Thursday, September 01, 2005

Sniper attacks in New Orleans...

I understand and applaud the initial impulse to put rescue ahead of security in the fight to save the people of New Orleans, but I'm afraid it appears the lawlessness has reached a truly shocking level! Someone's going to have to go in there HARD and gain some control if people are going to be saved. It's truly tragic.

Gunmen target Medical Convoy... New Orleans Mayor issues "a desperate SOS"

Recommend this Post

Did Canada respond to Katrina fast enough?


The Americans know we're here, and that we'll do for them, or give to them, anything they need, and I'm positive that was clear to them before, during and after the storm, no matter when the official press releases of condolences and offers of help came out (Cabinet Secretaries and Presidents don't get offers of help from Press Releases, that's already happened once the release is issued).

The rest of this post is a bit partisan, and I'm as sick as the next person of partisanship being injected in to the Katrina disaster, so please feel free to move on to more important posts now...

Now, to those people who don't think we responded fast enough?


I'm pretty sure when the government's first press release came out on Tuesday, Bush hadn't even arrived back in Washington from his vacation yet. Now, I don't mean, at all, to slag Bush here. It's clear that the extent of the damage, especially to New Orleans, wasn't clear right away, in part because levees kept bursting long AFTER the storm hit, so the initial damage from the storm hitting was only the beginning. And, in part, because media couldn't get IN to New Orleans right away, making it hard to publicize the extent of the disaster. I'm not a big Bush fan by any means, but I don't doubt for one second that he did, and will continue to do everything he can to help his citizens in this crisis. And I have no doubt that the Canadian government stands willing and prepared to offer ANY asistance requested. And the Americans know that, and will call on us when they need anything. To the extent that things (in the media) didn't happen IMMEDIATELY, I blame that on nothing more than the extent of the damage not being IMMEDIATELY apparent. That's why Bush stayed in Crawford, but I have no doubt about Bush's commitment to the American people and his wish to do whatever can be done to save those devastated by the storm (and I'm not even going to comment on my disagreements with him here... that can be left aside for a few days while this disaster is dealt with...).

It's like the Tories want us to just start randomly driving trucks and flying helicopters across the border, without any coordination from the Americans, or any assessment of what they are short of, or what assistance is most needed, or where. I'm quite confident in the Americans' preparedness and resources to deal with a disaster like this, and while I'm sure they very well may need assistance from us at some point, I'm not at all convinced they need it YESTERDAY. If they had though, I'm sure it would have been there. The Tories make it sound like Bush is desperately trying to call us for help and Martin is refusing to answer the phone. And as we all know, if the White House is having phone troubles these days...

Sure, it's silly hyperbole to suggest that all those calls to the White House switchboard about softwood lumber (a helpful suggestion from the CPC to stand up to the Americans ON THE VERY DAY OF THE HURRICANE!!!) would hurt the relief effort at all, but it's no less silly to claim the Government's response was too slow.

The first government press release came out THE SAME DAY AS HARPER'S. And it stated that the Deputy Prime Minister had ALREADY CONTACTED Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff, to offer any assistance needed, and that the Health Minister had already advised the Public Health Agency in Canada to get in touch with HHS in the U.S. to offer any assistance needed, including access to resources such as the emergency medical supplies contained in our National Emergency Stockpile System.

I just can't understand people who would hate a politician or political party SO MUCH that they would believe that a human being would drag their feet at a time like this. Much less that they would drag their feet out of some sort of "anti-Americanism". And to even think of using a tragedy like this to attack your political opponents (especially when it's clearly not warranted) is sickening. It's ludicrous.

Paul Wells is right, people outside Canada must be disgusted that some of us would whine, and moan, and wring our hands over our government's (supposedly) slow response. As though this was all about us, and our supposed anti-Americanism, and not about helping helpless and desperate people.

I'm so sick of politicians in Canada. I have no words. I hope the government just ignores the Tories, and doesn't fight back (as I have here) at all. Stay on the high road Paul (I'm no fan of you either, so watch yourself). The CPC is damaging itself quite enough these days without your help, and if you try to take advantage of this tragedy like they have, I'm gonna get really mad at you too.

Recommend this Post