Friday, September 02, 2005

Turning Point

I have been unable to draw myself away from MSNBC.com and CNN.com, switching back and forth, and in the mornings, watching MSNBC, CNN and even FOX NEWS when the other two are on commercial breaks.

I think today has been a turning point in the Katrina crisis. As with all things, I think the hardest part has been communication. It wasn't like this morning all those trucks with food just materialized. I think when people said "We're working on it," they were actually working on it. It's just more difficult than we can imagine, more complicated, more everything.

That's not to say that it really seems like the initial response was really blown.

It seems like someone should have set up a command center immediately, even if it was just a trailer and a spokesperson, just so that there could be the perception that things were moving forward. I think that was the biggest problem, that other than rescues, so much of the trying to get there issues were largely invisible.

But, finally, trucks are arriving with relief and the soldiers with the weapons are being told to take a less defensive position against those starving and dieing. Not to say that the quote from the governor was amazing when they suggested that many national guardsman were fresh from Iraq with a real proficiency in killing and that they probably would use those skills again here. It sucks to hear of Americans killing Americans, but I guess the looters are already doing that.

I also cringe every time I see a section of town with water up to the roofs, at how many roofs are intact. How many of those attics have floating bodies in them, people who thought the water would stop rising, or who were unable to break through the roofs before succumbing to the water?

The hospitals are being evacuated and the airport is being used as a military field hospital where they're treating 800 people an hour, in some cases "black tagging" them the way they do during war -- people who are alive, but who will die without being seen because the time needed to save them could be used to save several other people instead. It's awful that they must chose.

I wish I could go and help with the cleanup or something. I saw one guy who drove down from another state and was put to work meeting helicopters. He would carry kids, hug people, provide instruction on where they were supposed to go. That sounds like a job I could do.
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