Monday, September 05, 2005
This weekend, I've been blogging for Katrina. Since this blog is primarily about fraud, I've tried to cover issues relevant to the subject matter I write about. Since most of the fraud is yet to come, I'm stepping outside my normal subject matter for the time being.
Please note until the people are safe, we should be focused on that task. There is nothing more important than people. Even before we are very far in this crisis (which took a large public outcry to speed up government resources) when history is written, many opportunities will be revealed.
As a former Marine, I kept expecting to see the Marines from Camp Lejeune, as well as, the 82nd Airborne from Fort Bragg dispatched to deal with this crisis. Having been stationed at Camp Lejeune and having done joint exercises with the 82nd Airborne, I am acutely aware that they probably could have had their lead elements in place within hours.
Several days into it, after a lot of public outcry, our Commander in Chief dispatched these elements (along with sister elements from Kentucky and California) and guess what? Their lead elements were in place within a few hours. If we were having problems mobilizing the National Guard, which isn't intended to be a "force in readiness", other options should have been considered.
Perhaps fewer would have been murdered and raped if they knew they were going to face an armed Soldier, or Marine? After all, the individuals, who took advantage of the confusion and mayhem, were not the heroes and in fact, I would deem them low-life cowards. There is no doubt that the people in certain areas in the aftermath of Katrina faced situations that parallel any combat situation, we have faced in recent history.
This isn't meant to downplay the brave men and women in the thick of the crisis, who tried to do their best in spite of the overwhelming odds. They performed in an admirable manner and deserve the respect and thanks of the nation for their efforts. I would vote to recognize the Coast Guard, who are some of the real heroes who came out of this. They set all time records, worked without rest and saved a lot of people in spite of odds that were against them. There are other people that need recognition also. This includes the doctors, nurses, fire fighters, police, private citizens and other emergency personnel that didn't evacuate to save human lives.
There were a lot of good people on the ground and they had to been wondering when their relief would arrive.
We cannot change history and we must remain focused on dealing with the human perspective of this crisis, but at a later date, we will need to learn from our mistakes. Perhaps, the politically correct society, where every job is segmented and restricted is to blame? There are many saying that there were too many chiefs, with differing views of their responsibility and no one wanted to step on each other's toes? This is a sad commentary on our society today and at some point, we must deal with it. In any crisis, the keywords must be improvisation and adaptation if we are to emerge in a good light.
Some are also saying that our lack of response was due to racism. While possible, I would offer a opinion that it in the end, it probably had more to do with their financial status, or that they were poor. Sadly, money talks in our society and it can do wonders for those who have it, no matter what race they are. Whether it was racisim, money or a combination of the two, this is sonething that most Americans do not tolerate and isn't in the nature of our collective being.
About four hours ago, Senator Hillary Clinton called for a Katrina Commission. I would call for all our politicians to join her in a bipartisan effort to examine and evaluate what went wrong in this crisis. In the world that we live in today, our very survival might depend on it. Now is the time to forget our differences and focus on our similarities, which is that we are all Americans and part of what many consider the greatest society today.
After all, might the established protocols (based on bickering and pettiness) have caused the failures exposed in the Katrina crisis? Bashing each other (depending on which end of the political area we are on) will solve nothing and will only lead to further breakdowns, which will prevent us from learning from our mistakes.