OT: Wheres the World donations for NO?

Comments

Coursedesign wrote on 9/9/2005, 10:47 PM
..and last year people in Miami got hurricane relief checks from FEMA, even though they weren't affected.

Today I heard interviews with the National Guard in Louisiana. They went through hell because the landlines didn't work, the cell phone towers collapsed and the emergency lines didn't work either, so all that was left were a bunch of walkie-talkies.

Unfortunately the batteries ran out by afternoon the first day, and the generators that could have charged them were in Iraq, together with a lot of other equipment that would have saved lives, even if most of the Louisiana Guard personnel hadn't been in Iraq too.

The local government seems to have had problems with 300 police going AWOL, will be nice to understand that at some point so it can be avoided in the future.

They also had hundreds of school buses that were supposed to be used in the evacuation of people, only a few were actually used (possibly because the drivers ran away too).

Today, Michael Chertoff, Secretary of DHS, was asked how come the Feds had been sitting on their hands for so long. He replied that they had actually pre-positioned supplies in the area, but too far away to be helpful, and they didn't have the authority to move in until requested by the local government.

Next, they interviewed a government law expert. He said that once President Bush made the Federal disaster declaration, FEMA automatically had the authorization to do anything within their charter, without waiting for anybody's permission.

He also said that even if the President hadn't made the declaration, FEMA could have done this one their own, as outlined very clearly in their written rules for this.

This would seem to indicate that Chertoff didn't know his own regulations, and we have seen the result of this incompetence, thousands of dead people who could have been properly evacuated by the Feds regardless of what hapless locaal officials felt like doing or not doing.

Perhaps Chertoff was never expected to actually know anything about FEMA, but if so why was he given this important responsibility? He has already been seen as incompetent in the area of securing our airports (four years after 9/11, the security at many airports is worse than it was back then).

If only politicians stuck with rewarding their friends with ambassadorships in countries where they don't speak the language and don't understand the culture. At least there, they are not making Americans die.
typo wrote on 9/10/2005, 12:25 AM
Gord Sinclair of the Tragically Hip (thehip.com) talks about their prophetic 1989 ode to the great City of NO, ", dropped by the radio stations...

For more politically incorrect news: Real Time With Bill Maher. Episode 59 is by far the best one this season.
craftech wrote on 9/10/2005, 8:48 AM
I can say this. I can't imagine a state in this entire country with a population that large and poor faced with a disaster of that geographic magnitude having to assume full responsibility for quickly making all the right decisions within their limited resources while dealing with an unpredictable public response. Not any governor and not any mayor. With something of that magnitude I expect our Federal government to be there IMMEDIATELY and not checking the "rules" a full 12 hours after the media first started reporting it. And much as the media and the politicians like to point to Rudy Giuliani as a glowing example of leadership the mayor of New Orleans should have followed, Giuliani (on 9/11) was NOT faced with the logistic difficulties, geographic scope, access problems, or personnel shortages the mayor of New Orleans was faced with. I live in New York. The governor (Pataki) was ABLE to handle much of it on his own before seeking Federal help. That is NOT intended to minimize 9/11, but rather to point out the scope of what the mayor of New Orleans and the governor of LA had to deal with as compared to Giuliani and Pataki. The trade center disaster was contained within a couple of city blocks. Except for those trapped in the building collapses the first responders (despite the poor radios) had access to the area. A citywide evactuation was not taking place. The disaster wasn't spread across three states. People went home. Giuliani and Pataki could NOT have done a better job in Louisiana.

How many times are we as citizens going to allow the media and the government to systematically let the Bush Administration pass the buck? They got away with it regarding the Iraq mistake and they are doing it again with Katrina.
What kind of leadership and character is that anyway? I can't think of another president in history that would have had the NERVE to let alone be ALLOWED to let "the buck stop elsewhere". With decisions that affect huge numbers of lives and have worldwide consequences I expect a president to make the RIGHT decisions and if things don't go right also have the COURAGE to accept responsibility for the mistake. Not pass the buck like a coward.

Chertoff knew the rules. The National Response Plan is right on the Office of Homeland Security's OWN website.
It stipulates that:
-the Red Cross is to be considered a federal agency during a national state of emergency and coordinated by FEMA.
-during "catastrophic events" (like what happened in New Orleans) the National Response Plan calls for heightened and "proactive" federal involvement to manage the disaster and instructs federal agencies to NOT let normal coordination with state officials "impede the rapid deployment and use of critical resources." Therefore if FEMA wanted the Red Cross to enter he city they could have mandated it.
-The purpose of the response plan after 9/11 was based upon the correct assumption that local police, fire etc were logically positioned to act as first responders. And if they were overwhelmed the plan allowed for the federal government to adopt a "proactive" response if needed. In the case of Katrina, this was CLEARLY needed. According to an article in the NY Times "For reasons of practicality and politics, officials at the Justice Department and the Pentagon, and then at the White House, decided not to urge Mr. Bush to take command of the effort. Instead, the Washington officials decided to rely on the growing number of National Guard personnel flowing into Louisiana, who were under Gov. Kathleen Babineaux Blanco's control."


