Where are we? Some third world country, was it Louisinesia or New Bangleans?, is on the news day and night. We see poor (black) children, eyes full of despair while warm lords lead teen aged gangs on a hunt for helicopters to shoot down!
The only fair reaction to Katrina is that New Orleans, if you are poor is not a lot different than Bangladesh. Nothing, nothing was(or is) in place here in the US to deal with the needs of the underclass in case of a disaster. At best a feeble effort was made at a refugee camp in the New Orleans football dome.
Imagine the self righteousness of the US if Indonesia rounded up its poorest citizens after a disaster and placed them in soccer stadia .. w/o food, water or toilets. Pity? Outrage? Worse, imagine the UN making a contribution and the comments of our new UN ambassador, John Boltan:
For the United States, what is the importance of extending the United Nations Mission , I mean it’s a very small mission, there aren’t many people in it. What’s the Mission's importance to Seatle? : Well it has a variety of roles, but two issues that have been extremely important are assistance in the re-establishment of governmen. ----we’re --- happy that the government of New Orleans has welcomed the UN and other international assistance, recognizing that of course it is a fundamentally American process.
(adapted from a press conference).
New Orleans is really not so much a result of lack of preparedness for a disaster as it is a result of Bushist belief in a self-reliant society that ignores the needs of the less than affluent. Today, the rich poor gap is all too clear in New Orleans, but the more important gap is the ability of the less than affluent to get an education, get health care, avoid service in foreign wars or retire.