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September 01, 2005

US won't accept hurricane relief from Canada

Kos reports that the US is refusing Canadian aid for Katrina and the flood.

A specialized urban search and rescue team from Vancouver will be joining the rescue efforts in Louisiana in the wake of hurricane Katrina.

B.C. Solicitor General John Les said the province decided to send Vancouver Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) after officials in Louisiana asked for help.

"We're the first non-U.S.-based team to be requested," said Les. "They're going to be helping as many people as they can."

CTV Vancouver has learned that the team will board a plane Wednesday night heading to Lafayette, Louisiana, where local authorities will direct them to devastated areas. [CTV News]

Not so fast, elite Canadian rescuers! You can't just fly down here and start saving lives, not while the Department of Homeland Security's in charge.

On tonight's news, CTV (Canadian TV) said that support was offered from Canada. Planes are ready to load with food and medical supplies and a system called "DART" which can provide fresh water and medical supplies is standing by. Department of Homeland Security as well as other U.S. agencies were contacted by the Canadian government requesting permission to provide help. Despite this contact, Canada has not been allowed to fly supplies and personnel to the areas hit by Katrina. So, everything here is grounded. Prime Minister Paul Martin is reportedly trying to speak to President Bush tonight or tomorrow to ask him why the U.S. federal government will not allow aid from Canada into Louisiana and Mississippi. That said, the Canadian Red Cross is reportedly allowed into the area.

Canadian agencies are saying that foreign aid is probably not being permitted into Louisiana and Mississippi because of "mass confusion" at the U.S. federal level in the wake of the storm.

A Kos commenter describes the Vancouver Urban Search Rescue Team:

The Vancouver Urban Search and Rescue team is one of the best trained and qualified rescue teams in the world for land or water. They were at 9/11, and the earthquakes in both Iran and Turkey.

The team was originally modeled after the US FEMA 62 member model (under the Clinton adm. & James Lee Witt)

The officials in Louisiana requested their help and Bush's Homeland Security won't allow them into the US --- WTF!!

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Comments

While the MSM talking heads are all asking "why with a weeks worth of warning didn't the people evacuate" they don't seem to be asking why all of the emergency supplies, assistance teams, and naval vessels waited until after the storm to begin loading and moving.

Many of the vesels talked about are on the eastern seaboard in Virginia and NC. They won't get into place for another four days. The storm had already passed them by when it crossed over Florida.

Four days is a long time when people don't have food water, medicine. Life saving turns into "bag and tag" operations far too quickly.

I was also supposed to let you know that Wordlackey sent me here.

Is it simplistic enough to say that I hate Bush with a purple passion?

Jebus, if Aruba had pulled the same BS with Equusearch (looking for 1 person) you can bet there would have been serious outrage from this country (especially the folks at Faux News and probably W himself). What a friggen crock!

Mudkitty, I prefer to say that I hate him with the fire of a thousand suns. But that's just me - I really don't like Bush!

And is this really a surprise? The Bush administration hasn't been prepared for a damn thing except rigging elections in the last five years. Why would they get their shit together now?

Bush doesn't care about Americans any more than he cares about Southeast Asians or Middle Easterners or the French. If you didn't give him a campaign contribution, you're of no use to him.

The right is very fond of thinking of Bush as a tool of God. Apparently his purpose is to bring about the End of Days, and I'm not referring to the crappy movie.

I bet you a crisp 100$ that Rove nixed the deployment because it makes the Administration look weak. You know having to rely on foreigners? Well that's down right un American. I mean we just sent Bolton to the UN to tell the World to F*** Off, we can't go looking weak by accepting aid now can we? It wouldn't be the conservative thing to do now, would it?


The Japanese did a similar rejection with Swiss rescue groups after the Kobe earthquake 10 years ago. The earthquake was like an x-ray for everything that was wrong with the country and more or less confirmed that the wheels had fallen off things. Government indecisiveness, uncertainy of the role of troops, and a swathe of corrupt second rate construction jobs uncovered. I'd be watching this very carefully.

" The right is very fond of thinking of Bush as a tool of God."

Actually I just think of him as a tool. If there is a god involved with him... I'd have ask which one?

Absolutely insane. I have no words. None.

The Superpower has no clothes. What good is having the best military in the world if you can't value and protect ALL your own citizens. I can tell you one thing, you may hate President Castro, but this would never have happened in CUBA as impovrished as it is.

Cafferty on CNN lost it big time a few minutes ago after they reported that the Mayor of NOLA put out an urgent SOS for the 15,000 to 20,000 people stuck at the Convention center.

The MAyor said that they were out of resources, it was unsafe, and unsanitary. He was calling for buses and supplies to get the people out. He said that they were marching up the street to an on ramp to a highway to get them out of their and appealling for buses and aid to meet them.

Cafferty lost it and ranted about why couldn't helicopters have just dropped food and water to them like they do in Afghanistan and Iraq. Four days have elapsed and there is no help to these people yet.

Perhaps the Bush administration is worried that Canadian rescuers might start talking up the virtues of national health care!

"Shock and Awe," went around and came around packed with fury! To go to the oft' quoted Book, "sowed the wind and reaping the whirlwind!" I think the literal whirlwind of Katrina's catastrophic force is meant to shut-up those whose "god is their might" since no earthly force can pull that off in so few hours. Whatever you call The Almighty under these dire circumstances - Mother Nature, Karmic Forces of the Universe, The Evolution of Life, Indignant Creator,... - someone and/or something is seriously disturbed. Somebody please cordon off the oval office occupant in a safe bunker somewhere before he invites anymore destruction upon us all!

