At first, I attributed the problems of our so-called leaders in dealing with the crisis caused by Hurricane Katrina mostly to sheer incompetence and diverted resources in Iraq.
I had a huge paradigm shift, though, when my friend Phil was discussing with me the plan to renovate the area as a resort/casino haven like Las Vegas. Suddenly the lack of action to minimize the flooding and destruction of property, and the desire to remove all the poor residents out of the area made perfect sense. Pay these displaced souls some rock-bottom compensation, bulldoze the city, and build up a profit-generating developer's paradise. It may be considered cynical to think that the people in power would not prevent a major US port city from being destroyed so private developers, companies, and the government can make a killing from a new resort/port area, but I think it is simply naíve not to consider it, especially considering the dismal track record of this White House regarding public vs. corporate interests.
Developers Had Wanted New Orleans to be a Las Vegas
I also had a debate with my Mom about how much blame to put on Bush individually. I don't believe that President Bush himself mis-managed all the federal responses, the rebuilding contracts, and the gas price-gouging. That's Dick Cheney's job... duh!!! (Where do you think he was the first week of the crisis? I guess it takes time to plan the systematic exploitation of the American people for the benefit of Halliburton and KBR.) Her argument was... why didn't Clinton build up the levees, etc? I'm glad she eggs me on and makes me really consider my position on these matters (which is usually summed up as; George W. Bush and his Administration are a malignant cancer devouring this country).
Regardless of how much people would like to blame Clinton, the local governments, or the "sinners" at Mardi Gras, the facts are the facts.
**The report quoted below has plenty of concrete examples of the Bush Administration and Congress's mismanagement of our national resources. I'm an Independent, so I don't automatically think Bill Clinton or the Democrats are some kind of saints. However, compared to the corrupt, incompetent Oil-garchy sucking the life out of this nation, even Mr. Burns from The Simpsons looks like a responsible, caring leader!
The Bush administration's policy of turning over wetlands to developers almost certainly also contributed to the heightened level of the storm surge. In 1990, a federal task force began restoring lost wetlands surrounding New Orleans. Every two miles of wetland between the Crescent City and the Gulf reduces a surge by half a foot. Bush had promised "no net loss" of wetlands, a policy launched by his father's administration and bolstered by President Clinton. But he reversed his approach in 2003, unleashing the developers. The Army Corps of Engineers and the Environmental Protection Agency then announced they could no longer protect wetlands unless they were somehow related to interstate commerce.