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The Neglected Levees of New Orleans: A Victim of Iraq War Spending


Institute for Public Accuracy
915 National Press Building, Washington, D.C. 20045
(202) 347-0020 * http://www.accuracy.org * ipa@accuracy.org
___________________________________________________

PM Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Interviews Available

The Neglected Levees of New Orleans: A Victim of Iraq War Spending

"It appears that the money has been moved in the president's budget to
handle homeland security and the war in Iraq, and I suppose that's the
price we pay. Nobody locally is happy that the levees can't be finished,
and we are doing everything we can to make the case that this is a security
issue for us."
-- Walter Maestri, emergency management chief for Jefferson Parish,
Louisiana; New Orleans Times-Picayune, June 8, 2004.

Today the New Orleans Times-Picayune wrote: "No one can say they didn't see
it coming. For years before Hurricane Katrina roared ashore Monday morning,
devastating the Gulf Coast, officials from Louisiana, Mississippi and
Alabama have been warning about their vulnerability to the storms..." See:
,

WILL BUNCH, bunchw@phillynews.com,
http://www.editorandpublisher.com
Will Bunch is a senior writer at the Philadelphia Daily News. The
article states: "Did New Orleans Catastrophe Have to Happen?
'Times-Picayune' Had Repeatedly Raised Federal Spending Issues" for Editor
& Publisher. He wrote: "After 2003, the flow of federal dollars toward SELA
[Southeast Louisiana Urban Flood Control Project] dropped to a trickle. The
Corps never tried to hide the fact that the spending pressures of the war
in Iraq, as well as homeland security -- coming at the same time as federal
tax cuts -- was the reason for the strain. At least nine articles in the
Times-Picayune from 2004 and 2005 specifically cite the cost of Iraq as a
reason for the lack of hurricane- and flood-control dollars." Bunch is
continuing to write on his blog: .
The New Orleans Times-Picayune ran a five-part series in 2002 titled
"Washing Away" about the threat of a major hurricane. The series is
available at: .

ERIC HOLDEMAN, eric.holdeman@metrokc.gov,
http://metrokc.gov/prepare
Director of the King County, Wash., Office of Emergency Management,
Holdeman wrote the article in the Washington Post yesterday titled
"Destroying FEMA." He wrote: "The country's premier agency for dealing with
such events -- FEMA -- is being, in effect, systematically downgraded and
all but dismantled by the Department of Homeland Security."

LLOYD DUMAS, ljdumas@utdallas.edu
Professor of political economy and economics at the University of Texas
at Dallas, Dumas is author of the book "Lethal Arrogance: Human Fallibility
and Dangerous Technologies" and an expert on crisis management.

ERIK LEAVER, erik@ips-dc.org,
http://ips-dc.org/iraq
Co-author of the just-released report "The Iraq Quagmire: The Mounting
Costs of War and the Case for Bringing Home the Troops," Leaver is a
research fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies. The study finds:
"According to current estimates, the cost of the Iraq War could exceed $700
billion. In current dollars, the Vietnam War cost U.S. taxpayers $600 billion."

For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020, (202) 421-6858; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167

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Do you mean that the emergency management chief is wrong about bugetary priority shifts and their consequences?

There are only limited resources in any government and country. This administration had its agenda, and was looking for money in every corner. When FEMA was "slipped" into the Homeland Security Department, their budget was also cut dramatically.

These chickenhawks don't understand combat, so they are always fighting "the last war." In this case, they are spending millions to supposedly prevent airplanes being used as bombs, when that will probably never happen again, and scrimping in areas where it matters.

Go back even further, and you will find the Republicans arguing five years ago that coastland erosion off of New Orleans wasn't "an important issue" compared to the jobs that the oil rigs provided.

READ A BIT, rather than just saying it's a stretch.

You have been lied to and very much deceived.

Charlie L
Portland, OR
CLL2001@gmail.com

There are only limited resources in any government and country. This administration had its agenda, and was looking for money in every corner. When FEMA was "slipped" into the Homeland Security Department, their budget was also cut dramatically.

