Evangelical Group Blames New Orleans Flood On Citizens of New Orleans for Welcoming Wickedness

“Although the loss of lives is deeply saddening, this act of God destroyed a wicked city. From ‘Girls Gone Wild’ to ‘Southern Decadence’, New Orleans was a city that had its doors wide open to the public celebration of sin. May it never be the same. Let us pray for those ravaged by this disaster. However, we must not forget that the citizens of New Orleans tolerated and welcomed the wickedness in their city for so long,” – Michael Marcavage, in a statement from the evangelical Christian group, “Repent America,” issued today.

Where is the outrage and the calls for condemnation of this nonsense?

38 comments

  1. Erick says:

    Real evangelicals give as much credence to Marcavage as they do to Robertson and Fred Phelps.

    That’s as sad and disgusting as Democrats trying to blame Bush for no appropriating money for new levees in New Orleans even though the money was not actually to be used for new levee construction.

    The politicization of this disaster by the left and the right makes me want to vomit.

  2. Bill Simon says:

    Ah…and, in Mr. Marcavage’s mind, the devastation in Biloxi would be well-deserved as well because of all of the gambling casinos, no doubt.

    Say, Decaturguy, how would you feel about the prospect of National Guardsmen executing snipers, car-jackers, and other gun-wielding thugs that haunt the City of New Orleans now? Or, do those folks need “due process”?

  3. albert says:

    Not to sound callous, but it is one wicked town. However, my heart and wallet have gone out to those folks. We decided to give our tithe to the Red Cross. That may not be too biblical, but I ain’t Donald Trump either.

  4. buzzbrockway says:

    I’ve never even heard of this guy. Look at his website, if he has a following of more than five people I’d be shocked. My point is that these days any idiot can throw up a cool looking website, buy a fax machine and crank out press releases – it doesn’t make them important or their views credible.

    There are plenty of idiots out there, I’d rather focus on the many, many caring people out there who are droping everything to go and help. How about the Papa John’s guy in Houston who spent $25,000 of his own money to feed the people in the Astrodome? How about the great job the Red Cross, Salvation Army, Catholic Charities, Samaritian’s Purse etc.. are doing? Erick is correct, using this to advance one’s political or religious agenda is disgusting.

    As I write, the “Blog for Relief” has raised almost $200,000.

  5. Harry says:

    From LifeSite.net:

    NEW ORLEANS, September 1, 2005 (LifeSiteNews.com) – The popular adage, “there are no atheists in the trenches” sums up the truth that in times of disaster it is natural for people to turn to God, for help and also for an explanation. The devastation wrought by hurricane Katrina has brought that reality home to the United States, particularly in the affected regions.

    Yesterday Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco called for a state-wide day of prayer. “As we face the devastation wrought by Katrina, as we search for those in need, as we comfort those in pain and as we begin the long task of rebuilding, we turn to God for strength, hope and comfort,” she said. Meanwhile, New Orleans City Council President Oliver Thomas after witnessing the horrors first hand and hearing talk of Sodom and Gomorrah commented, “Maybe God’s going to cleanse us.”

    The theme of cleansing or purification has become a frequently discussed topic as the tragedy in the affected states unfolds. European papers have suggested that Katrina was the punishment the US received for failing to sign onto the Kyoto accord, Islamic militants have rejoiced that “private” Katrina has joined in the holy war against the U.S. for – among other things – the Iraq war. Some have even suggested that the hurricane was God’s punishment on the U.S. for cooperating in the removal of Jews from the Gaza strip.

    However, beyond these speculations is a more general acknowledgement that New Orleans, the epicentre of the disaster, was a “sin city” which harboured few rivals. The New Orleans “southern decadence” festival which was to take place Labour Day weekend, is described by a French Quarter tourism site as “sort of like a gayer version of Mardi Gras” which is “most famous (or infamous) for the displays of naked flesh which characterize the event,” with “public displays of sexuality . . . pretty much everywhere you look.”

    The city is also renowned for occult practices, particularly voodoo.

    Michael Brown, creator of the immensely popular SpiritDaily.com website – popularly known as the Catholic DrudgeReport, has said that Katrina was “definitely” a purification for New Orleans. Brown points out that the name Katrina itself means “pure”. And that, Brown told LifeSiteNews.com, is not a coincidence. “I don’t believe in coincidences,” said Brown, adding that God has everything in His control and “I think that everything is interwoven.”