The tactic of shifting the blame to someone else and smearing them in the process is typical Karl Rove. Chertoff spins the talking points. Lying is only as good as an unwillingness to expose the lies. American media is not about to be calling the Bush administration liars. So they are doing what I said they would do. Systematically let the Bush administration off the hook. Some sooner (like Fox) than others, but in the end the governor and local officials will bear the blame and nothing will change.

U.S. Treasury Secretary John Snow's "solution" to the devastation in the Gulf Regions was "Let's make the tax cuts permanent"
And President Bush is signing a Republican sponsored waiver of the Davis-Bacon Act, adopted during the Great Depression that requires companies receiving Federal contracts to pay it's workers an "average wage" for the region they are working in. That will allow government contractors to pay substandard wages to the people that need it most and allow these companies to maximize profits off of the tragedy. And for the heck of it they allowed the waiver to ALSO apply to three large counties in Florida (Broward, Monroe, and Miami-Dade) that received relatively little damage. Moreover, unlike the three times in it's history that the waiver was granted FOR A MONTH OR LESS, THIS time it isn't "temporary". It is open ended.


John
riredale wrote on 9/10/2005, 10:03 AM
There apparently WAS an official emergency document for New Orleans, but this article says that, unfortunately, the mayor didn't follow it:

"The city of New Orleans followed virtually no aspect of its own emergency management plan in the disaster caused by Hurricane Katrina.
New Orleans officials also failed to implement most federal guidelines, which stated that the Superdome was not a safe shelter for thousands of residents.
The official "City of New Orleans Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan" states that the mayor can call for a mandatory citywide evacuation, but the Louisiana governor alone is given the power to carry out the evacuation, which Gov. Kathleen Babineaux Blanco has yet to do. She "begged" people to leave before the storm and is still asking the few thousand holdouts to evacuate the flooded city.
Small-scale evacuations, according to the plan, are to be handled under the standard operation plans of city firefighters and police officers.

"However, due to the sheer size and number of persons to be evacuated, should a major tropical weather system or other catastrophic event threaten or impact the area, specifically directed long-range planning and coordination of resources and responsibilities must be undertaken," the New Orleans plan says.
The plan does not say how such an evacuation should be executed, but states that a full evacuation of the city would take 72 hours, and that the city knows that there are "approximately 100,000 citizens of New Orleans [who] do not have means of personal transportation."
The guidelines of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which has little jurisdiction to act on its own but is designed to work with local authorities, suggests that local evacuation plans "coordinate the use of school buses and drivers to support evacuation efforts."
Neither New Orleans Mayor C. Ray Nagin nor Mrs. Blanco ordered buses to take people out of the city before the storm. Two days after the storm hit, the governor issued an order for buses to roll, but by then hundreds of buses in New Orleans were underwater and useless..."

You can read the whole article here.
craftech wrote on 9/10/2005, 10:59 AM
After ONE HOUR of research I just lost my entire response. with one accidental click of the damned mouse. Arghhhhh!

I'll have to discredit the lies in that article later. Right now I am too frustrated. I sometimes put it together in a word document, then paste it, but the links don't always work so I fall right back into an ongoing response right on this website and end up losing it all either with the Zone Alarm automatic lock or an accidental click on one of the 5-7 web pages I have opened up simultaneously.

John
risce1 wrote on 9/10/2005, 11:34 AM
never mind
alexz wrote on 9/10/2005, 2:42 PM
"But you should know that the notion of "dumb Americans" is a false one. The cluelessness you observe comes DIRECTLY from our media. We aren't inherently "dumb"."

Sorry if there was a misunderstanding there, John - I was quoting, and don't hold that opinion myself.
I can observe the same problems with the media here too - there is editorial control going on in all media, which is obviously related to advertising revenue, and coroporate-political alliances. A lot of the anti-American sentiment expressed the in European media is a form of deflection from the domestic political situation, so it's a two-way process.

