Saturday, September 10, 2005

Colin Powell on New Orleans' Disaster

Colin Powell is not happy, understandably so.

The former US Secretary of State was also the top general in America and had served in Korea and Vietnam. With that background, dealing with contingency plans on a daily basis, he is puzzled as to why better preparations were not made before Hurricane Katrina struck.

After all, hurricanes are not new to those areas in the USA south-east. And with today's technology and knowledge, the weather forecast and monitoring, especially of a storm like Katrina, would have been more than adequate to enable authorities to better prepare. You would have thought so but Bush and his men failed miserably.

No, it’s not just nasty KTemoc, but two-thirds of Americans think Bush didn’t do enough. Many accused Bush of not responding swiftly enough.

The problem has been Bush’s staffing of the Emergency Services with people who don’t have any experience but were his election supporters. Yes sirree, cronyism is well and truly alive in Bush’s administration. In this, there is striking commonality between the USA and many nations in Asia.

Colin Powell is probably the most respected black American so his comments will be listened to and analysed in detail.

There is also a racial element hanging over the New Orleans relief disaster. The Pew Research Center found out that two-thirds of the African-Americans believed Bush would have responded faster to the emergency if most of those affected had been white.

But Colin Powell was more diplomatic, stating that so many African-Americans were left unprotected because they were poor. He didn’t mention that they were black. Well, Powell is that sort of bloke.

He added it should have been obvious that when a mandatory evacuation has been ordered, the government shouldn’t expect everyone to be able to comply entirely on their own. There would be the handicapped, the sick and the poor. Something ought to have been done for those disadvantaged citizens.

Confronted with so many accusations of his sheer incompetence, Bush decided he has to do something and indeed he did - He declared Friday 16 September a national day of prayer and remembrance for the victims. Great president!

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