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Archive for September, 2005

Is it just me or is this storm being handled about as well as the Russians handled the Kursk sinking?

  1. New Orleans’ vulnerability was no surprise.  It didn’t suddenly get below sea level and between the lake and the ocean – folks have been writing about this for a long time.  I remember at the time of Hurricane Andrew people saying that the two giant risks were NY and NO – NO because of the lake overflowing, and NY because NY harbor is so much deeper than the Hudson and East rivers that if a storm comes over the Statue of Liberty the storm surge would flood all of Manhattan.
  2. The levees should have been able to withstand this level of flooding – they did not rupture from some peculiar impact, but rather seem to have given way once they started shipping water.
  3. This was no sudden earthquake – the damn thing was on CNN two days before.
  4. The evacuation was rather halfhearted.  As a writer in the NYT pointed out, if you look at the pictures of I-10 you’ll notice a traffic jam in the outbound lanes but no problems going inbound.  Why were there inbound lanes at all – why not go eight wide outbound, or at least six wide?
  5. Our military should be able to put boots on the ground in force anywhere in the world in 48 hours.  New Orleans is what, eight hours by car from Fort Hood?  Why was the whole place not swamped with soldiers as soon as the winds passed?  Looting was hardly invented in NO; a third of the casualties of the SF earthquake of 1906 were from the National Guard enforcing a shoot-to-kill curfew.
  6. Speaking of looting, why hasn’t someone declared martial law yet?  One thing to be unable to control looting in Baghdad; ridiculous in our own country.
  7. Our Navy was able to operate in the Mekong Delta.  News reports talk about eight feet of water – more than enough draft to operate real ships.  I know there are power lines around, but the power has been turned off – inboards are unlikely to get fouled.  Why hasn’t some government agency hit every street by now?
About the only good news of this thing is that hopefully it removes any veneer of efficacy from the Dubya Administration.  They can’t fight a war; they can’t even defend us from ourselves.

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