Monday, September 05, 2005


The Washington Post (no favorite of mine, for sure) provides the type of calm and restrained reflection on the New Orleans disaster that the British press, most notably the BBC and The Guardian, seem to be incapable of providing.
THE LACK OF National Guard troops because of the war in Iraq; the Bush administration's failure to protect coastal wetlands; the reorganization of the Federal Emergency Management Agency: All have been blamed, somewhat rbitrarily, for the stunning scenes of chaos at the New Orleans Superdome and convention center, for the unprecedented floodwaters in the city, and for the huge numbers of people without food or water. But if blame is to be laid and lessons are to be drawn, one point stands out as irrefutable: Emergency planners must focus much more on the fate of that part of the population that -- for reasons of poverty, infirmity, distrust of officialdom, lack of transportation or lack of information -- cannot be counted on to leave their homes after an evacuation order.


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