    LifeSiteNews.com contacted Brown due to his startlingly accurate prediction of the events in New Orleans in 2001, when he issued what is now being seen as a warning to New Orleans. In 2001 Brown wrote a piece about what he felt was upcoming disaster for New Orleans.

    Brown began, “There are few cities with so many good as New Orleans and also few cities where there is such a stark coexistence with the bad. It is this city, the Big Easy, that is home to kind and generous and Christian people . . . and yet also this city that has allowed evil to flourish in a way that has become truly dangerous.” Noting the occult practices and the sexual immorality, Brown warned, “When you invoke dark spirits, you get a storm. The very word hurricane comes from the Indian hurukan for evil spirit.”

    Brown claims no hearing of inner voices, but said in his warning to the city, “When I visited the National Hurricane Center, they told me there was no place that gave them the meteorological willies like your city.” Describing what would befall the city if a major hurricane were to strike, Brown said, “On Bourbon Street — which has turned into a stretch of porn shops, strip joints, and hooter bars — there would be water to the second story.”

    “Officials told me that in the best of circumstances 100,000 would be stranded . . . If a category-five made landfall between your city and Baton Rouge . . . it would be ‘the most catastrophic hurricane in the history of the United States.'”

  6. Chris says:

    This wingnuts comments are no more irrelevant and damaging to the rescue efforts then the people who blame Katrina on Global Warming.

    The solution is simple. Leave them in the SuperDome and move a few homeless families into their homes.

  7. Silence says:

    As a Christian, I am ashamed to be associated with folks like this. Yesterday, I recieved an email from someone I consider to be associated with the more radically right – wing sect of our [my] faith suggesting that we not donate money to the Red Cross, because the USRC supports “liberal” agendas and New Orleans was being judged by God anyway.

    I was too sick to be angry, although as I prepare for today’s work schedule and work on my next post, it is quickly turning. In short, I’m becoming livid. These types of people are a bane on our existence as politically active conservatives. Stupid comments like the one made by Pat Robertson (right though he may be) set back years of hard work done by conservative people in the political realm. It’s comments like the one referenced in this thread that justify people’s belief that conservatives are an elitist party. Comments like that sometimes make even me wonder.

    Surprise, surprise, I find myself agreeing with Bill…I completely agree that anyone found down there looting with a gun gets an immediate dosage of brass in his ass (if you’ll pardon the expression).

  8. albert says:

    The blame game is on it seems. We see the nonsensical rhetoric from the right, however, there is as much drivel from the left.

    http://www.newsmax.com/archives/articles/2005/9/2/84908.shtml

    The first line of response should have been the local leadership structure, then the state. The Mayor, while deservedly irritated should have had some form of protocol of disaster relief. Leadership is tough when you have a catastrophe like this. I’m not attempting to whirl a brick of criticism but it seems there is no plan nor was there a plan for such a disaster.

  9. Harry says:

    It probably doesn’t help on the political or spiritual level to be making judgement calls at this point. I’m sure we all harbor our own inner thoughts, however, concerning the “lessons learned”.

  10. Decaturguy says:

    Harry, do you believe the stuff you posted? Based on some of your previous comments on this site, I assume you do. If God decided to “cleanse” New Orleans, what did Gulfport ever do wrong? How about Pascagoula, Mississippi?

    Bill, I don’t know about executions, but obviously, in a state of emergency such as this, extrodinary action must be taken that could not be taken in a time of peace. I’m not willing to throw out the Constitution, but shooting at police, guardsmen, and relief workers who are trying to save lives in a time of emergency cannot be allowed. And, yes, if those people are threatening other peoples lives, they have a right to shoot them.

    There are some serious questions to be asked about this whole situation. And the blame does not just lay with any one particular party or group. But someone has really messed up there is no doubt about that.

    I think I’m beginning to understand now why we’re losing the war in Iraq if this is how we deal with states of emergency. We’re seeing some of the same stuff happen in New Orleans now that has been happening in Iraq for months. And we have no idea how to deal with either situation.

  11. GAWire says:

    >>”””I think I’m beginning to understand now why we’re losing the war in Iraq if this is how we deal with states of emergency. “””

    Ok, DG, I will get on the horn right now to Mike Chertoff, Mike Brown and the White House for that matter, to let them know that you are taking over and will be implementing your plan for success effective immediately. I will let you know when this is confirmed and I’m sure these people will step aside to allow your leadership to solve this crisis.

