The Bush Administration Hates New Orleans.

4 comments April 29th, 2007at 01:53pm Posted by Eli

This goes beyond simple incompetence. Like Bush’s refusal to waive the 10% matching requirement for federal aid, this is deliberate malice:

As the winds and water of Hurricane Katrina were receding, presidential confidante Karen Hughes sent a cable from her State Department office to U.S. ambassadors worldwide.

Titled “Echo-Chamber Message” — a public relations term for talking points designed to be repeated again and again — the Sept. 7, 2005, directive was unmistakable: Assure the scores of countries that had pledged or donated aid at the height of the disaster that their largesse had provided Americans “practical help and moral support” and “highlight the concrete benefits hurricane victims are receiving.”

Many of the U.S. diplomats who received the message, however, were beginning to witness a more embarrassing reality. They knew the U.S. government was turning down many allies’ offers of manpower, supplies and expertise worth untold millions of dollars. Eventually the United States also would fail to collect most of the unprecedented outpouring of international cash assistance for Katrina’s victims.

Allies offered $854 million in cash and in oil that was to be sold for cash. But only $40 million has been used so far for disaster victims or reconstruction, according to U.S. officials and contractors. Most of the aid went uncollected, including $400 million worth of oil. Some offers were withdrawn or redirected to private groups such as the Red Cross. The rest has been delayed by red tape and bureaucratic limits on how it can be spent.

(…)

The struggle to apply foreign aid in the aftermath of the hurricane, which has cost U.S. taxpayers more than $125 billion so far, is another reminder of the federal government’s difficulty leading the recovery. Reports of government waste and delays or denials of assistance have surfaced repeatedly since hurricanes Katrina and Rita struck in 2005.

(…)

In one exchange, State Department officials anguished over whether to tell Italy that its shipments of medicine, gauze and other medical supplies spoiled in the elements for weeks after Katrina’s landfall on Aug. 29, 2005, and were destroyed. “Tell them we blew it,” one disgusted official wrote. But she hedged: “The flip side is just to dispose of it and not come clean. I could be persuaded.”

(…)

And while television sets worldwide showed images of New Orleans residents begging to be rescued from rooftops as floodwaters rose, U.S. officials turned down countless offers of allied troops and search-and-rescue teams. The most common responses: “sent letter of thanks” and “will keep offer on hand,” the new documents show.

Overall, the United States declined 54 of 77 recorded aid offers from three of its staunchest allies: Canada, Britain and Israel, according to a 40-page State Department table of the offers that had been received as of January 2006.

(h/t CREW)

But wait, there’s more. Consider this story from September ’05:

The Ministry of Defence in London said last night that 400,000 operational ration packs had been shipped to the US.

But officials blamed the US Department of Agriculture, which impounded the shipment under regulations relating to the import and export of meat.

The aid worker, who would not be named, said: “This is the most appalling act of sickening senselessness while people starve.

“The FDA has recalled aid from Britain because it has been condemned as unfit for human consumption, despite the fact that these are NATO approved rations of exactly the same type fed to British soldiers in Iraq.

Under NATO, American soldiers are also entitled to eat such rations, yet the starving of the American South will see them go up in smoke because of FDA red tape madness.”

The worker added: “There will be a cloud of smoke above Little Rock soon – of burned food, of anger and of shame that the world’s richest nation couldn’t organise a p**s up in a brewery and lets Americans starve while they arrogantly observe petty regulations.

“Everyone is revolted by the chaotic shambles the US is making of this crisis. Guys from UNICEF are walking around spitting blood.

(…)

“It is perfectly good NATO approved food of the type British servicemen have. Yet the FDA are saying that because there is a meat content and it has come from Britain it must be destroyed.

“If they are trying to argue there is a BSE reason then that is ludicrously out of date. There is more BSE in the States than there ever was in Britain and UK meat has been safe for years.”

Bush. Hates. NOLA.

Entry Filed under: Bush,Katrina,Republicans,Wankers

4 Comments

  • 1. LJ/Aquaria  |  April 30th, 2007 at 11:12 am

    No, Eli. Bush hates everyone who isn’t like him. That means all of us down here in the real world. He especially hates the least among us. and odd take for a self-professed Christian, given this oft-quoted teaching from Bush’s favorite philosohper (oft-quoted these days, because it speaks volumes about BushCo that they don’t heed it):

    “Depart from me because I was hungry and you did not feed me, I was thirsty and you did not give me to drink, I was sick and you did not visit me.” These will ask Him, “When did we see You hungry, or thirsty or sick and did not come to Your help?” And Jesus will answer them, “Whatever you neglected to do unto one of these least of these, you neglected to do unto Me!”

    It’s obvious that Bush hasn’t read shit from the Bible. Not if he could not be moved by the most powerful and memorable message from his favorite philosopher, the one passage that could be called the core of the best of Christian belief. I’m an atheist, and I consider this one of the greatest appeals for compassion ever written. How could anyone with one iota of humanity not see that as a clarion call for justice, equality and mercy? What does it say about Bush and his cabal of RR wackos that they do not heed this basic tenet of their faith? Why can an infidel like me find personal purpose in the words of their philosopher that they cannot?

    A pox on them all.

  • 2. Eli  |  April 30th, 2007 at 12:51 pm

    He mostly just doesn’t really *care* about the rest of us, but I really do think he reserves a special vindictive hatred for NOLA. I have a theory about why that might be…

    And I think you’re wrong about Bush and the Bible. I think he’s read a *lot* of it – the only problem is, it was all Old Testament. Dubya ate up all that Vengeful God stuff, and his takeaway was, “Now *that’s* a leader!”

  • 3. LJ/Aquaria  |  April 30th, 2007 at 1:02 pm

    Au contraire, Eli. Dig a little deeper into that old NT–it has a lot of nasty stuff in it to help the wackos get their hate on. Jesus himself can be rather creepy and vindictive.

  • 4. LJ/Aquaria  |  April 30th, 2007 at 1:06 pm

    As for your theory… If he does have a special vindictive hatred, it’s for how it made him look bad. Or that going in there and saying, “I feel your pain” didn’t have all those suffering people kissing his feet for his compassion. Or both.

    He’s a toad that way.


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