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In The Aftermath Of Hurricane Katrina, We Have Met The Enemy And It Is Us

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The events in the Gulf are devastating. But the events happening since the hurricane are even more devastating. We are the most powerful nation on earth and yet we can’t seem to take care of our own people. The disaster in New Orleans has focused the eyes of the world on our frailties, our inadequacies and our shortcomings.

As I watch the disturbing videos and pictures displayed before my eyes, I can’t help but wonder why we are still unprepared for disasters in the 21st century. New Orleans has become a microcosm of what could potentially happen in this country if civilization were to suffer a complete and total breakdown after a catastrophic terrorist attack. As inconceivable as it is that we would see a dead body just sitting in a wheelchair pushed against a building, it is mind-boggling that people would be looting stores for electronics while people are starving and dying. Mostly, it is disturbing that a government so intent on helping citizens of foreign lands is so inadequate in their attempts to help United States citizens.

We have suffered a Third World disaster and we are dealing with it in the same way a Third World government would deal with this type of tragedy. Why weren’t we prepared? Why can’t we move faster to save the lives of people in this country who desperately need our help? The rhetoric coming out of Washington tells us that things are being done, but reality shows us that not enough is being done. More people will die while politicians talk.

We spend close to one billion dollars every week in Iraq. We need to spend that money in this country right now. Congress came back into session in the middle of the night to deal with a religious issue that related to one individual’s right to life. They do not seem to be in any great rush to come back from vacation to save thousands of American lives.

President Bush has said that this hurricane is “a temporary situation.” To the thousands who will die and the millions of Americans whose lives will be changed, hurricane Katrina is viewed as anything but temporary. We need to change our priorities before our current priorities destroy our way of life.

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