    Seriously, please excuse the sarcasm, and no, I am not attacking you. I am just trying to say that we need to be mindful about making comments like the one above, just like this fella mentioned in the article about New Orleans being cleansed.

    If this disaster occurred to cleanse that area of evil, then we all better watch out, b/c New Orleans, Biloxi and all of those areas are no more or less evil than any of us. That is the sole reason why no one has the right to make those kinds of assertions. We are all sinners, which makes many of the things we do evil, and only those without sin should be casting the first stone, which is another way of saying that we as sinners are just as evil as any people down there. Thus endeth THAT lesson.

    On a similar note, I am so sick of people criticizing what people are doing down there. It is one thing to hear people that are stranded as a result of the storm to be frustrated that they haven’t received relief yet, and we can tell them to just keep holding on and someone will be there – AFTER we take care of people shooting police, AFTER we take care of people shooting at rescue helicopters, AFTER we stop people raping women in the shelters, AFTER we take care of rescuing the people off of their roofs, AFTER we get people out of the hospitals where RATS are EATING the life-saving medical equipment, AFTER . . . well, hopefully you get that point. Relief will get to these people, but we understand their frustration.

    But, for you or any of us to sit here and say “this is what’s wrong” or “this is why this happened” or “this is why Iraq is going wrong” or “I can’t believe they handle disasters this way” or whatever your “expert” opinions are on this situation is absolutely rediculous and isn’t helpful in ANY way!

    Do you really think that the people down there aren’t trying to help all of those that need it? Do you think the President is just sitting on his hands wondering what he should do? Do you really think the National Guard, Police, Coast Guard, Fire Dep’ts, and other aid workers aren’t doing EVERYTHING they possibly can to help this situation and get to these people? Think about those things and then think whether or not your statement is qualified!

    This disaster just happened days ago, and it has only gotten worse everyday. This is by no means a simple crisis to address in a simple way. It will take time, patience and understanding, which is hard to totally grasp if you are down there with nothing and no place to go, but I think maybe you can understand that.

    Also, I wish you would keep your misinformed comments about “why we are losing the war in Iraq” to yourself – it’s not the time for that kind of discussion. And, to be honest with you, I don’t think any of this discussion about “who-is-saying-what-as to-why-this-happened” is helpful to any of those people in need!

    How do you say the blame doesn’t lay with one particular party or group and then say someone has really messed up? You can sit here and say “Someone has really messed up” all day long, but what does that accomplish? Furthermore, how can you say someone has really messed up? Do you think this happened b/c of SOMEONE? Do you even think we could ever really plan or fully prepare for this kind of situation? Let me answer that for you: NO! There is absolutely no way we could have ever prepared for handling a situation like this, just the same as we never could have fully prepared for 9/11.

    If you ask me, I think the response has been amazing! The fact that so many people have been rescued in such a short time is nothing short of amazing, not to mention the excellent job that other communities and states like TX have done to step in and help. Also, think about those folks working down there. Those police officers have families in danger too, but they are still dedicated to helping others in need. There are countless stories and scenarios like this.

    Now with all that said, do we really want to start talking blame?

  12. GAWire says:

    Rich Galen’s Mullings.com has a great piece today about who is to blame for Katrina:

    http://mullings.com/

    Rich is a friend of mine and I have worked with him in the past and he has done a great deal to help the US and our efforts here in the states and throughout the world. He served the Bush Administration in Iraq, and has also been apart of relief efforts in Asia during Tsunami relief. He knows what he is talking about.

    His point here is extremeley valid!

  13. Decaturguy says:

    When I look at my country, which is the most prosperous, free, and democratic country in the world and see it looking like a poor, third world country, and even today President Bush saying that the relief efforts by his administration so far have been “not acceptable” you are damn right I’m mad about what is going on.

    The people who are there trying to help are in every way honorable and doing the best job they can do. But why can’t we move people out of a deplorable situation any faster? Why can’t we get these people some food and water so that tempers can die down? Airlift it if you have to. There is no excuse for it, but the gunfire, looting, carjackings, and the raping didn’t begin until a couple of days of “not acceptable” relief efforts.

    The pictures the American people see on TV everyday is not the America we all know and we are shocked and appalled. The question remains – why has it taken so long to get food, water, and medicine to these people? How can we do so much around the world, but we can’t take care of our own people?

