Can I also ask you to spare a thought for President Bush who cut his vacation short by two whole days as thousands of his citizens down south wandered or swam around in the sweltering heat, with no food, no water, no homes, no way to get out. What a guy! Having said that he barely seemed to understand there was a hurricane for the first three days. He was in Coronado, outside San Diego playing a guitar, and in his speech he managed to mention New Orleans, by saying that people should not return to their homes until rescue crews could do their work. Nobody had to be told not to return to their homes because they don't have homes to return to.
After a false start, when he showed up on the fifth day of a national tragedy making little humorous asides about the times he was in New Orleans celebrating too much (but if he tried to walk fifty yards he could have tripped over somebody's dead black grandmother under a blanket), Bush began acting very Presidential. Which, via his grimaces, resembled a bad bout of constipation. He'd flown over the disaster area (at a comfy 5,000 feet, being photographed frowning and concerned, gazing out the window, as he saw bugger all) and was going to actually show up by the weekend at the scene...sort of...New Orleans was considered too dangerous still, so he opted for Mobile and Biloxi with a New Orleans aerial tour.
To quote BBC journalist Matt Wells: "The only difference between the chaos of New Orleans and a Third World disaster operation...was that a foreign dictator would have responded better. It has been a profoundly shocking experience for many across this vast country who, for the large part, believe the home-spun myth about the invulnerability of the American Dream." He goes on to say that: "The uneasy paradox which so many live with in this country - of being first-and-foremost rugged individuals, out to plunder what they can and paying as little tax as they can get away with, while at the same time believing that America is a robust, model society - has reached a crisis point this week."
Remember this: under Bush's leadership, federal flood control spending for southeastern Louisiana has been cut from $69 million in 2001 to $36.5 million in 2005. Federal hurricane protection for the Lake Pontchartrain vicinity in the Army Corps of Engineers' budget sunk from $14.25 million in 2002 to $5.7 million this year.
Louisiana Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu pleaded for $27 million. No deal. Iraq was more important. According to Louisiana's Times-Picayune from 2004 to 2005, Iraq was specifically cited as the reason for lack of hurricane and flood-control dollars. In early 2004, as the cost of the conflict in Iraq soared, Bush proposed spending less than 20 percent of what the Army Engineering Corps said was needed for Lake Pontchartrain, according to a Feb. 16, 2004, article, in New Orleans CityBusiness.
Bush then cut $71.2 million from the budget of the New Orleans Corps of Engineers, a 44 percent reduction. As was reported in New Orleans CityBusiness at the time, that meant "major hurricane and flood projects will not be awarded to local engineering firms. Also, a study to determine ways to protect the region from a Category 5 hurricane has been shelved for now."
This is what killing Arabs costs you when you have oil to steal and people's sovereignty to annihilate. I think Bush and his pals confused the black community of New Orleans (many of whom live below the poverty line, remember that poverty levels in that city are twice as high as the US average) with Iraqi civilians.
Then to top it off, the token black in the Bush world tells the suffering people of New Orleans that is was God's will: "The Lord Jesus Christ is going to come on time...If we just wait."
Laugh or cry? I'm opting for the latter.