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'Casual to the point of careless' - Bush under fire for slow reaction


By Andrew Gumbel
Published: 02 September 2005

President Bush faced not only the fallout of Hurricane Katrina but also an intense political storm yesterday as relief experts, government officials and newspaper editorials criticised everything from his administration's disaster preparedness policies to the manner in which he made his public entry into the growing crisis on the Gulf coast.

The New York Times said of a speech he made on Tuesday: "Nothing about the President's demeanour yesterday - which seemed casual to the point of carelessness - suggested that he understood the depth of the current crisis."

No less trenchant - and more heartfelt - was the Biloxi Sun Herald in Mississippi which surveyed the disaster around its editorial offices and asked: "Why hasn't every able-bodied member of the armed forces in south Mississippi been pressed into service?"

As when the Asian tsunami hit last year, Mr Bush found himself on holiday at his Texas ranch when disaster struck. As with the tsunami, he was soon in the firing line for reacting slowly - he spent Monday on a fundraising tour of the American West - and failing to provide adequate leadership. As survivors complained of a lack of water, food and medical supplies yesterday, fingers from across the political spectrum were pointed at the White House.

Experts on the Mississippi Delta pointed out that a plan to shore up the levees around New Orleans was abandoned last year for lack of government funding. They noted that flood-control spending for south-eastern Louisiana had been chopped every year that Mr Bush has been in office, that hurricane protection funds have also fallen, and that the local army corps of engineers has also had its budget cut. The emergency management chief for Jefferson parish told the Times-Picayune newspaper:"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.".

The torrent of criticism contrasted sharply to the reaction to the 11 September attacks, when political sniping was put on hold and dissenters were told their complaints were both unwelcome and unpatriotic. The change in tone partly suggests a growing disenchantment with Mr Bush.

The usually restrained New York Times said: "Why were developers permitted to destroy wetlands and barrier islands that could have held back the hurricane's surge? Why was Congress, before it wandered off to vacation, engaged in slashing the budget for correcting some of the gaping holes in the area's flood protection?"

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I have just sent the following civil, but pointed email to mr. bush via whitehouse.gov, may I suggest a those who feel similarly compose their own requests. p.s. a similar request was made to mr. cheney.

..
Request for Resignation

Mr. Bush,

As a loyal citizen of this country, and in the best interest of its future, I must ask you to resign your position.

You have repeatedly demonstrated an inability to effectively fulfill the duties of your office, and a serious lack of judgment. By stubbornly refusing to leave you will further tear this country apart by forcing the citizens to remove you.

Please have the courage to admit you've failed, and step down.

Sincerely,
[name removed for web post]

The scale depth of the damage from Hurricane Katrina is a national disaster. It is clear from the scenes of detruction, mayhem and sorrow that what ever disaster relief preparations that were made were obviously inadequate. Why? That is a fair question not to be ducked or explained away. Our national priorities are out of whack and the nation's political leaders are to blame. The misappropriation of the National Guard for the Iraq War effort is costing our nation dearly right now. The loss of manpower and material on the ground helping our citizens in mortal need in unexcusable. For every guardsman, water truck, or generator in Iraq there is an American citizen who wont get rescued, one who will die of thirst, a hospital that will go without power. Disgusting. Unforgivable.

Put these monsters in jail.

I actually have to give the mainstream press some credit on this one. They were certainly on the scene in the Gulf long before any relief aqency. And they did a decent job of showing how bad it is, and how poorly our government was doing for those unfortunate folks. And they've been showing properly righteous indignation about it all, especially the ones on the scene. Maybe they're not totally worthless...at least for catastrophes, at least ones within the US, and at least before the government has time to write the script.

I just hope this lights a fire in the asses that keeps burning!

Gawd, where does it end with our glorious leaders? Here's an article, dealing with JFK, Jr.'s death, that you won't want to believe. Apparently Fitzgerald has at least touched on this in his investigations:

http://www.tomflocco.com/fs/PurgeTheEvil.htm

Silly, idiot Bush, always with that smirk on his awful face. Never sincere, has to read note cards to express the simpliest thought. He cannot lead. He is a puppet of dangerous people. God only knows what that bunch will do next. He is always on vacation and then something awful happens...What is it with Crawford and tragedy...He only goes there to dry out. His drug and alcohol damaged brain cannot cope for extended periods of time, and he continues to surround himself with heartless, greedy bastards. When will the law catch up with this scoundrel? Where is his religious Right as far as saving humanity?

Other countries offering all kinds of assistance have also been confused by this administration's reactions and mixed signals about whether any outside help would be accepted.

The offers of foreign aid keep pouring in: helicopters from Canada, cash from Japan, tents and military aircraft from France -- even oil from Venezuela, a political foe. At least 25 countries have offered humanitarian assistance to the United States to recover from Hurricane Katrina, one of the worst natural disasters in US history.

But despite the increasingly desperate situation on the ground, the Bush administration has sent mixed signals about whether it will take these global well-wishers up on their offers. President Bush indicated yesterday morning that the United States had not requested foreign help and didn't need it.

... But as thousands remained in need of food and shelter yesterday, the mood in Washington appeared to shift, with McCormack telling reporters than no aid would be turned down.

Roberta Cohen, a specialist on humanitarian disasters at the Brookings Institution, a nonpartisan think tank, said yesterday that the administration should seriously consider the offers. "If [aid] were rejected out of hand because of national pride, that would be unfortunate," she said.

SOURCE: Boston Globe

death is the only way he will leave.

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