Thursday, September 01, 2005

Katrina: some disfocused thoughts on the catastrophe

Note to reader: Consider this post to be an internal dialogue, thinking out loud, if you will.

Hurricane Katrina has turned the Gulf Coast into a humanitarian catastrophe, what some are calling the "worst natural disaster in the nation's history," with New Orleans degenerated into anarchy. The primary concern should be to help the victims, restore order, and think about rebuilding. Now is not the time to politicize this issue or to exploit the victims plight in order to play (to borrow a phrase from the President) political gotcha. But at the same time, we must consider the context of why this happened and make some sense of it. Facts are facts, and if they shine a not so positive light on someone or something then so be it. Serious matters require serious consideration, but also tact and respect for the suffering. We should not lose sight of the our ultimate common goal: aiding the victims.

Questions that must be considered and discussed, perhaps not at this moment, but soon:
- People, such as Chris Mooney, had been warning about the devastation that a class 4-5 hurricane could wreak on New Orleans for some time now. Why did no one listen?
- Did Katrina have to happen? Did this administration fail to take steps necessary to prevent or at least alleviate this catastrophe? See here
- What does Katrina reveal to us about issue of race and inequality? See here, here and here
- Why are we so unprepared to respond to this crisis?
- What will the economic consequences of sustaining a large budget deficit, funding military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, and rebuilding the Gulf Coast be?

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