By the way, I read in a German paper today that German (an EU) donations and supplies are being turned back or 'hidden' because it would be considered bad PR to have relief packages from foreign countries
appear on TV. Is that true?
Alexz
craftech wrote on 9/10/2005, 3:36 PM
I only have time to address the first lie in that article:

“New Orleans officials also failed to implement most federal guidelines, which stated that the Superdome was not a safe shelter for thousands of residents… Former FEMA Director Joseph Allbaugh told Fox News last week that when he headed the agency, he refused to allow the Superdome to be used as a shelter during hurricanes. The city, however, ignored FEMA guidelines that designated "supershelters" should be located outside of floodplains and outside of Category 4 storm-surge zones. “

Let’s start with the source, The Washington Times (owned and operated by cult leader Rev. Sung Myung Moon of the Unification Church. Remember the “moonies”?) used a Fox news interview with Joseph Allbaugh former FEMA director during Bush’s first term.

Allbaugh was Brown’s roomate in college. Although Brown has been exposed as having no experience at disaster relief, the media hasn’t largely reported that Browns roomate and Bush’s first appointment to FEMA (Allbaugh) didn’t either. link 1

Link 2
Allbaugh’s experience was Chief of Staff when Bush was governor of Texas. He was his campaign manager when he ran for governor the first time. He was also National Campaign Manager for Bush during the 2000 campaign along with Karl Rove and Karen Hughes.

In 2001 Bush decided to “privatize” government disaster contracts.

That same year FEMA designated a major hurricane hitting New Orleans as one of the THREE LIKELIEST catastrophic disasters
the United States.

The only reason Allbaugh’s equally inexperienced roomate Mike Brown got the job was because Allbaugh resigned from FEMA in2002.

He left to start a lobbying and consulting firm called New Bridge Strategies a lobbying and consulting firm for companies that wanted to do business in Iraq.
As a sales pitch the website uses it’s ties to the White House by stating in Allbaugh’s bio that he was "chief of staff to then-Gov. Bush of Texas and was the national campaign manager for the Bush-Cheney 2000 presidential campaign." And indicates "The opportunities evolving in Iraq today are of such an unprecedented nature and scope that no other existing firm has the necessary skills and experience to be effective both in Washington, D.C., and on the ground in Iraq."

Lobbying registration forms are required by law and if you look at Allbaugh’s here
you will note that it lists Allbaugh and his wife as official lobbyists for Kellog, Brown, and Root which is the famous Halliburton Subsidiary that got the lucrative contracts in Iraq and that was tied to Dick Cheney, Vice President of the United States.
Kellog, Brown, and Root are currently grabbing part of a “$500 Million Navy contract to do emergency repairs at Gulf Coast naval and Marine facilities that were battered by Hurricane Katrina. “
Link
There was a warning in the Wall Street Journal last week alerting Senate Appropriations people that special-interest lobbyists were trying to “tack on special-interest ammendments” to the Hurricane Katrina supplemental spending bill. WSJ.

So based upon the WORD of Conflict of Interest Joseph Allbaugh's both Fox News and Rev Moon’s “newspaper” stated as “fact” that Federal Guidelines declared the Superdome as unsafe and the city decided to use it anyway.

Contradictions to that statement came from other officials who worked for FEMA:
“But other officials said they warned well before Monday about what could happen. For years, said another senior FEMA official, he had sat at meetings where plans were discussed to send evacuees to the Superdome. "We used to stare at each other and say, 'This is the plan? Are you really using the Superdome?' People used to say, what if there is water around it? They didn't have an alternative," he recalled.” According to statements they made to A Washington Post Interview.


Moreover, one of the BEST sources to sort through all these lies told by Bush cronies is the local newspaper in New Orleans. The Times-Picayune ran a series in 2000 on hurricane preparedness in which they stated that of the estimated 200,000 New Orleans residents who would likely remain in the city, "some will be housed at the Superdome, the DESIGNATED SHELTER in New Orleans for people too sick or infirm to leave the city."
Times-Picayune

The Superdome was a designated shelter.

I'll tackle the other lies later.

John






craftech wrote on 9/10/2005, 6:00 PM
Sorry if there was a misunderstanding there, John - I was quoting, and don't hold that opinion myself.
======
I didn't think you did. I was just speaking in general terms about the "dumb Americans" concept. I can see where many would think that, but I just wanted to let you know where our apparent ignorance comes from - The Media.
=======
I can observe the same problems with the media here too - there is editorial control going on in all media.
========
I am sure you see some of that, but I don't think you are aware of the scope of the problem here. I can learn more about US news by reading the BBC website and rare BBC broadcasts than any of the US media websites or TV outlets, particularly when it comes to our government and it's policies.
Just out of curiosity, does Sky News top the list of dubious sources there?
==========
By the way, I read in a German paper today that German (an EU) donations and supplies are being turned back or 'hidden' because it would be considered bad PR to have relief packages from foreign countries
appear on TV. Is that true?
========
Yes. Right now the White House isn't officially accepting them in public. They are officially urging that the incredible number of countries that have offered assistance do so through the Red Cross.
That way we can appear superior even though we desperately need the relief money.