  14. GAWire says:

    You’re right – the pictures we are seeing is not the America that we know, or maybe a better way to say that is this isn’t the American way of life that we ARE USED TO.

    Why can’t we move people out of the deplorable situation any faster? WE ARE MOVING PEOPLE OUT OF THE DEPLORABLE SITUATION! I know we are seeing some interviews of people complaining about lack of service, but what about the over 125,000 people that have been moved to safety? What about the thousands of people that were moved to saftey, given food, water and new clothing only to begin looting again, instead of allowing their tempers to die down a little?

    You are missing the point, DG. People are getting helped, despite the flood, despite the destruction, and even despite the war-like dangers as a result of armed gangs and looters.

    To answer your question, people have gotten supplies including food, water, shelter, etc to these people, but when you are dealing with the amount of people here, it is going to take time.

    Yes, we are all shocked, but what has shocked us is not those trying to help – it is the fact that have grown comfortable with our way of life and never truly expected something like this to happen to us. Blaming those that are actually making attempts to help is not the answer.

    You say airlift . . . I tell you there is the largest fleet of helicopters and aircraft ever deployed by a non-military exclusive effort, not to mention the thousands of boats, trucks, busses and other vehicles that are down there to help, both from the government’s and private individual’s efforts.

    There was never any time b/t the rioting and what you call “non-acceptable relief efforts”. Relief efforts started before this disaster occurred, but how do you fully prepare for such a castastrophe? You are never going to be able to reach everyone at once, so like I said, it will take some time. And trust me on this: these people aren’t rioting b/c the relief efforts aren’t working well. These people are rioting b/c there wasn’t enough law enforcement to prevent them from ransacking electronics and jewelry stores. All those police officers that were helping in relief efforts had to be pulled off that job in order to prevent the people that were looting.

    So, DG, your rationale does not work, and it simply isn’t accurate. You are trying to place blame and that is the absolute wrong thing to do. The best thing for you to do is admit that fact and perhaps see what you can do to actually contribute positively to this situation.

    I can show you how to charter a helo or airplane if you would like to contribute in that way . . .

  15. Bill Simon says:

    Pardon me for not jumping on the defense-of-Bush-wagon, but, exactly how much jet fuel did Air Force One waste taking the President over to a naval air station on Tuesday, AFTER it was known the levees broke on MONDAY, for him to make his pump-up-support-for-Iraq speech that compared 9-11 and the war in Iraq to Pearl Harbor? This man is one callous SOB who only thinks of himself UNLESS he can gain political ground by doing something else for someone (e.g., interfering into the Terri Schivao affair).

    Oh, and if you’re wondering, I have given $100 to the American Red Cross AND, last Monday, I contributed blood, like I normally contribute blood, to the Red Cross.

    I cannot give blood for 112 days, and I cannot afford to give any more money. BUT, I’d better see some of our esteemed, pontificating, blow-hard politicians damn near EMPTY their campaign coffers before I give another dime to this effort.

    Yes, “everyone” should give, but especially, everyone who is in a better financial condition should give a lot more than anyone else…especially, these politicians who only want other people to do things for them (“vote for me!”….”volunteer for me!”….”give me money!”…biggest bunch of welfare crybabies on the planet…)

  16. Decaturguy says:

    “Not acceptable” is not my term for the relief effort – that is President Bush’s term. My term would be more like “embarrasing” or “deplorable.”

    Yes, we are finally seeing some substantial relief efforts in the form of food, water, and medical supplies by the federal government on Friday, even though the levees broke on Monday. So, yes, finally, we are seeing some action by the feds, but why did it take so long? We provided help to the tsunami victims in ASIA at a much faster pace than we could provide help to our own people in Louisiana and Mississippi. That is just unacceptable.

    All I know is that according to the people on the ground there (whether it be the refugees or the reporters) they were not getting food, water and medical supplies on the ground there all week. And it has nothing to do with violence by the thugs in New Orleans. That is just an excuse for the inaction.

    I think it is offensive to call the poor, suffering people of New Orleans a bunch of thugs and criminals. Yes, many of them were in a desperate situation (starving and thirsty) and broke into a store to get food and water. But most have not been violent. What would you do if you were in a similar situation? Do you really think anything in those stores could be saved and sold anyway?

