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Opening Arguments

Hard to ignore

It's not quite true that, while the U.S. rushes with aid whenever disaster strikes somewhere else in the world, the rest of the world is indifferent to our disasters. Hurricane Katrina has gotten the world's attention. On the other hand, we might have been just a little slow to get it here in this country.

Posted in: Current Affairs


Laurabelle McCaffery
Fri, 09/02/2005 - 10:28am

I think more than a little slow. Where is the indignation? The condemnation? The call for immediate action? The nation was recently galvanized to try by any means to prolong or save the life of one "comatose" woman by reinserting her feeding tube. Today, we hear doctors saying that patients are dying in New Orleans hospitals because the basics of water and food are not available. WHY? How have we allowed this state of affairs to occur? Why are we not as concerned over the death of many as we were of one? Can we ignore the loss of life because it does not have an individual face? (There are some other issues that are in the back of my mind that I am trying to keep there. Race and economic status. I hope I am wrong.) Can we be so callous? Four days is an unacceptable amount of time for aid to get to the hurricane victims in our own country. Where is the post 9-11 coordination we have heard about? What of the supposed capabilities of Homeland Security to protect the country? It looks as though New Orleans and the surrounding area may well be the price we pay for a learning curve that we were led to believe had already been achieved. I hope we do not blame the victims for still being in the city. Tourists were stranded - in fact some of their buses were allegedly commandeered by authorities. Many people had no way to leave. And this, I believe, should give food for thought to planners for other large metropolitan areas. Many urban residents rely totally on public transportation and there needs to be a mass effort to provide this option in future evacuation planning. I sincerely hope we all learn a great deal from this. Not the least of which is compassion loss of complacency.