The Columbia Critic

A place to debate anything we want to. We'll talk Columbia campus issues. We'll talk up the homosexual problem. We'll talk China. And we'll talk without resorting to partisan rhetoric. We may be left. We may be right. But we aren't going to be quoting any party line. We're leading the discussion. But feel free to chime in. Hannity and Colmes this is not.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

A failure of execution

Friday's Washington Post editorial sums up, months after the fact, the core issue that we must focus on when discussing the human costs of Hurricane Katrina. Riffing on the new AP-released video of the president asserting government preparation before the Hurricane fully hit, the editorial makes the point that the most important issue was not preparation, but in fact execution. Evidence now shows that resources, while important, were underutilized due to failures of execution at the federal, state, AND local levels, where various politicians of both parties denied reality until disaster had already struck again and again.

As the Post notes: "Moreover, at the time of the conference the White House had no idea whether federal emergency services were truly prepared. On the tape, the president doesn't ask any questions about preparedness, and there is no evidence in documents since released that he was any more engaged before or after the conference. Had anyone called the Defense Department? Was the National Guard en route? Were local Army bases prepared to help? Were emergency food and water supplies in place? The president, like everyone around him, appears to have assumed that everything would run like clockwork, just as it was supposed to on paper."

They may have been prepared, they may not have been. But the president didn't know.

That, the Post concludes, "should tell the nation something about the value of leadership."

I've found myself being an apologist at times for the president, only because I can't contemplate that someone with such power and resources could be so culpable for so many failures over his two terms. But honestly, now, with the port deal showing his tone deafness, and many issues illustrating the imperial nature of the Bush administration, I've finally got to stop apologizing. While not going anywhere near the continued liberal calls for impeachment, I am finally (way too late in many peoples' minds) convinced that this administration is ruining the nation. Is my conclusion too little, too late? Likely, but the sheer flood of events in recent months has sealed the lid on the Bush administration.


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