed response of the Governors of Louisiana and Mississippi were absolutely unacceptable, particularly in the case of the governor of Louisiana. There seemed to be NO move on the part of the governor either to call in the National Guard NOR to get the state police into the area *by boat, if need be* to assist the NOPD. For about three days AFTER the storm, the Governor of Louisiana seemd to sit on her hands with her thumbs up her arse, doing nothing. Unlike Mayor Nagin of New Orleans, who did arguably have the problem of no command center or communications available due to the storm knocking both out, the Governor in Baton Rouge really had NO such trouble facing her. It took the President of the United States getting the Coast Guard and the Department of Defense *To whom homeland security should belong, in my NEVER to be HUMBLE opinion* before either governor made any substantive moves.

Federal: By set-up, the President generally is allowed to order state National Guard units into an action when there is a pressing National Security need or when the governor of a state is physically incapacitated and unable to deal. FEMA's response was a running joke! Homeland Security seemed to have no clue whatsoever. It fell to the good old Department of Defense to come and start getting stuff straightened out.

My point? There's enough "blame" to go around. Most of it lies with the State governments; a fair portion of the remainder goes to local government; most of what's left for blame sits squarely on the shoulders of Homeland Security for not acting at all in the matter *yes, I know the Coast guard was there and helping out *. Any remaining blame that might go to the President is simply in his trusting that state officials would act as they should.

Someone mentioned the Secretary of State as needing to take some of the blame. NOPE. The Department of State is not set up, nor Constitutionally expected, to deal with internal matters. It is not supposed to. It is supposed to deal with the foreign policy and foreign offers. If there is a cabinet member who SHOULD have been involved, it is the Secertary of the Interior (Though, again, the Department of the Interior doesn't have that kind of authority as it would need).

My suggestions for making things more efficient in the event of such an event happening in the future:

All of this makes me wonder what the purpose of the Homeland Security department really is. If it is border defense and such, THAT should really go to the Department of Defense. If it is dealing with natural disasters, infrastructure failures and the like, that should be the province of the Department of the Interior. If it is dealing with criminal elements who take advantage for their own selfish materialistic ends, that should, in fact, rest with Justice or with Defense.

My recommendation would be to move the Coast Guard permanently to the Department of Defense, along with the US Border Patrol. Coast Guard directly to the Department of the Navy, and the US Border Patrol to the Department of the Army.

FEMA and its ilk should be sent squarely to the Department of the Interior. The INS should be shunted to the Justice Department, and the President should be given the authority to IMMEDIATELY order state National Guard units into action the minute a natural disaster occurs.

Just my thoughts.

1 Comments:

Anonymous chefplr said...

D S Dunlap,
i agree with your assesment but for one thing, your criticism of FEMA. You like everyone else in this country seems to think that FEMA is like a federal Red Cross. It is not and is not set up like that. The name itself says it all; Federal Emergency Management Agency. It is required to organize both federal and civilian responces both prior and post disaster. That actually is what they did. Under their managment, the Red Cross had semi's of water, blankets, food, and small first aid kits pre-positioned around NO and ready to get into the city as soon as the winds stopped. Had they been allowed to enter it would have been before the levees broke. They were not allowed in by the State homeland Security acting under the orders of both the mayor and the Governor because both the superdome and the convention center were designated as refuges of last resort. Under the state guidlines, these ROLR, people were told they had to bring their own food, water, etc. to last them a ew days and they were told THAT THEY WOULD NOT GET ANY OF THESE NECESSITIES. The reason for this was so that people would not be inclined to stay there.

12:38 AM  

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