Uh, the hurricane was a natural disaster, the flood wasn't.

The flood was unintelligent design!

My Mom lives in Vancouver. She said she heard an interview on local radio tonight with a member of the Vancouver USAR team -- he was in New Orleans. So apparently they (eventually) made it through. I will try to find a corroborating link.

Actually I just think of him as a tool. If there is a god involved with him... I'd have ask which one?

That would be Sterculius, the Roman God of Feces.

i think karl rove planned the hurricane in order to embarrass governor kathleen blanco (dem), senator mary landrieu (dem) and mayor ray nagin (dem)
we know how close rove is with big oil and the oil nazis obviously control the weather.

duffer--

The Bush administration had responsibility to shore up the levies. They were warned about the danger of catastrophe as early as 2001. The hurricane was bad and unavoidable, and the Bush administration's lack of response would have caused some avoidable suffering in any case. It was the failure to maintain the levies, though, that led to the devestation we're now seeing.

Also, despite 4 years of planning and shuffling the roles of various agencies, it's clear that Bush failed to put in place an adequate response strategy to a natural or terrorist catastrophe. But hey, he got his war, his reelection, and the tax breaks for his pals, so I guess we have to count his presidency as a resounding success.

Duffer,

You must be very impressed at the way your boy Bush has handled this crisis so far. Really, his leadership has been impeccable, every step of the way.

Duffer...

The truth is coming out regardless of trolls like you and Bush failed the test big time.

Here is another piece of the puzzle... Andrea Mitchell on MSNBC just talked about accountability and the questions being hurled at the President.

She announced that not only was this assessed as one of three nightmare scenarios by FEMA in 2001, and the funding to complete the levees was cut for the war in Iraq, but a cabinet member of Bush's pleaded to restore flood control dollars to the Army Corp of Engineers budget and... "Bush said it was pork and fired him."

See the lying and disinformation spinsters are out in force. Sorry the facts don't back you up. Explain how Bush is responsible for a problem that's been an issue for more than one hundred years. The decision to build structures that would only withstand a Cat 3 was made decades ago. And, Clinton also slashed funding, falling well short of the amount requested. I can't really blame him since NO is notoriously corrupt. Throwing money at any LA project=tossing a ton in the crapper. And how many meterologists have to state that global warming isn't resulting in more hurricanes for you to believe it?

And, people have got to take responsibility for their own irresponsibility. I've lost count now the number of people who, when asked, admit they chose to stay and ride out the storm. Look closely at the images of people being plucked from rooftops-there are cars visible everywhere-albeit under water. And did you get a load of the woman screaming yesterday that the MRE's she was provided were 'disgusting' and refused to eat them? The real victims, the elderly and disabled and children should and could have been evacuated days before the storm. Aerial photos show literally hundreds of school buses, lying unused under water. Their care was the responsibility of the city and state officials-and they failed miserably.

The director of FEMA said Wednesday that he had just learned of the extent of the problem. FEMA reports to Bush. Bush actually showed a hell of alot more foresight than the LA government. He declared the whole state a disaster zone BEFORE the storm even hit. This statement made massive funds available from the get go. Only, the locals, through incompetence/ignorance from failed communications had every opportunity to help. It wasn't Bush that sent them to the SUperdome with no food. It wasn't Bush that didn't provide any security. And, it sure as hell wasn't Bush who abandoned the Superdome altogether. Where were the NO police? I saw a few allowing looters to do their thing. Where were the rest? Where was the fire dept? Where was the mayor? Instead of giving inchoherent radio interviews, why wasn't playing the part of Rudolph Guiliani-taking a leadership role and providing support. All he's done is deflect blame and point fingers. He should have been answering questions like why the police didn't forcibly remove people the way they did in Florida BEFORE the storm hit. And, a NOLA official was on CNN praising the Navy for their quick response in assisting people from their roofs, as early as Tuesday. Who the hell do you think ordered that? Bush. Now, this from the Chicagotrib...

WASHINGTON -- The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said Thursday that a lack of funding for hurricane-protection projects around New Orleans did not contribute to the disastrous flooding that followed Hurricane Katrina.

In a telephone interview with reporters, corps officials said that although portions of the flood-protection levees remain incomplete, the levees near Lake Pontchartrain that gave way--inundating much of the city--were completed and in good condition before the hurricane.

However, they noted that the levees were designed for a Category 3 hurricane and couldn't handle the ferocious winds and raging waters from Hurricane Katrina, which was a Category 4 storm when it hit the coastline. The decision to build levees for a Category 3 hurricane was made decades ago based on a cost-benefit analysis.

"I don't see that the level of funding was really a contributing factor in this case," said Lt. Gen. Carl Strock, chief of engineers for the corps. "Had this project been fully complete, it is my opinion that based on the intensity of this storm that the flooding of the business district and the French Quarter would have still taken place."

Strock also denied that escalating costs from the war in Iraq contributed to reductions in funding for hurricane projects in Louisiana, as some critics have suggested.
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/chi-050901corps,1,7189346.story?coll=chi-news-hed&ctrack=1&cset=true

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