Liberty Just in Case

A Dialogue for the September 12th World

The Blame Game

Posted by Mark on September 4, 2005

Kevin left a great comment the other day:

As always there are the idiots who would use a disaster of this magnitude to promote their personal agendas, no matter how idiotic their statements are.
However our government will not get through this one unscathed either. Their slow response time and lack of preparedness (even though FEMA used this scenario as a practice model last year) is a tradgedy into itself. How could they have used this as a training excersize and then failed so miserably? There was no reason to not have been airlifting mres and bottled water to the areas hardest hit (or at least to the superdome and other main locations) the day the flooding began. This has nothing to do with right vs left or rep vs dems—-it has to do with common sense and/or the lack of it within the agency or agencies responsible. The slow response time is rediculous. One truck driver I saw interviewed was loaded with water ob Monday but was held til Friday to deliver—-it is an outrage.

Kevin’s right. More should have been done. But the blame game, from both left and right, is not the answer, at least not yet. From the left are the obligatory “blame Bush” comments. From the black shysters Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton, come the cries of racism. And from the right comes the blame on the Louisiana Governor and the Mayor of New Orleans. Also from the right come, let’s just say it, blame on the poor, mostly black, population that either did not or could not evacuate in time.

In any crisis oriented profession, rather its the military, or on psychiatric units, there is a time for debriefing, for after action reports. That time is NOT during the fire fight, or when the physical restraint of a dangerous patient is going on. When the situation is under control, when everyone has taken a deep breath, and recovered somewhat from the trauma is the time for that. Not before.

The trauma of New Orleans, Mississippi, and Alabama continues today, and will for weeks to come. The worst may be still on the way, as the water is brought down, and the thousands of bodies are uncovered.

There will be a time for the debriefing. Hopefully by then, the politics can be removed, and we can come to understand what went wrong, and what went right. Both are important in making sure the next ultra-disaster is handled more effectively.

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