    Just like any other city in the country, there are thugs and criminals in New Orleans, but the vast, vast majority of those folks down there are poor, hungry, and scared and desperately are looking for answers they are not getting. If our police, guardsmen, and military cannot take on some groups of thugs and criminals engaging in violent behavior like what is going on in New Orleans, we are in big, big trouble. So I don’t want to hear that as an excuse.

    How are we going to react when (god forbid) there is another terrorist attack on US soil? We had warning of this hurricane coming. We’re not going to have warning of a terrorist attack. Is this how we are going to handle the situation? We’re in big trouble if we do.

  17. GAWire says:

    Decaturguy,

    I am on the phone right now with that last back-hoe rental company that hasn’t sent all of their equipment to help in relief efforts, and I need the address as to where I should send them to help get you out of your horribly deep hole you have been digging yourself into with these blame comments.

    You should read the article about the President’s “not acceptable” comment better – he clarified that what he was referring to was that the looting and the lawlessness are unacceptable!

    And you are still wrong that most of the poeple who are looting are just trying to get food and water. According to the police, the FAR MAJORITY of looters are people stealing things like DVD players, TV’s, jewelry, guns, pharm drugs, cars, and other items they can get for their own personal gain – not survival. Yes, some are stealing food, but there is actually a provision in the law that allows people to take NECESSARY items such as food, water and supplies in a disaster such as this.

    Also, these clearly are not people making excuses when we see that 85% of Orleans Parish law enforcement were taken off rescue efforts so they could defend against looters that were SHOOTING at OTHER EVACUEES and RESCUE WORKERS. In the Baton Rouge River Ctr, looters broke AFTER they were given food, water, shelter and clothing and began stealing cars, pistol whipping women and looting stores (not grocery stores that is).

    What would I do in that situation you ask? I would certainly be getting food for my family – yes – but I wouldn’t be breaking into Walmart to steal rifles so I can terrorize others that are helping.

    And you are also mistaken if you think we came to Asia’s rescue faster than we have come to aid in our own catastrophe. Americans went to work on helping this situation before it even occurred, and we will continue to work on restoring the lives and helping those people long after today.

    Like I said before, since you are so critical of EVERYTHING that has been done, perhaps you should assume command and make things right.

    After the back-hoe helps you out of your hole, I will coordinate transportation, so you can leave your family, friends, job and home to takeover the situation that all of these others have apparently “messed up” so much!

    . . . or you can just admit you are wrong!

  18. Decaturguy says:

    GAWire,

    Are you in New Orleans right now? I don’t know what planet you are on but these are the facts about what President Bush said:

    – Before leaving Washington, Bush said, “A lot of people are working hard to help those who have been affected. The results are not acceptable.”

    Asked by reporters later in the day what he meant by that comment, Bush replied that he was “certainly not denigrating the efforts of anybody. But the results can be better in New Orleans.”

    The president reiterated his “zero tolerance” approach to looting and said that “in order to make sure there’s less violence, we have to get food to people.”

    Your attempt to categorize these poor people in New Orleans as a bunch of criminals in order to justify the inaction of the federal government is disgraceful. Even President Bush acknowledges the failures of the relief effort so far and I hope he is trying to change things to make it more effective. Why are you not on board GA Wire? Instead it seems you are trying to justify the incompetence of the past 5 days.

    I’m not in the business of disaster relier, I rely on the federal government for that. That is why I’m so disappointed with them. What this exposes is how unprepared we are for such disasters – whether they be natural or by terrorism.

  19. GAWire says:

    I will be in Southern LA, MS and AL starting next week as a matter of fact. I work with an organization participating in relief efforts. I also have family there right now working in these efforts. I have other close family members and other friends that work for the federal government. I have close friends that are law enforcement officials in LA. I have other family members that are LA political officials. I am actually from Louisiana and know the area and people well. Not saying that I am an expert on this, but something tells me I might have a little more insight on some of what’s happening there than what you are seeing on CNN.

    I am afraid you are still wrong, though. Besides the fact that the President clarified that he was referring to lawlessness as what was unacceptable efforts, he also did enforce that what has been done so far is truly amazing, and that it indeed will take some time before we can see the full effects of relief efforts.

    That aside, it is clear that I am NOT referring to the poor people as criminals. As a matter of fact I have been defending those poor people that are stealing food when I pointed out the exemption in the law that allows stealing in case of disaster and when people are taking NECESSARY items for survival. Once again, though, Decaturguy, perhaps my necessary redundancy in pointing this out will help you understand when I am telling you that it is the police and other officials that are pointing out the fact that the far majority of looters are not simply stealing food or water.

