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Bush sends marines as flood fury grows

Bush sends marines as flood fury grows

· 20,000 still trapped in burning city
· We let citizens down, admits President

Julian Borger and Jamie Doward in Baton Rouge
Sunday September 4, 2005
The Observer

President George Bush ordered an extra 17,000 troops - including 7,000 elite airborne troops and marines - into New Orleans and the devastated Gulf Coast yesterday to try to bolster the stumbling flood relief effort and salvage the reputation of his presidency.
The order was announced after it became clear that National Guard troops sent into the city on Friday were no match for the scale of the disaster unleashed by Hurricane Katrina and the consequent collapse of the levees around the city. Within two days the number of military personnel in the area is hoped to reach some 54,000 people.

As a full-scale rescue operation finally got under way and thousands of victims of the storm were ferried from the city by bus, plane and truck, the US military announced it would be deploying a further 10,000 National Guards.

The latest moves come as rescuers continued to find bodies across the city, and as victims of the disaster continued to die amid the horrible conditions. Although there has been no official estimate of the number of dead, some fear it could top 10,000 in Louisiana alone.

Despite the increase in the rescue efforts, 5,000 people were still stranded in the Superdome stadium yesterday, although it had been promised they would be evacuated by Friday night.

Meanwhile, another 20,000 people seem condemned to spend at least another night in the city convention centre, where they had spent most of the week with minimal food and water and no sanitation or medical care.

Relief workers were confronted with a new face to the catastrophe, as up to 60 fires blazed in the city. The worst engulfed the warehouse district on the waterfront, where firefighters were unable to operate due to the lack of running water.

In his weekly radio address, Bush acknowledged the shortcomings of the relief effort. 'Many of our citizens simply are not getting the help they need, especially in New Orleans. And that is unacceptable,' he said. 'In America, we do not abandon our fellow citizens in their hour of need. And the federal government will do its part. Where our response is not working, we'll make it right. Where our response is working, we will duplicate it.

'We have a responsibility to our brothers and sisters all along the Gulf Coast, and we will not rest until we get this right and the job is done.'

The first plane carrying fresh soldiers was due to arrive in New Orleans yesterday afternoon, said Lieutenant-General Joseph Inge, deputy commander of Northern Command. Soldiers from the 1st brigade of the 1st Cavalry Division would begin arriving within 48 hours.

National Guard soldiers arrived on Friday night to provide evacuees with their first hot meal since Katrina struck. Since then more than 25,000 residents have been evacuated, claimed Mike Brown, director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which is facing severe criticism for its response to what it now describes as the 'worst catastrophe in living memory'. Brown admitted that the number of people left in the city and the death toll remained unknown because people were still turning up at evacuation sites and dead bodies were still being counted. Brig Gen Mark Graham added: 'There are people in apartments and hotels that you didn't know were there.'

Thousands more people were reported to be in limbo on a motorway, waiting for buses that failed to come because there was no plan for housing the victims elsewhere

Bush said the new troops would include elite combat units such as the 82nd Airborne and the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force. Last night the Pentagon announced an extra 10,000 National Guard troops would be sent, raising the number of Guard personnel in the stricken states up to about 40,000. The National Guard - militias under the command of state governors -are frequently used to deal with civilian crises but it is unheard of for regular troops to be deployed at home.

The deployments will put further strain on an army already stretched by conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. It was announced yesterday that 300 airmen deployed on both fronts would be brought home because their base near Biloxi in Mississippi had been devastated by the hurricane and many of their families had been moved to shelters.

Louisiana's Republican governor, Kathleen Blanco, also appealed to Bush to bring home a Louisiana National Guard unit, the 256th Brigade Combat Team, which is serving in Iraq. 'They are urgently needed back home. We have never needed them so much,' she said.

Bush also signed a $10.5 billion emergency aid package for the stricken area. But he is struggling to restore his personal credibility after liberals and conservatives joined forces to criticise the federal relief effort.

