Just to make things clear, I blame Bush (dubya) and his politically appointed cronies for the situation in NOLA.
It’s a horrible situation that while not completely avoidable could have been handled differently beginning with preparations that should have begun years ago.
The question that’s been growing in my mind since 9/11 is "are we slowly and inexoribly moving towards a complete police state under Bush?" For that matter, has this been happening for decades and I just haven’t noticed? To me it seems that the we really started to lose our basic rights with the creation of Homeland Security.
From border checks to cameras going up in public places to digital ID cards we are slowly having a blanket thrown over us and it shows up no better to me than how the victims of Katrina are being treated.
There are looters with weapons. Sure, but the assumption shouldn’t be that every American in NOLA is a looter and that "they" should go in with guns drawn. It should be that every American in NOLA is a good American that just needs help in a bad situation and that "they" should go in ready to help. There’s a very different attitude between those two assumptions. One assigns rights to a person from the outset and the other takes them away without any legitimate reason.
There are a huge number of examples of the way officials are treating the victims and the press but here are a few. Take some time to take a look. And definitely follow the links from these stories.
The situation will certainly change as time goes on but this FAQ post from the Red Cross is interesting, as taken from their web site
to New Orleans is controlled by the National Guard and local authorities and while we are in constant contact with them, we simply cannot enter New Orleans against their orders.
- The state Homeland Security Department had requested–and continues to request–that the American Red Cross not come back into New Orleans following the hurricane. Our presence would keep people from evacuating and encourage others to come into the city.
We have American citizens being treated like criminals. We have political appointees making decisions for their own benefit. This is nothing new but what’s new to me is the brazen way the Bush administration goes about it. They just don’t care what we think and if you question their methods or goals they accuse you of being unpatriotic. Citizens are being herded into camps without any word on what their ultimate fate will be. Will they be involved in the rebuilding of their city (however foolish that might be)? Or will they be pushed aside in favor of big business taking over?
Is it possible that the Corps blew up some portion of the levy system in order to save the more affluent parts of NOLA? It’s possible that part of the levy was blown up as shown by history but I hope it didn’t happen the way some of the survivors think. Hopefully what they heard were transformers blowing during the hurricane. I know, this doesn’t immediately seem related to the rest of the post, but several evacuees have claimed that "they" blew up the levies knowing that thousands of poor would be affected.