Stop giving Bush that much credit
Look, all kinds of theories are floating around about why things went so badly in New Orleans.
1) The buses
Look, 200 buses is enough to lift 12,000 people, no more. So for all the wingnuts who use this as a defense, stop. Because it makes no sense.
Who was going to drive these buses? Where were they going to load people up? Where were they going to go? Nobody wanted 12,000 poor people from New Orleans until they had no choice.
You tell me? Where were these buses headed? They've had to disperse evacuees to 28 states,
so now, the parishes around New Orleans were gonna accept poor people they didn't like in the first place?
2) This was on purpose
You know, I've heard shit like they can control the weather and did this to kill people, Mike Malloy gets on the radio and says it's ethnic cleansing.
No, this was not on purpose. George Bush is not head Kleagle.
The reason FEMA is failing is simple, incompetents protecting their turf.
People were kept at the evacuation points for that reason, but because there is no communication between the feds. the locals and the military. So they kept people at the Superdome to organize them, but FEMA never sent the people down to do this. If it wasn't for reporters, people would have died in the thousands.
The right can blame the mayor for not using the buses, but they can't blame him for not providing food and water, which is what FEMA should have done. FEMA had such little knowledge of what was happening on the ground, Brown got on TV and basically lied after being confronted with the facts.
The National Guard didn't want the Regular Army involved, until it was clear they didn't have the skill needed. The Air Force was prevented from doing air drops by FEMA, who didn't want a riot on the ground.
FEMA was waiting to organize a relief effort, and kept blocking people from going on their own. Normally, this would make sense, but the fact was that FEMA couldn't do it and they didn't want anyone else to do it.
This is complicated stuff and the management of FEMA makes the harbor defenses at Pearl Harbor look like the German General Staff. You have two PR people and a lawyer running an agency which needs quick decision making and experience.
What happened here was not some genocidal plan, although it seems that way, but raw, naked incompetance. FEMA was not ready to do their job, had no concept of their job, and that killed people.
3) The NOPD
Look, at the best of times the NOPD is corrupt and incompetent. There are something like 50 former officers serving time
The FBI had to run it in the 1990's. Nagin was elected to make changes, but they were coming. To expect the NOPD to last more than 48 hours was to expect a miracle. They're saying anywhere from 1/3rd to 2/3rd of the force deserted. Gangs even tried to take the police chief hostage.
Some of what happened at the Superdome was due to the inherent weakness of the NOPD. They simply could not control the situation developing. And since FEMA and the Guard bureau didn't want the help, RA units like Special Forces and the 82nd ABN, which could have backed up the cops, were waiting to be deployed.
What would have been the difference?
Even the hardest gangster isn't going to fuck with SF. Not if they want to live. Their communications equipment would have also helped. They could have secured food deliveries as well.
But because of turf battles, that took days to happen.
Instead of looking for purpose, this is most likely the perfect storm of incompetence, poverty, and cronyism.
posted by Steve @ 11:24:00 AM