Katrina Aid Ignored
Posted by nytexan on April 29, 2007
How can anyone expect Bush and his administration to correct the chaos of Iraq when the chaos of Katrina still looms over us? We all know the poor performance of Bush, FEMA and the rest of the incompetent gang. How aware are we that our incompetent President squandered money, supplies and good will diplomacy from other countries. Should it surprise any of us that much of New Orleans is still in shambles the same way most of Iraq is? Bush has exhibited the same style of poor management for both Katrina and Iraq.
In today’s Washington Post Article: “Most Katrina Aid From Overseas Went Unclaimed” 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.” Remember Karen Hughes, Under Secretary, Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs? Basically she still holds a post that nobody around the world takes seriously.
The reality was, that while Hughes wanted everyone to say thank you, diplomats around the world were watching the U.S. government turn down many allies’ offers.
“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. In addition, valuable supplies and services — such as cell phone systems, medicine and cruise ships — were delayed or declined because the government could not handle them. In some cases, supplies were wasted”. (See CREW documents for detailed information and contribution matrix.)
The Italians should be disgusted at outcome of their generosity. Their shipments of medicine, gauze and other emergency supplies spoiled after sitting out for weeks, and had to be destroyed. In an email exchange, one official wrote, “Tell them we blew it,” another official wrote “The flip side is just to dispose of it and not come clean”. How typical of this administrations minions.
Bush, in all his bluster of caring about people, again falls far short of his responsibilities. The administration did however, admit in February 2006 that they were ill prepared to coordinate and distribute foreign aid. Not only were they ill prepared, they still haven’t fixed the lingering problems of Katrina. They were never honest with our allies about not being prepared to distribute aid. Sorry, honesty is not on this administration agenda.
So, I ask you again, how can Bush tell the American people that he knows what’s good for Iraq when he can’t even seem to understand what’s good for New Orleans. Its residents are still scattered around the country. Bush (the AFFECTED) has no concept of cause and effect.