    YOUR attempts to categorize what I am saying are ill-attempts and won’t help get you out of your hole of misinformation and ignorance (btw, the back-hoe company is still looking for you to help with that I’m sure).

    Why am I not on board you ask? Because I would rather not board a sinking ship. I would rather let you handle that one on your own – good luck.

    Furthermore, justifying incompentence seems to be something you know a lot about.

    I don’t think the federal gov’t is perfect and I could easily be playing Monday Morning Quarterback claiming I could run this show better, but what does that help? How is your criticism of those putting their lives on the line helping this effort?

    You aren’t in the business of disaster relief you say? That’s fine, but what about humanitarian assistance? What about support for your fellow Americans? What about encouragement for those doing everything they can right now?

    As I speak/write: “Snipers shooting at workers and police officers in the Bell South building in St Bernard Parish, not allowing the men, women and children to leave.”

    Perhaps you can defend them . . .

  20. Bill Simon says:

    I doubt Decaturguy can defend them, but I think a team of National Guardsmen flying in via Black Hawk helicopters should help. Do we have ANY of those assets within an hour’s flying time of the situation? Or, are they in Iraq this week?

  21. GAWire says:

    Sure, Bill – let’s take troops and support off the front lines of the War on Terror so our enemies can regain support to attack us again. Then, when that happens, you all will attack the President for not defending Americans from terrorists.

    That logic is right up there with “Bush caused Katrina”!

    Reading some of the comments above would normally give me great anxiety, but then I take great comfort and relief when I remember that we have Republicans leading this country who are much more capable to lead than your guys – and they will be there for a long time, b/c that is what Americans want.

    . . . remembering what great stress that must cause some of you guys is just an added bonus for me!

  22. Bill Simon says:

    AND, it is the law of THIS government to defend this nation from ALL enemies, both foreign AND domestic.

    SO, GAWire, is it okay for the President to send our defenses to OTHER countries and leave us unportected from calamitiies like this?

    Man! Take your nose out of the rear-end of Bush and smell reality without ASSuming the person evoking a complaint about Bush is a liberal or a conservative. Twit.

  23. albert says:

    Bill, we’re not having to defend enemies domestically at this point, other than a few thugs. There are 10,000 guardsman. I doubt the people of Louisiana are helpless. It would behoove the political hierarchy to mobilize the citizenry to do something productive to achieve an objective. This would minimize the misery index, build camaraderie and empower the masses. Ain’t nothing better than doing something on your own.

    Again, in the words of the great Rodney King, “Can’t we all get along?”

  24. Bill Simon says:

    Asked later how the richest country on Earth could not meet the needs of its people, Bush said: “I am satisfied with the response. I am not satisfied with all the results.”

    Folks, if the results suck, it DOESN”T matter how much you tried to do something, does it?

    It’s like the response a kid would make after getting a “D” on a test she studied for for weeks. “Ummm…I studied really really hard….and I still got a D!”

    Bush gets a “D”…Homeland Security gets an “F”…and Congress should be fired en masse for just approving all of these billions of dollars of expenditures on Homeland Defense without setting standards for progress to be measured against. We didn’t get hit by a “surprise terrorist attack” here.

    If you’re a Republican, you’d better start getting of the mind to DEMAND accountability from our leaders. This sychophantic exercise in brown-nosing looks too much like the same thing the Dems did in support of Clinton. And I am fed-up with it.

  25. buzzbrockway says:

    It’s clear to me that the necessary preparations were not made by state and local authorities. A category 5 hurricane is heading you’re way and you don’t evecuate until 48 hours out and you make little or no effort to help the poor people who rely on public transportation. It takes a long time to rescue 100,000 people who stayed in NO.

    Effective action was not taken immediately following the storm to prevent looting and thus we have chaos. Perhaps President Bush should have seized control from local authorities but who knew they were this incompotent?

    The lesson here is that people shouldn’t rely on the government to take care of them, they should take action to protect themselves. Isn’t that what conservatives have been saying for years?

