Friday, September 02, 2005

Becoming Atlantis

For the past few days I've been almost completely seperate from the news. I've been swimming in it for the past few hours, checking out news and interviews about Hurricane Katrina. And now I know why I've been avoiding it. It's unimaginable. The devestation. The anger. The incompetence.

I'm not going to go into blame. I'm not going to play partisanship (shocking though that may be).

But here are some pieces that every American should see/read/listen to to get an idea of what's happening, and how people are feeling.

Watch or read to President Bush's statement before leaving to tour the area today.
Mayor Ray Nagin / read He's one unhappy camper. With obvious good reason--his city is now Atlantis.

Here's a slideshow from the NYTimes that strikes notes of refugees in war time, impoverished villages in National Geographic, and the chaos of protests gone horribly wrong. But I must remind myself that it's the U.S.
Is this series from 9/11, Darfur, Somalia, or N.O. The images are blurring together in my mind.
I'm giving up on trying to sort out stories. Here's the Google News page on the Hurricane. Just read down the headlines. Nowhere in the first 60 articles is there any reference to anything positive. Nothing coming in, nothing improving, nothing being brought "under control" No stories of heroism, or people finding temporary shelter that isn't over-croweded, or that is prepared. Just desolation.

There are several blogs too.
This is a friend of a friend, posting about life, and about the Hurricane too. Miss Zoot
This is more of a "nothing but the facts" type blog. Few details. But running posts.

Here's some less-than-friendly comments from global leaders.
Anyone who has had 20 seconds of conversation with me knows that I'm not exactly sitting in President Bush's corner (or his stadium, if I can help it) but to come out right now and blame the disaster on the President seems a bit over the top.
Germany's Environmental Minister had this to say, quoted in this story from Der Spiegel.

"There is only one possible route of action," he writes. "Greenhouse gases have to be radically reduced and it has to happen worldwide. Until now, the US has kept its eyes shut to this emergency. (Americans) make up a mere 4 percent of the population, but are responsible for close to a quarter of emissions." He adds that the average American is responsible for double as much carbon dioxide as the average European. "The Bush government rejects international climate protection goals by insisting that imposing them would negatively impact the American economy. The American president is closing his eyes to the economic and human costs his land and the world economy are suffering under natural catastrophes like Katrina and because of neglected environmental policies"
Countries whose leaders have expressed condolences to Bush and/or the U.S. (that I've found):
Canada, India, Britain, Australia, China, Venezuela, France, Germany, Swizterland, Saudi Arabia, the UN, Russia, the Vatican, Italy, Greece.

Countries whose leaders have offered assistance--in even the vaguest sense:
Canada, Japan, Taiwan, Venezuela.

1 comment:

King Bastard said...
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