John
johnmeyer wrote on 9/10/2005, 7:24 PM
By the way, I read in a German paper today that German (an EU) donations and supplies are being turned back or 'hidden' because it would be considered bad PR to have relief packages from foreign countries

No, it isn't. But people that are predisposed to believe such nonsense will go ahead and believe it.
Coursedesign wrote on 9/10/2005, 7:37 PM
HOUSTON, Texas (CNN) -- Rather than fight a lawsuit by CNN, the federal government abandoned its effort Saturday to prevent the media from reporting on the recovery of the dead in New Orleans.

Regarding the rather enormous lines of international donor life saving crews and equipment on standby after more than a week, it's hard to say if it is because of our incompetent federal bureaucracy or for other reasons. I think most likely it is a combination of both.
johnmeyer wrote on 9/10/2005, 7:46 PM
all these lies told by Bush cronies ...

It is interesting how the word "lies" gets used as a key way to discredit Bush, despite the fact that the mainstream media (NY Times, Washington Post, the major TV networks) never report such statements as lies. If all these people were lying, then it would be major news, and it would be pretty clear to all of us that a major fraud was being committed.

Then, in response to a statement like the one I just made in the past paragraph, these same people try to defend their original contention by making up a story about how the press is completely on the administration's side and are in some way paid off or beholdin' to those in power.

Then when it is pointed out that in order for massive lies to go unreported over a period of years would require that hundreds of people in the media conspire to continuously cover up or under-report or ... oh geez ...

Give me (actually, give all of us) a break!

To everyone reading these posts, use not only your own judgement, but also common sense. For those who have a preference for science over superstition, Occam's Razor states that the simplest explanation is usually correct. Thus, the mental gymnastics required to accept these tortured and convoluted explanations for the obvious should be rejected.

Let's face it, except for a couple of rough days at the beginning, the response at all levels (local, state, federal, and volunteer) has been amazing and very effective, especially given the scale of the disaster. What is amazing to me is how people can continue to carp about some of the initial failures despite the fact that recovery is proceeding at a rapid rate. But then again, there are some people (actually, mostly the same people) that still spend their time fuming about how the 2000 election was "stolen." Exactly what all this negativity accomplishes is a total mystery to me.
johnmeyer wrote on 9/10/2005, 7:58 PM
Statement: "Yes. Right now the White House isn't officially accepting them in public. They are officially urging that the incredible number of countries that have offered assistance do so through the Red Cross."

Response: That way we can appear superior even though we desperately need the relief money. John

There is a very unhealthy negativity here. Again, as I stated previously in another part of this thread, the simpler explanation should prevail. Also, explanations that start with the assumption that everything done by the object of disdain has to be incompetent, fraudulent, or with some ulterior motive should also be rejected. Finally, I don't follow the logic as to how funnelling aid through the Red Cross makes any person or any country "appear superior."

The far more logical explanation is that the Red Cross can much more efficiently administer the type of relief aid that is being offered.

The federal government -- regardless of who is in charge -- consists of extremely large, inefficient bureaucracies. Good idea to avoid them, I would think.

Quick, name one U.S. Federal bureaucratic organization which, when the name is uttered, will make everyone think of the words "quick" or "efficient."

Time's up. There isn't one.
johnmeyer wrote on 9/10/2005, 8:07 PM
I'll have to discredit the lies in that article later ...

Lies. There's that word again. Go relax and have a beer. Do not turn on the TV, because all you are going to see is lies. I suggest instead watching a really funny movie. I would suggest:

Night At the Opera
Airplane!
What's Up Doc?
Rat Race (or its antecedent, It's a Mad, Mad, Mad World)


craftech wrote on 9/10/2005, 8:38 PM
Thanks John, those sound like good choices, but first I have to post what I have been working on for hours:

OK, Now for the second SET of lies which is a comprehensive misrepresentation of the truth:

“The official "City of New Orleans Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan" states that the mayor can call for a mandatory citywide evacuation, but the Louisiana governor alone is given the power to carry out the evacuation”


FALSE:
From the document the WashingtonTimes cited but wouldn’t link to:
Link


Either the Governor or the Mayor can call for a mandatory citywide evacuation. The MAYOR is empowered to carry it out:

“V. TASKS

A. Mayor

* Initiate the evacuation.

* Retain overall control of all evacuation procedures via EOC operations.

* Authorize return to evacuated areas. “


“The plan does not say how such an evacuation should be executed, but states that a full evacuation of the city would take 72 hours, and that the city knows that there are "approximately 100,000 citizens of New Orleans [who] do not have means of personal transportation."

