Why citys defences were down | Environment | The Guardian

http://www.guardian.co.uk/usa/story/0,12271,1560351,00.html

A long quote, but an important one. Showing that filling a hole in one area causes a hole in another. In this case, sending money and troops to Iraq causes death and destruction in New Orleans (and, funny that, Iraq as well) Apparently the Dept of Homeland Security can’t protect citizens from Mother Nature when she’s out for revenge (Arctic park drilling, anyone?) So, Americans, tell me – do you feel safer?:

“Lloyd Dumas, professor of political economy and economics at the University of Texas at Dallas, criticised the government’s failure to oversee a more efficient evacuation. “It’s remarkable that with the massive restructuring of the federal government that took place with the establishment of the Department of Homeland Security, they don’t have more well thought-out plans to evacuate a city like New Orleans,” he said.

“An emphasis should be placed on plans that have multiple purposes, like evacuation plans for a city like New Orleans that can of course be useful in the event of a terrorist attack but also in the event of a natural disaster like this one … There were plans during the cold war to evacuate major cities in a few days.”

Professor Dumas added that not enough provision seemed to have been made for poor people. “There doesn’t seem to have been much attention paid to people who didn’t have private automobiles,” he said. “I didn’t hear anything about school buses or city buses being used to aim people out of town.” He said that there appeared to be little forward planning to cater to those on low incomes who would be unable to return to their homes for up to two months but who would not have the money to pay for that time in a hotel. “The Department of Homeland Security says on its website that it deals with natural disasters,” he said. “They don’t seem to have done a very good job. There doesn’t seem to have been any long-term planning.”

The war in Iraq was also being seen as playing a part in the federal response to the crisis. Many members of the National Guard who would normally have been swiftly mobilised to help in evacuation are on duty in Iraq. Although US air force, navy and army units were deployed to assist, the locally-based National Guard is depleted by the demands of the war.”

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