Louisiana Senator David Vitter, a Republican, said the federal response had been 'an abject failure'. Attacks on the Bush administration's tardy reaction to the disaster also came from unexpected quarters in the media; even conservative commentators on the usually loyal Fox News channel lambasted the President's performance.



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Has it yet become clear to Wee Georgie that he needs all the help he can get? Or is he still sticking to his bombastic utterances about single-handedly taking care of this disaster and his (and Cheney's) pet war projects at the same time?

David, I tried to send you some links to photos and some other information, but got this message:

: host[] said: 553
sorry, relaying denied from your location [] (#5.7.1) (in
reply to RCPT TO command)

Why should the Red Cross be supported when they are not allowed to help?

No secuirity clearances perhaps?

From Green Left Weekly, July 20, 2005.

CUBA: Hurricane Dennis causes severe damage
Marce Cameron

Cuba was hit hard by Hurricane Dennis, the most ferocious storm to lash the Caribbean island nation in four decades. It caused the deaths of 16 Cubans and left a swathe of wreckage in its wake. The death toll would have been far higher had it not been for the timely evacuation of more than 1.5 million people.

In a seven-hour TV broadcast that concluded at 1 am on July 12, Cuban President Fidel Castro and other Cuban officials detailed the enormous damage caused by the storm. Castro reported that 120,000 houses had been heavily damaged, with 15,000 totally destroyed. At least 1000 electrical poles and 36 high-tension towers were toppled, leaving 2.5 million people without electricity. Fierce winds flattened 12,000 hectares of banana trees and damaged a 360,000 tonne-crop of oranges and grapefruit. Many hospitals, schools and sports facilities were also damaged.

Castro announced that losses would total US$1.4 billion, a heavy blow to a poor country of 11 million people resisting a four-decade-long US-organised economic blockade.

In a cynical display of “generosity

Cuba a moral giant, I hardly think so. Castro is a thugish dictator whom little George Bush would love to emulate. Moral giant, thats why people are doing anything they can to flee Cuba. There is one thing that is certain though, Cuba is no threat to the United States and our continued embargo on goods and travel to Cuba is criminal.

Little George Stupid and Uncle Fidel are the moral equivalent of each other and they will both rot in hell!

Now to see how to manage disasters look to the UK!

I know they did not have a hurricane but they have had.
Most of the southern part of England was hit several years back.

They are used to sea disasters and respond quickly and appropriately.

Look at the rapid reponse to their recent attacks. JOINT response by ALL Emergency Units.

Little George Bush is dispatching 54,000 military personell to aid in the security and recovery from disaster the City of New Orleans and the surounding country. This is approximately one third of the military sent to Iraq, a country of 40 million the size of California, to fight a war, provide security and help in reconstruction. Does anybody see a problem here? No wonder Iraq is a total failure, besides being illegal and unconstitutional. I guess that makes little George Stupid a three time looser, he blew the war on terrorism, he blew the war in Iraq, and when he had several days warning he blew the response to a natural disaster. Talk about total incompetence, could this little man be any more incompetent?

Here is the letter that I am sending to my congressional representatives:

Dear Senators Santorum and Specter and Representative Hart:

After watching the Weather Channel repeatedly warn of the approach of Hurricane Katrina, I was shocked after the storm hit to read in the news that New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson on Sunday, August 28, 2005 had called Louisiana Governor Blanco to offer to send National Guard troops from New Mexico to assist the State of Louisiana. On Thursday, September 1, 2005, permission from Washington was finally given.

Do you recall the day and time that Hurricane Katrina struck the Gulf coast? Can you count the number of hours that transpired between the time that New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson called Louisiana Governor Blanco and the time that Washington finally gave permission? Can you count the number of people who died in that time frame? Can you count the number of people who could have been saved had the troops been promptly dispatched?

That failure of the Bush Administration to react promptly to the offer of help from New Mexico to Louisiana is not unique.

On 2005/08/31, the Canadian press reported that Canada was prepared to send aid directly to Louisiana, “after Louisiana officials asked for help.

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