Katrina: 5 Days to Respond?

This is completely unbelievable. 5 days after Katrina, and the first large-scale aid is just now starting to float into New Orleans. That boggles my mind. A natural disaster that is much larger in scale than 9/11 was (although the death toll is thankfully lower - for now - it's estimated to top 10,000). It seems like the West was better prepared to respond to the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami than it is to provide assistance within the borders of the world's richest and most powerful nation.

On what planet would you build a city of 1.5 million people below sealevel, in the path of regular hurricanes, and not have an effective evacuation plan for the entire city? How is that allowed to happen? In my mind, that goes way beyond negligence. Tens of thousands of people who didn't have the means to evacuate themselves were left behind to die, or at best, to fend for themselves in what is a highly dangerous post-hurricane flood zone. Toxic disease infested water, swarming with crocodiles. Roaming gangs of armed looters. No food. No water. No civility.

And the question of spending 30+ billion dollars to rebuild NOLA? That would be equally negligent. It would make sense to turn the area into a giant theme park. Disney-meets-Waterworld-meets-Las-Vegas. Don't ever put a large population back there.. Spend the $30B on building sustainable housing for the displaced population in other areas outside of a hurricane-induced flood-plain.

The real question is where is the outrage within America? Outrage at the state of the nation, which is unable to provide aid to its own population. Outrage at the agencies that were supposed to either mitigate the effects of such a disaster, or provide plans to evacuate the population, or to provide assistance in case all efforts fail. Outrage at Bush for sending the National Guard to guard another nation, leaving the US vulnerable to something other than a manufactured election-year fear factory.

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