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September 02, 2005

Homeland Security caves to common sense

The good news: Someone let the elite Canadian rescuers in...

B.C. rescue team describes chaos in Lousiana. [CTV]

The bad news: By the time Vancouver's heavy Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) reached the disaster zone, even they weren't prepared to operate in prevailing security situation...

A Canadian search and rescue team in Louisiana says conditions on the ground are so dangerous, it has to wait for order to restore before they can get to work in the devastated hurricane region.

British Columbia's Heavy Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) left for Lafayette, La. Wednesday night after being asked by state officials for assistance. [CTV]

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Comments

Can't say that I blame them. There are reports that some NOLA police officers have begun turning in their badges because they've lost their homes and everything they had.

They feel that their lives are all that is left to them and its not worth dying at the hands of snipers. The slow Federal response has enraged the survivors, the Mayor, and it has emboldened all of the criminal elements.

The TV images looked like they were out of a Mad Max movie last night.

Ever try to help a 2 yr old put on his shoes?

"NO!! Georgie do it! Georgie do it!"

He did the same thing after 9/11 when everyone offered help in Afghanistan. Now that King George has finally decided that the people of New Orleans need all the help they can get, chaos has set in, and it's too late.

Can you imagine ANY president dithering this long in the face of disaster? Would Reagan, George Sr., or Nixon have stayed on vacation as New Orleans was erased? Would Carter or Clinton allow the 4th Brigade of the 10th Mountain Division to twiddle their thumbs in Ft. Polk, LA, while people clung to rooftops and armed bandits roamed the streets? Would John Kerry have waited so long to dispatch ships to help alleviate the suffering (the U.S.S. Comfort will leave Baltimore today and arrive on the 6th)?

It's just incredible. Think how many Americans were nearly saved by a single pretzel.

[A view from abroad]

I'm probably not the first to make a point like this, but ... once again it's not the immediate disaster but the collapse of civil society around it that's the problem: we've seen this sort of thing with floods in Bangladesh, civil war in Sierra Leone, the Bosnian refugee crisis ... but in the USA? For those of us who love your country from afar, it's almost unbelievable that this could happen.

History repeats itself.

Mark--

The USA has become a lot more of a third world country than most are willing to believe. Every once in awhile, an event or a shocking statistic exposes the decayed foundation that holds up the modern American edifice. Think of Russia in the 1850s. Still quite rich and powerful, but rapidly falling into disrepair and hampered by a descent into ideological backwardness. Happily, we still have free elections, so there is good reason to hope that we can turn things around.

Note to all: Yes, I do recognize that the elections aren't perfect. However, we still have the opportunity to force our government to change course.

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