Independent Christian Voice

Sunday

What the president says vs. what the president does: post-Katrina recovery at a standstill

Here's what the president said in an address to the nation from New Orleans on Sept. 15, 2005:
"...Our first commitment is to meet the immediate needs of those who had to flee their homes and leave all their possessions behind. For these Americans, every night brings uncertainty, every day requires new courage, and in the months to come will bring more than their fair share of struggles. "...Our second commitment is to help the citizens of the Gulf Coast to overcome this disaster, put their lives back together, and rebuild their communities... And the federal government will undertake a close partnership with the states of Louisiana and Mississippi, the city of New Orleans, and other Gulf Coast cities, so they can rebuild in a sensible, well-planned way. Federal funds will cover the great majority of the costs of repairing public infrastructure in the disaster zone, from roads and bridges to schools and water systems. Our goal is to get the work done quickly. "...Our third commitment is this: When communities are rebuilt, they must be even better and stronger than before the storm."
That was then. This is now. In an article in today's Washington Post, writer Michael Powell reports that not much has changed since the president's speech.
Three months ago, Katrina all but scoured this old beach town of 8,000 off the face of the Earth. To walk its streets today is to see acres of wreckage almost as untouched as the day the hurricane passed.

No new houses are framed out. No lots cleared. There is just devastation and a lingering stench and a tent city in which hundreds of residents huddle against the first chill of winter and wonder where they'll find the money to rebuild their lives.

Billy McDonald, the white-haired mayor whose house was reduced to a concrete slab by 55-foot-high waves, works out of a trailer. He doesn't expect the word "recovery" to roll off his lips for many months.

"Lots of folks don't have flood insurance; lots of folks don't have jobs; lots of folks don't have hope," McDonald said. "We're a hurting place."

This is the other land laid low by Katrina's fury. Like New Orleans to the west, hundreds of square miles of Mississippi coastland look little better than they did in early September, and many people here harbor anger that the federal government has fallen short and that the nation's attention has turned away. At least 200,000 Mississippians remain displaced, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency is short at least 13,000 trailers to house them.

This is typical of this administration: pie-in-the-sky promises that are never delivered. It's the same type of delusional optimism that projected the Iraq conflict would be six months at most (Rumsfeld) — 33 months later we're still fighting — and that Iraqi oil sales would pay for the war and that the conflict would not be a burden on taxpayers (Wolfowitz) — taxpayer tab is now at $222.5 billion and counting. A reasonable person can only draw the following conclusions based on the track record of this administration from the beginning with all the major issues facing our country: they are either incompetent or they are dishonest. They don't like being called liars, so maybe they are admitting to being incompetent. In either case, they are definitely pathetic.

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