September 2, 2005

Gen. Honore finally "makes it happen."

As referenced by Mayor Nagin in his stirring radio interview, one of the military commanders, Gen. Russel Honore, has apparently been successful in kicking some butt, shaking people back to reality and lighting a fire under their asses.

Sometimes in life, "Just Do It" is more than just a ubiquitous slogan for Nike. Sometimes you need to grab the bull by the horns and, to use another annoying catch phrase these days, get 'er done. You don't fret, you don't worry, you look forward, you identify your goals with a can-do attitude, you plan your attack, you DEMAND that the resources you need are provided, or else, and you GET IT DONE. Period.

This is called leadership, and there's been precious little of it in N.O. for far too long, and it's result has been tragedy on an unacceptible level.

This spirit of total commitment to mission is what was sorely missing in the first week of this disaster. And Bush and his government were largely A.W.O.L.

It was obvious from his appearances today that the matter of thousands of largely poor black people being left to suffer and die just doesn't really get Bush too worked up. The lack of emotional response is stunning.

FINALLY, there are heavy duty trucks making their way through the water to aid those in desperate need. Previously, the rescuers had acted like a foot or two of water was just impossible to cross. Obviously, that attitude only led to suffering and death, incredible frustration, and accomplished little. They were only cherry picking the most accessible targets for rescue in a willy-nilly fashion, concentrating on targets of opportunity.

With 80% of the city in deep water, (I still don't like everyone referring to New Orleans as being "under water".... it's not.)if you're scared to get wet, you should just go home. To use another cliched expression, either lead, follow, or get the hell out of the way.

Gen. Honore apparently realizes that this is the equivelent of war, that risks must be taken, and that strong leadership is essential, and people must TRY to help those in need rather than sitting on dry land wringing their hands about some water and a few shots fired.

I only wish he and more like him had been here earlier. It appears things are finally swinging into action.

Gen. Honore "gets it". And nothing is more needed at this time. A report today from a reporter accompanying him said that every time he saw a soldier, national guard member, or even local police with a gun pointed, he'd yell at them to keep their barrels pointed down, saying, "This ain't Iraq."

He wisely realizes that this isn't a battle against the residents of N.O., but a massive effort to help them. The fear of certain rogue criminals with weapons was crippling the rescue effort and creating a defensive mindset in the forces whose duty was to simply help, and do it quickly. It's a matter of life and death.

And Honore was very astute to make it known in no uncertain terms that an adversarialy relationship between the military and the victims is wrong and will NOT bet tolerated. This attitude on his part speaks very well of his true understanding and leadership.

It is a shame and an embarassment that it took the government ONE WEEK to finally realize the scope of this disaster.


At 9/02/2005 1:22 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Reports from Charity Hospital, a state supported hospital, is that the conditions are horrendous with people dying in numbers due to inadequate supplies and inability to save them.
They're completely out of drinking water and, get this, nurses have begun giving each other IVs just to remain hydrated and able to continue working.

Meanwhile, the private Tulane hospital, with more affluent patients, were able to move patients to a parking ramp roof and had access to large helicopters which to evacuate 16 to 30 patients at a time.

The only way Charity can get their patients out in order to save their lives is to load them on boats and walk them down a block to the Tulane hospital parking ramp and try to get them out from there. Very few have made it, and the steady deaths continue unabated.


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