FALSE:

Link

“the City of New Orleans has established a maximum acceptable hurricane evacuation time standard for A CATEGORY 3 storm event of 72 hours.”


“The guidelines of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which has little jurisdiction to act on its own but is designed to work with local authorities, suggests that local evacuation plans "coordinate the use of school buses and drivers to support evacuation efforts."

FALSE: I already spelled this out above, but I will elaborate further.

I’ll give you a short timeline:
Friday August 26: GOV Blanco delared a state of emergency

Same day the Gulf Coast States asked for additional forces.

Saturday August 27:
The Hurricane was upgraded to a category 3. So Governor Blanco asked Bush to declare a federal state of emergency.
““I have determined that this incident is of such severity and magnitude that effective response is beyond the capabilities of the State and affected local governments, and that supplementary Federal assistance is necessary to save lives, protect property, public health, and safety, or to lessen or avert the threat of a disaster.”

Link

That same day The White House declared a Federal Emergency. “Specifically, FEMA is authorized to identify, mobilize, and provide at its discretion, equipment and resources necessary to alleviate the impacts of the emergency.”
Link.

Sunday August 28:
Katrina upgraded to Category 4, then Category 5. Local newspapers start warning about levees possibly breaking. “Forecasters Fear Levees Won’t Hold Katrina”: “Forecasters feared Sunday afternoon that storm driven waters will lap over the New Orleans levees when monster Hurricane Katrina pushes past the Crescent City tomorrow.”
Link.

Mayor Nagin issued the first ever mandatory evacuation of the City of New Orleans. “We’re facing the storm most of us have feared,” said Nagin. “This is going to be an unprecedented event.”
Link.

NWS issues warning “In the event of a category 4 or 5 hit, “Most of the area will be uninhabitable for weeks, perhaps longer. … At least one-half of well-constructed homes will have roof and wall failure. All gabled roofs will fail, leaving those homes severely damaged or destroyed. … Power outages will last for weeks. … Water shortages will make human suffering incredible by modern standards.”
Link

Brown, Chertoff, and Bush warned of potential levee failure by National Hurricane Center Director. Dr. Max Mayfield, director of the National Hurricane Center: “‘We were briefing them way before landfall. … It’s not like this was a surprise. We had in the advisories that the levee could be topped.”
Link

Later that day water was already washing over the levees Link

36,000 evacuees arrive at designated shelter (Superdome) Link

Monday August 29:
Katrina hits coast as a Category 4. Mayor Nagin told NBC on the Today show that water was washing over the levee.
President Bush participates in conversation on Medicare and takes photo-op with the elderly. Speaks to Chertoff about “immigration”
Link.

Later that morning Bush and Senator John McCain share a photo-op with John’s birthday cake. Link

Michael Brown (Head of FEMA) finally requests 1000 employees from Chertoff at DHS to go to the region. He allowed TWO days for them to get there. Link

Close to noon that day the levee started to give way: Link

That occurred at around the same time Bush arrived at the Pueblo El Mirage RV Resort and Country Club to tout his Medicare Drug Benefit to the seniors.
Link

Later that day Bush made another trip to California for the same reason.
Link

Tuesday August 30:
Bush goes to a navy base to talk about Iraq. Link.

Michael Chertoff finally finds out that the Levee had broken
Link

The Pentagon insists there are enough troops in the region. Link


“The looting is out of control. The French Quarter has been attacked,” Councilwoman Jackie Clarkson said. “We’re using exhausted, scarce police to control looting when they should be used for search and rescue while we still have people on rooftops.”
Link

“The USS Bataan, a 844-foot ship designed to dispatch Marines in amphibious assaults, has helicopters, doctors, hospital beds, food and water. It also can make its own water, up to 100,000 gallons a day. And it just happened to be in the Gulf of Mexico when Katrina came roaring ashore. The Bataan rode out the storm and then followed it toward shore, awaiting relief orders. Helicopter pilots flying from its deck were some of the first to begin plucking stranded New Orleans residents. But now the Bataan’s hospital facilities, including six operating rooms and beds for 600 patients, are empty.”
Link

Wednesday August 31:
“A 2-year-old girl slept in a pool of urine. Crack vials littered a restroom. Blood stained the walls next to vending machines smashed by teenagers. ‘We pee on the floor. We are like animals,’ said Taffany Smith, 25, as she cradled her 3-week-old son, Terry. … By Wednesday, it had degenerated into horror. … At least two people, including a child, have been raped. At least three people have died, including one man who jumped 50 feet to his death, saying he had nothing left to live for. There is no sanitation. The stench is overwhelming.”"
Link


