Thursday, September 01, 2005

Katrina's Wake

As our nation faces images of death, destruction, and disorder in Louisiana, and pundits speculate about the social and economical costs of Hurricane Katrina -- not just to New Orleans -- but to our entire country, we have to wonder just exactly how strong and united we really are. The people of the gulf coast are having to wait entirely too long for assistance; many have died waiting. There are living people still barricaded in the upper levels of their homes, waiting for rescue workers. Hospital staff are desperately trying to keep their patients and themselves alive without electricity to run machinery, adequate supplies, or relief staffing. In a country that has spent the past four years preparing for possible terrorist attacks, one would think that we would be better prepared for disaster. So the question is: why weren't we?

To the Press Corps:
Reports of looting coming from NO include as examples people taking bottled water, food, and diapers from local stores. Let me make something absolutely clear, getting necessary supplies to keep yourself and your family alive is not 'looting.' Feel free to call any person stealing electronics, jewelry, or artwork "looters." Those who are trying to survive through theft of basic necessities because we have left them too long without help are victims.