  26. GAWire says:

    >>”””SO, GAWire, is it okay for the President to send our defenses to OTHER countries and leave us unportected from calamities like this?”””–Bill Simon

    Uh, let’s see – does “sending our defenses to other countries” mean tracking down the terrorists that attacked this country on 9/11 and protecting Americans from future attacks? If so, then my answer would be: ABSOLUTELY – it’s not just ok, it is vital!

    Having our forces deployed to protect us in the War on Terror had NOTHING to do with what has happened from Katrina.

    My nose isn’t in the President’s rear-end, but I am capable of recognizing a good leader and what those people are trying to do to help in the midst of so much unnecessary and unhelpful criticism. The fact that you can’t do that tells me a great deal.

    And, finally – I always know when I have proven my opponent wrong when they result to calling me names . . . so, let’s just leave this debate with that.

  27. Decaturguy says:

    GA Wire,

    Before you call the backhoe company for me, you’d better get your head out of the sand. If Bill Clinton were President and this was the response of the federal government, you would be all over him. But because apparently you are so partisan, and anything Bush does is good, you can’t even acknowledge what a compete and utter disaster the federal response was to this and even acknowledge the fact that had this been a terrorist attack instead of a hurricane, we’d be in big, big trouble. Don’t you think the terrorists in the middle east are laughing at us right now and making some grand plans? New Orleans is not even one of our largest cities.

    The complete incompetence of this administration has really been exposed here. And it is not just me that is saying it. Here is what these Republicans said:

    “If we can’t respond faster than this to an event we saw coming across the Gulf for days, then why do we think we’re prepared to respond to a nuclear or biological attack?” asked former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, a Republican

    “It’s impossible to defend something like this happening in America,” said former House Speaker Newt Gingrich.

    Republican Gov. Mitt Romney of Massachusetts called the government’s response “an embarrassment.”

    Rep. Mark Foley, R-Fla., called upon Bush to recall National Guardsmen stationed in Iraq whose homes and families were in the path of Katrina’s destruction. The president said there were enough Guard troops for Iraq and recovery efforts.

    GA Wire, you don’t even know if I have sent money, have family down there, so you should think before you write and make assinine statements such as the ones you have.

    And who is the one who is politicizing this when you make statements such as this – “I take great comfort and relief when I remember that we have Republicans leading this country who are much more capable to lead than your guys – and they will be there for a long time, b/c that is what Americans want.”

    You are truly pathetic.

  28. Bill Simon says:

    Well…it seems that we may now know the truth of why the federal government didn’t respond quickly in Louisiana: it seems that the governors of Mississippi and Alabama (Barbour and Riley) declared their states to be “states of emergency” while the blubbering governor of Louisiana has YET TO DO SO to this day:

    Governor
    Bianca Blows It for her citizens

  29. Romegaguy says:

    AP reporting Brown, head of FEMA, didnt ask his boss for permission to send staff until5 hours after levees broke. His memo to staff gave them another 48 hours for the first 1000 staff to appear in New Orleans and the Gulf Coast and another 7 days for the next 2000 staff. Airline industry wasnt asked to help evacuate people until late Thursday afternoon.

    “Brownie, you’re doing a heck of a job,” Bush said.

    Yeah, right.

  30. Bill Simon says:

    Actually, the memo was written on Monday, August 29, before the leveees broke.

    Brownie Boy

    From reading this article, if it is completely accurate, I can conclude that Brown and Chertoff are just PR figureheads that Bush stuck into their positions of leadership. That is the conclusion one reaches upon hearing Bush do nothing but simply praise Brownie and Chertoff. This Administration is awesome at offering praise, but does very little when it comes to looking at real responsibility to their actions.

  31. kspencer says:

    FWIW, I think President Bush did most things right in this crisis – and I am very much opposed to his political philosophy in general. I think there were two errors made in this that were preventable. One is political and had psychological/morale effects, and that was made by the President. The other – the other was made by Secretary Chertoff, I’ve yet to find a satisfactory defense, and its effects magnified the normal difficulties and troubles and confusions found in responding to a disaster.