Bush says on Tuesday he will “fly to Washington to begin work…with a task force that will coordinate the work of 14 federal agencies involved in the relief effort.”
Link

“Director Walter Maestri: FEMA and national agencies not delivering the help nearly as fast as it is needed.”
Link

Former Mayor Sidney Barthelemy “estimated 80,000 were trapped in the flooded city and urged President Bush to send more troops.”
Link

“With 3,000 or more evacuees stranded at the convention center — and with no apparent contingency plan or authority to deal with them — collecting a body was no one’s priority. … Some had been at the convention center since Tuesday morning but had received no food, water or instructions.”
Link

“After a natural disaster, short and long-term medical problems can occur. Diseases like cholera, typhoid, hepatitis and mosquito-borne illnesses tend to break out under these conditions.”
Link

That afternoon Bush finally addressed the nation regarding Katrina:
“Nothing about the president’s demeanor… — which seemed casual to the point of carelessness — suggested that he understood the depth of the current crisis.”
Link

Thursday September 1:
With still no command and control established Mayor Nagin declared to the Federal government:
“This is a desperate SOS. Right now we are out of resources at the convention centre and don’t anticipate enough buses. We need buses. Currently the convention centre is unsanitary and unsafe and we’re running out of supplies.”
Link

Michael Brown (Head of FEMA) “I’ve had no reports of unrest, if the connotation of the word unrest means that people are beginning to riot, or you know, they’re banging on walls and screaming and hollering or burning tires or whatever. I’ve had no reports of that.”
Link

“Storm victims were raped and beaten, fights and fires broke out, corpses lay out in the open, and rescue helicopters and law enforcement officers were shot at as flooded-out New Orleans descended into anarchy Thursday. ‘This is a desperate SOS,’ the mayor said.”
Link

Michael Brown says he just heard about evacuees in the convention center. “We learned about that (Thursday), so I have directed that we have all available resources to get that convention center to make sure that they have the food and water and medical care that they need.” Link

Friday Sept 2:
The White House plan to shift the blame to the local and state government with the help of the media begins.
Link

A September 5 Los Angeles Times article quoted former FEMA chief of staff Jane Bullock saying that "[t]he moment the president declared a federal disaster [on Aug 29], it became a federal responsibility. ... The federal government took ownership over the response." Moreover, DHS' own website declares that DHS "will assume primary responsibility on March 1st [2005] for ensuring that emergency response professionals are prepared for any situation. This will entail providing a coordinated, comprehensive federal response to any large-scale crisis and mounting a swift and effective recovery effort."
Link

So the statement that “The guidelines of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which has little jurisdiction to act on its own…..” is an outright lie. The Emergency Response Plan of the Office of Homeland Security states that:

"catastrophic events," such as what occurred in New Orleans, call for heightened and "proactive" federal involvement to manage the disaster. The response plan listed "guiding principles" to govern the response to these major events. The "Guiding Principles for Proactive Federal Response" make clear that, in these "catastrophic" cases, the federal government will operate independently to provide assistance, rather than simply supporting or cajoling state authorities:
 The primary mission is to save lives; protect critical infrastructure, property, and the environment; contain the event; and preserve national security.
 Standard procedures regarding requests for assistance may be expedited or, under extreme circumstances, suspended in the immediate aftermath of an event of catastrophic magnitude.
 Identified Federal response resources will deploy and begin necessary operations as required to commence life-safety activities.
 Notification and full coordination with States will occur, but the coordination process must not delay or impede the rapid deployment and use of critical resources. States are urged to notify and coordinate with local governments regarding a proactive Federal response.
 State and local governments are encouraged to conduct collaborative planning with the Federal Government as a part of "steady-state" preparedness for catastrophic incidents."
The NRP also says that, when responding to a catastrophic incident, the federal government should start emergency operations even in the absence of clear assessment of the situation. "A detailed and credible common operating picture may not be achievable for 24 to 48 hours (or longer) after the incident," the NRP's "Catastrophic Annex" states. "As a result, response activities must begin without the benefit of a detailed or complete situation and critical needs assessment."

Link

Link

Tomorrow on CNN Wolf Blitzer will detail what went wrong in a special at 11:00 AM. Tune in and watch him shift the blame onto the governor and the mayor. I will be surprised if he reveals any of what I cited above in his usual spin for the Bush administration dialog.

