A Lady's Ruminations

"Jane was firm where she felt herself to be right." -Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice

Friday, February 10, 2006

And Lincoln Knew About Slavery

Knowing and being able to do something are quite two different things. This is especially true in the case of disasters.

For example, on 9/11, we knew two planes hit the World Trade Center towers. Unfortunately, we were not able to do anything about the structural damage and fire, and the towers fell, killing many people.

Should we criticize the Bush Administration for knowing there was damage and not being able to do anything (I daresay the Libs already have)? The answer is no. In life, there are things that no one, not even the most powerful man on the earth or the most powerful nation in history, can prevent or fix. Knowledge does not always mean the ability to do something about something.

AP: Documents: White House Knew About Levees---

WASHINGTON - The earliest official report of a New Orleans levee breach came at 8:30 a.m., hours after Hurricane Katrina roared ashore. Word of the possible breach surfaced at the White House less than three hours later, at 11:13 a.m.

In all, 28 federal, state and local agencies reported levee failures on Aug. 29, according to a timeline of e-mails, situation updates and weather reports — a litany at odds with the Bush administration's contention that it didn't know the extent of the problem until much later. At the time, President Bush said, "I don't think anybody anticipated the breach of the levees."

After the levees gave way, thousands of people were left stranded on rooftops and hundreds died of the flooding and its aftermath.

Democrats say the new documents raise questions about whether the government moved quickly enough to rescue storm victims from massive flooding.

The material was released in advance of a Senate hearing Friday at which Michael Brown, the former head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, was set to testify.
Another question one must ask is: does the President receive every little update ever? I highly doubt it. Even if he did know earlier, there wasn't much he could do.

Liberals don't seem to understand logistics problems. If a hurricane is roaring through an area, the planes and helicopters don't go up in the air. So, any military aircraft would have been either locked down (or whatever the proper term is) or out of the area, so as not to be damaged (which would mean more taxpayer money and fewer planes/helos to fly missions in the next weeks). So, it would have been impossible for planes/helos to be at the levees immediately. It takes time to fly. We haven't yet invented a "transporter" and we cannot "Apparate" like the Harry Potter characters.

Even if one had trucks loaded with sandbags and emergency supplies, they too are most likely out of the area so they won't be damaged and will be useful AFTER the storm. This is completely logical (which means Libs won't understand it). It's like ice. You want it to be cold and frozen. So, if you know the day is going to be hot, you don't leave it on the table. It will melt and be of no use. You put it in the freezer, where it will be safe, and frozen, until you need it. (But this is logic too, and I'm quite sure Libs won't get it).

So, once again we come back to the question of responsibility. The Dems in charge of the state of Louisiana and New Orleans are (supposed to be) responsible for their state and city. They were there. They ought to have anticipated the levee damage. They ought to have shored them up, rather than wasting all the money they have got from the taxpayers of the United States. They should have had plans to whisk people out of New Orleans (Remember THOSE BUSES?). It was partly their responsibility that people were left on rooftops (and also the responsibility of those people, who chose to stay, rather than do whatever it took to get out).

What exactly ought the President to have done on 29 August? There was much, much, much more going on than just the problems of dealing with a hurricane in a welfare "state" like New Orleans. Much of the Gulf Coast was ravaged. Should everything have gone straight to New Orleans? To hell with the rest of them? That's ridiculous.

Lest we forget, there were also wild media reports that people were being murdered in the Superdome. Things are not always as they seem. In the aftermath of a disaster, decisions must be made about priorities, what seems most urgent, what is possibly exaggerated, what can wait. Perhaps mistakes were made, but that does not mean the President and his administration are to blame for the levees being breached and the city flooding.

Knowing and being able to do something are two different things.

See also:
Then and Now
In a Fast-Food World