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Tuesday, August 30, 2005

NEW ORLEANS IS DROWNING, AN UNPRECEDENTED NATIONAL DISASTER IS UNFOLDING ON TELEVISION AND BUSH IS WHERE?

It is becoming clear as the scope of the devastation wreaked by Hurricane Katrina emerges that this is the worst natural disaster in American history. And as the water level rises in New Orleans, it looks like an even greater disaster is developing because thousands of people apparently are trapped in the city and the aid response of local, state and federal officials is inadequate to the task.

And President Bush is returning to ... Washington, D.C. Why isn't he in New Orleans? Why isn't he flying over Biloxi? The National Guard is not enough. The Air Force should be air-lifting food and medical supplies to the areas. Army and Navy helicopters and ships are needed to help evacuate people trapped on rooftops and in places like hospitals and nursing homes. And getting those people evacuated from the Superdome, which is looking like the symbol of a disaster of Biblical proportions.

Bush united Americans after 9/11 by going to ground zero. He needs to be at this ground zero now, on the ground and clearly in command. Calling cabinet meetings in Washington, D.C. won't get it done.

WEDNESDAY A.M. UPDATE:

Drudge reported last night that the Navy is dispatching four ships with helicopters to aid the evacuation effort. That's a start, at least, though at least 24 hours late. Michelle Malkin, who has done a fantastic job of compiling comprehensive links to the developing story, has a post that summarizes the situation in its headline.

Louisiana's Gov. Blanco estimates there are a million people in her state alone who are now homeless and she plans to ask Bush for military units in addition to the National Guard units already there to help maintain order and assist the avacuation.

Meanwhile, Fox reports this morning that the White House is saying Bush will return to D.C. late this afternoon and that his first order of business will be a release from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. A task force has also been organized and lots of federal agencies are moving. Such bureaucratic atmospherics are necessary but it begins to look as if New Orleans may well be lost forever as an inhabitable city, no matter what anybody in authority can do now.