John

Now it's off to see "What's Up Doc"

That's All Folks!

craftech wrote on 9/10/2005, 9:01 PM
Yes. Right now the White House isn't officially accepting them in public. They are officially urging that the incredible number of countries that have offered assistance do so through the Red Cross.
That way we can appear superior even though we desperately need the relief money.
==========
I didn't research this enough. The White House apparently changed it's tone regarding donations since last week. Last week it was printed in several sources:

Sept 1:

"Accustomed to being a rich donor rather than on the receiving end of charity, the United States initially seemed reticent about accepting foreign aid, but later said it would take up any offers. The hurricane devastated New Orleans and other parts of the U.S. Gulf Coast, killing hundreds and possibly thousands."

Reuters

Sept 4.

"The state-run Qatar News Agency said Saturday that Qatar's emir, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, decided to contribute that amount for relief "and humanitarian supplies for the victims of this disaster."

The U.S. government has received offers of support from dozens of nations across the globe.

As of Friday, the White House had not accepted any offers, but Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said the State Department was "working very closely with the Department of Homeland Security to match up what is available with what is needed."

There was no immediate word whether the United States would take Qatar up on its offer. "

CNN

Sept 8:

More than 95 countries have come forward with offers, and so far 48 have been accepted. In addition to pledges from the oil-rich Middle East, donors also include some of the world's poorest economies, including Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, and Djibouti.

The US government immediately accepted all cash donations, which are easy to process. So far, that amount totals about $350 million. The funds were being channeled to the State Department, USAID, and the initiative set up by Presidents Bill Clinton and George H. W. Bush, Thomas said. Other countries opted to donate directly to the Red Crescent or the Red Cross.

The US government has also given the go-ahead for food aid from Thailand, medical supplies from Taiwan, baby clothes from Mexico, high-speed water pumps from Germany, first aid kits from Israel, and levee specialists from the Netherlands.



Boston Globe


John

Logan5 wrote on 9/10/2005, 10:35 PM
3 Strikes and you’re out.

1. Mayor (local government) Failed to evacuate the city.
2. The State government (Governor) failed the people in the superdome.
3. The Federal Gov. / FEMA waited way too long to take full military action (national guard & active duty) with or without the governors relinquishing of control to the Feds.


Wish one of them would of hit the ball.
alfredsvideo wrote on 9/11/2005, 12:04 AM
The best way the whole world can help, is for all Coalition of the Willing countries to withdraw their forces from Iraq and send them to all those states that have been affected by the hurricane.
johnmeyer wrote on 9/11/2005, 12:51 AM
That's a long post. But, what the heck is the point of it all?

How can any organization -- corporate, non-profit, military, or government -- function if it has to withstand critiques on an hour-by-hour basis? Let's face it, boys and girls, not everything any person or group attempts to do produces exactly the desired results. This is true even if the same thing worked previously in another situation. Thus, there are going to be unexpected problems and failures. If each of those failures is used as an excuse to fire the leaders, castigate the people doing the work, and brand the whole operation a failure, then nothing will ever get done.

This is defeatism.

News flash to those that aren't paying attention to the big picture: The three state area is being cleaned up. Flood waters are being pumped out. Refugees ("displaced persons," for those who insist on following the latest political-correctness protocols) are being housed, fed, schooled, and given -- in some instances -- the options of job re-training, all in less than two weeks since the storm hit.

Some people are so amazingly consumed with pinpointing the few things that went wrong that they can't seem to back away and see the bigger picture which, if they could, clearly shows a success story of major magnitude.

If the attitudes expressed in some of the posts in this thread had prevailed during WWII, these same people would have doubtless focused exclusively on the fact that 10,000 allied soldiers (and 5,000- 8,000 Germans) were killed in one day (D-Day), many of them because the landing crafts opened too early, putting soldiers into deep water which, with their heavy packs and ammunition, drowned them.

Horrific planning! Faulty equipment! Improper training! Eisenhower has to take the blame! He's covering up!

You get the idea.

The fact that D-Day was one of the most massive and daring military operations in modern history, and that it changed the course of the war would probably not get mentioned.

This is the D-Day of modern relief efforts and has been remarkably successful, when viewed from the same perspective I just described.

johnmeyer wrote on 9/11/2005, 1:07 AM
The best way the whole world can help, is for all Coalition of the Willing countries to withdraw their forces from Iraq and send them to all those states that have been affected by the hurricane.

What connection does Iraq have to do with the hurricane? None. The two are completely independent, unrelated issues.

The U.S. has approximate 1,500,000 troops worldwide. There are 138,000 troops in Iraq. If you think that more military people are needed for relief efforts, it would be far easier and less costly to use some of the 1,168,195 troops stationed within the U.S. borders rather than re-deploy those troops and all their equipment, that has been moved into place on foreign soil. Thus, trying to politicize the relief efforts produces non-rational thinking.