    The president’s error was in failing to act like a leader. It echoes earlier remarks on this blog, in that he did a LOT, but it was behind the scenes. On the public stage, he waited till the disaster reached the shore. Then the day after that he announced he’d end his vacation early…tomorrow. (Yep, that’s what he said.) Now anybody paying attention would know he’d been doing as much from the ranch as he’d do from his office in DC. And they’d realize he’d done a lot and was still doing a lot. But in politics perception matters. And in this case… If I call the plumber or doctor and tell him it’s an emergency, and he asks me some questions, I expect it to end with “do something today” whether it’s the doctor’s office or the emergency room or something else. If he says, “Come in and see me tomorrow” then I know – not suspect, but KNOW, that in his opinion it is not an emergency. And that’s what the President told everyone on the public stage – that this disaster wasn’t an emergency in his opinion. It overwhelmed the yeoman’s duty he did behind the scenes. It was a given that whatever he did some if not all the media would kibitz and criticise, but that one statement gave their yammering traction. It did so because it spoke clearly beyond all words to everyone at all levels. “Ho hum, it’s important, but it can wait till tomorrow. I’m on a well-deserved vacation, you know.” Stupidity after doing so well.

    The DHS on the other hand… There is this declaration that is the sole province of the Secretary of the DHS. That is to declare a disaster an “Incident of National Significance” (I’ll use INS herein). According to the National Response Plan (a 400+ page document discussing who does what in a national emergency), such a declaration is a “go” command to a lot of agencies – government and NGO – to get to the site with their first responders to save lives and property now. In essence, it says, “Get there now and start doing what you do best. While you’re there, start getting in touch with this group of people through the DHS/FEMA so we can work together, identify the most important things and get them higher in the priority chain. But for now just GET THERE IMMEDIATELY AND START SAVING LIVES.”

    The SecDHS can initiate a declaration of an INS on several conditions. One of those is a declaration of federal emergency by the president which includes a statement that the governor(s) have asked for help for a problem which exceed their ability to cope. Another is when clear and compelling evidence of such a disaster is in progress. Now let’s look at some time points.
    On the 26th, several governors (to include Governor Blanco of Louisiana) issued Statements of Emergency that included requests for Federal assistance as the anticipated emergency was beyond their ability to cope. (check). On the 26th of August, the president issued some Statements of Federal Emergency Assistance, and he issued some more on the 27th. At that point, the pre-requisites were in place for Chertoff to issue an INS. On the 28th, the hurricane was registering near-record strength and had turned north. The hurricane made landfall the next morning, the 29th of August, after weakening to “only” a category 4 (barely) and hooking so as to slighly miss New Orleans. By that afternoon, the levees of New Orleans had begun to break, and by evening the floods were underway.

    SecDHS Chertoff issued his INS the afternoon of August 30. Then and only then could various agencies initiate “first response” without further requests for permission. That’s a delay of at best a day, more likely a day and a half, and by authority it was a delay of three full days. Those are days the emergency services sat at the ready line waiting to go and unable to act (with a few exceptions).

    If you read the NRP, and take time to talk to experienced EMA folk (state and federal and even local) you’ll discover the whole plan is a mess. It’s not streamlined. It’s designed to maximize local control and avoid stepping on “other agencies’ turf”. It’s full of places for miscommunication and confusion as to who’s in charge at what point. But it works – it worked for several hurricanes over the last couple of years among other things just as one example.

    But it doesn’t do any good at all if it’s not initiated. And for that I’ll blame Secretary Chertoff alone. I don’t know why he delayed. He says he didn’t know the floods were happening – though they filled the news (both television and print). He says he didn’t think it was that bad. I find I cannot think of a reasonable way a staff that’s supposed to be coordinating a response to a major terrorist attack and to major natural disasters could so fail to keep the boss informed UNLESS the boss worked to make it so. I’m not calling for him to be fired, not yet, not till there’s an honest chance to see if there were mitigating reasons. But as of right now, I mark this as the single biggest error in a host of errors in preparation and response to the disaster.

    I’ll note that these two weren’t the only errors. More importantly, I’d like to point out that IT’S A DISASTER, and there are going to be things that don’t work like you planned and surprises and simple human mistakes from stress and exhaustion. I’ve a special place of condemnation for the mayor of New Orleans (mitigated by the fact that despite his errors he got 80% of the population out in 48 hours compared to 60% in 72 last year). I find that the governor of Louisiana’s waffling on a couple of things may have caused a bit of problem as well (though I wonder how come only Louisiana was asked to surrender control and not the harder hit Mississippi). But the current discussion is about the federal level, so that’s where I’ll detail my remarks. Both that I ONLY see two places of blame, and even there only one probably had major impact on the response.

    admin addendum: feh – Erick, my apologies for ranting. If you think this too long and/or irrelevant, by all means delete it.

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