September 6, 2005

Imagine

If this were an effort to kill the people of New Orleans and destroy the city, the military would have accomplished the task quickly and efficiently.

There would have been ships lining the orizon, landing craft would have been putting in on beaches by the hundreds, heavily equipped troops would flood in by the tens of thousands, helicopters and support planes would fill the sky. Hundreds of inflatable "swift boats" would be dropped and delivered, thousands upon thousands of gallons of gas, food, and water would be immediately moved on shore and made available. Billions of dollars would be spent without a second thought.

So why, when the federal government was tasked with SAVING the lives of primarily poor people, was the response so pathetic, weak, and half-assed?

Why did the government feel that it could show up with a few Red Cross trucks and some coast guard helicopters and save hundreds of thousands of people?

And what does it say, when if the mission is death and destruction, our government is amazingly efficient, sparing no resources and spending an unlimited amount of money, yet when it comes to saving it's own people, the effort is so pathetic as to be immoral?

I might also note, as proven in Billmon's post linked in a post below, that FEMAs response was vastly more intense when Jeb Bush's state was in the sites of hurricanes, complete with massive staging before the storm.

5 Comments:

At 9/06/2005 6:42 AM, Blogger QuadCityImages said...

I really really really hate to defend anything Bush-related.... so I won't. But the military is another thing. Asking why the military isn't as good at saving people as they are at killing them is like asking why a doctor isn't as good at riflery as he is at surgery. The military's job isn't to rescue people, its to fight.

I think we need a true National Guard that does nothing but guard our nation. However, this would probably severly hurt recruiting efforts for the National Guard that we use as underpaid regular Army troops.

 
At 9/06/2005 8:53 AM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

QCI... I take your point, but the fact remains that it is the military who has spent TRILLIONS of our dollars on every manner of vehicle, ships, planes, helicopters, etc.

Suggesting that they can't be utilized for life-saving measures is a bit disingenuous and over-simplified.

The major problem with the response, we're told, was that the rescuers simply couldn't reach the victims. The military could easily do so. They have both the high clearance vehicles and amphibious assault capabilities to take care of this.

They have EVERYTHING that you could possibly imagine with which to perform a rescue effort on this scale, including medical, food and water supply capability, mobile command and communication equipment and personnel and on and on.

They're able to build bases almost overnight, and to transport and support hundreds of thousands of troops along with their millions of tons of supplies and equipment and to locate them almost anywhere on the planet.

And you're suggesting they couldn't help people?
Your analogy about the doctor being asked to do rifery is really, truly flawed.

The military has the capablility and flexibility to perform exactly this task, and in many respects is the ONLY organization that could do it.

I simply can't believe you'd so blithly dismiss their capabilities.

They could have had ships massed on the gulf and in the river within days with massive medical and relief capabilities, they have mobile everything, and could have immediately opened up communication posts etc.

You sure have a poor opinion of what our military, the most advanced and enormous military ever in the history of the earth, can do.

I just don't think you stopped to think, but just made a glib response.

 
At 9/06/2005 9:31 AM, Blogger QuadCityImages said...

I'm not saying they can't... I fully think they should have put every resource at their disposal into this.

I was just saying its not their specialty.

 
At 9/06/2005 1:58 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

QCI... I came back here because I had to reconsider my response. It was too harsh and unfortunately, I didn't get back before you read it.

I do know that the military has the capabilities I mentioned, and if they committed as much might as they do to invasions to 'invading' the gulf coast with aid, there would be far less suffering.

However, when they plan invasions, they plan them for months if not years.

The scenario down in N.O. had been well known for years now, and of course, a plan should have been in place.

But I realize that on such short notice, the military couldn't be expected to launch such a massive effort.

And one of the reasons it can't is that it's resources are stretched so thin due to Bush's adventure in Iraq.

And as far as it not being their specialty, that's imaterial. They are capable of providing aid, just as the butchers, bakers, and candlestick makers who compose the volunteers of the Red Cross are capable of it.

Military personnel are highly trained in their specialties, and a good majority of them can be used for good. Everything from ship's cook to diesel mechanic to desalinization plant operator to NAVY Seals.

Sure, some are trained only to shoot weapons. OK... let them pitch in some other way.

The military could accomplish incredible things, as they are FINALLY doing at the moment in the storm ravaged areas.

Look for truly amazing accomplishments in the weeks to come.

It's just a damn tragedy that it didn't happen sooner.

 
At 9/07/2005 4:28 AM, Blogger diehard said...

Thats because a military soloution against a smaller weaker foe is always the easiest.
Look at the colonisation process by other countries.
Which for 200 years with strong and weak presidents we as Americans opposed.
Now since 9/11 we have a shoot first and ask questions later mentality.

 

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