These chickenhawks don't understand combat, so they are always fighting "the last war." In this case, they are spending millions to supposedly prevent airplanes being used as bombs, when that will probably never happen again, and scrimping in areas where it matters.

Go back even further, and you will find the Republicans arguing five years ago that coastland erosion off of New Orleans wasn't "an important issue" compared to the jobs that the oil rigs provided.

READ A BIT, rather than just saying it's a stretch.

You have been lied to and very much deceived.

Charlie L
Portland, OR
CLL2001@gmail.com

You presume more than you know. There are plenty of things to legitimately blame Bush for-starting with the war. To begin claiming that he’s responsible for every ailment ever to occur in the country just makes our (yes, our) cause look shrill, and foolish.

Money is fungible. Using your logic, he could be responsible for you missing your last car payment.

First the money to improve the flood protection of the areas now devastated by Katrina was cut to allow those funds to go to the Iraq War and tax cuts for the rich. For that, we can blame the Republican Administration and all those in congress who voted for that -- the Republican Majority and any "Democrats" who supported them.

Then, the physical resources (the U.S. Military and our National Guards) were made "unavailable" to respond to this act of nature, because they are across the world fighting for the "noble cause" of installing an anti-woman theocracy in Iraq.

The 1-2 punch that will now allow a major and inevitable natural disaster to pose a dramatic challenge to the quality of life of millions of Americans and possibly a major crushing blow to a fragile economy already ravaged by tax cuts for the rich and outsourcing of jobs.

And there you have it.

George W. Bush after stealing two elections will now go down in history as the Herbert Hoover of his generation, and millions of poor people in America's southeast will suffer for his arrogance and the global domination dreams of the PNAC.

Charlie L
Portland, OR
CLL2001@gmail.com

It took about five years but I think America is getting a sense of the catastrophe that the Bush Administration has wrought on the nation! From now on it will be all downhill, a snowball effect of the last five years of blunders and corrupt leadership bearing its bitter fruit! Cause and effect with a vengeance! We can't afford to allow this tragic-comedy to go unopposed any longer?

I believe the citizens of Louisiana supported president bush in the last election. It was their choice that monies be used to fund the war and tax cuts rather than their infrastructure.

But, then again, they are hardly the only ones who have been fooled and who are now paying a high price for believing a deceptive politician. My heart goes out to all of them.

I thought the right were the idiots?

Tax Cuts rather than infrastructure? Are you serious? You think tax cuts had anything to do with this disaster? Holy Cow!!! Any professional that you ask would tell you that there is nothing we could have done to prevent this from happening. I'd like to know that when all these levies were installed who the govenor of LA was and who the president was then? Aren't they to blame? With all the tax hikes of the Clinton Admin, why was none of that money spent to help better protect New Orleans????? He wanted a surplus and turned his back on the people down there. That is just as ridiculous.

Who builds a city right next to an ocean, a lake, and a river 6 feet below sea level that could get hit by a hurricane every year? Leave it to the French to come up with that brilliant idea...They did sell us half the country for like fifty bucks so I guess this shouldn't surprise me.

Iraq had NOTHING TO DO WITH THIS. How blinded by hate are you people?

Richie "The Right Wing Kook" Rich

You're confusing hate with anger Rich. And there are plenty of people who have plenty of reasons to be angry with this artificial president, both in New Orleans and around the country.

War and tax breaks at the same time? Never happened before. Money was taken away from us (including disaster preparedness in the Gulf region) to pay for an illegal war and further enrich the top 2%.

UN-FUCKING-ACCEPTABLE, no matter how all the Bush boot-licker idiots like you slice it.

NEWS FLASH!!
Clinton left office almost 5 years ago. Give it up already. If your only response to criticism of the most fraudulent administration in the history of this country is to bash the scumbag that came before him, you truly have no defense.

Where are the WMDs?

Why no exit strategy?

What's the "noble cause"?

Why are so many brainless, blind followers like you so willing to put your political party above your country?

Wake up, asshole.

John Perry
http://www.johnperryonline.com

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