I have no problem with wanting to get out of Iraq -- I was against going in in the first place. But please don't jeopardize the relief efforts by continuing to de-focus our elected representatives by trying to link Iraq and hurricane relief.. You are playing politics with the lives of people (the hurricane victims) who are in a precarious position. They deserve better.
alexz wrote on 9/11/2005, 1:29 AM
Dear Johnmeyer,

"the simplest explanation is usually correct"
Uhh ...
Bush went to war in Iraq for oil.
The 2000 Election was stolen in 2000.

These both appear to conform to your own definition. Of the 100s of Americans I've met travelling, working, or serving in Europe since 2000, I've never, ever met one who admitted to having voted for Bush. Strange, huh? And, I'd also call the justification for the recent war - the amazing dissapearing WMDs - a fairly major fraud.

What I mean about the food packages is, has anyone actually seen footage to contradict this report, or is there visible media presence of other countries' participation in the relief efforts?

And, by the way, it's "beholden".

Alexz

risce1 wrote on 9/11/2005, 6:24 AM
Wow, craftech, that was a ton of research, I havent done that much research since preparing for my fantasy football draft.......which by the way the draft party raised a nice sum of money for the redcross.
RichMacDonald wrote on 9/11/2005, 7:07 AM
>>By the way, I read in a German paper today that German (an EU) donations and supplies are being turned back or 'hidden' because it would be considered bad PR to have relief packages from foreign countries appear on TV. Is that true?

>No, it isn't. But people that are predisposed to believe such nonsense will go ahead and believe it.

John, some of it is not nonsense. The Swedes, for one, have had a plane ready since the early days and may be still waiting for clearance. Washington Post story link, but verified elsewhereI heard one of the Swedes being interviewed on NPR.
alexz wrote on 9/11/2005, 8:38 AM
Dear JohnMeyer:

It seems like we've come full circle – the opening questions have been addressed too.

By way of example:
"... just what is the world doing to help the people affected by the hurricane?"

Everyone one on this thread seems to agree that help is being offered by many countries: the form it's taking and the media coverage thereof seems contentious as you yourself stated:

"We all need to be very, very careful how we consume the media reports about this horrific event."


The relevance of Iraq in all this is much more evident than your own reference to WWII. Funds and resources are being diverted to a war that most US and other world citizens do not want or really understand – and which is killing a LOT of innocent Iraqis. Had these funds and resouces been diverted to A) prevention measures in the 3 states and B) to reinforce rescue and support organisations, the relief efforts would have been made easier.


The majority of these posts seem very constructive – there can be said to be little defeatism in engaging in debate.
Forgive me if I turn out to be wrong, but this threatens to be the worst US natural disaster in recent times as far as loss of life is concerned – and it can only be good for the US if it causes the Government and authorities at least a little discomfort and embarrasment. It is (at best) embarrasing that more has not been done, and more quickly.
Remember that the pre-emptive invasion policy as excercised in Iraq was a 'preventative measure'? Well why not preventative measures to protect people from a more tangible threat? Yes, people around the world are a bit sick of all this global-policing, (proxy-)wars, agent orange, nuclear bombs, CIA double-dealing with dictators, you-name-it ... from Vietnam through Nicaragua to Iraq ... and who knows where from there. But I'll bet that more sick than anyone are the people who've been left to rot in the southern states for the last 50 years, because with a tenth of these resources, a good infastructure of education, social improvement, job creation and health care could have been introduced so that the entire region could measure up to the richest states in the union.
If you say that's not true – well, it's defeatism. It could at least be tried.

Today I saw a BBC journalist harrassing an official on the news – they were standing beside a corpse that was lying on the road next to a convoy of police and military vehichles. He asked the official why the body was still lying there – because he'd seen it there 5 days ago and it was still there, and many other people must've seen it too. It was really sad and disturbing.
It's no wonder people are asking so many questions, because a scene like that just doesn't add up. As I mentioned before, most of the PR sent out of the US shows glossy people with glossy cars, big houses, superheroes saving the world – the whole hollywood ending thing. Most people outside America NEVER see scenes like the ones that are now being broadcast. And I'd add that many have been people shocked now they've see the state of poverty that existed before Katrina down south. Like I say, it just doesn't add up, and it'll leave viewers of the next Hollywood flag-waver with a bitter taste in their mouths – particularly the unseen, unheard victims of Katrina.
You're right to say that this issue should not be about political persuasion, but infortunately politicians are slow learners and then tend to react most effectively when threatened with losing power. If Katrina exacts a high political price it might just sink in that the citizens served by the Government are not just cannon and voting fodder – at least not in a true democracy.

BTW: It's really amazing how involved people are here. To do all this research and stuff is pretty impressive. I've seen some really vicious, ugly forums over the years, but it's a pleasure to be part of this one.