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Thursday, September 01, 2005


Desire submerged but Hope must be kept alive in the aftermath of Katrina

New Orleans lies griveously wounded
Now is the time for the president to put his money where his mouth is. How President Bush and his team handle the crisis in Louisiana will either help him regain broad support of the American people or shed a harsh light on the reasons for failure. The beginning has not been praiseworthy. FEMA has come under some criticism for being disorganized. But there is no question that the havoc caused by Katrina is unprecedented in scale. Infrastructures collapsed; communications sytems completely broke down. The fact that most of New Orleans lies below sea level made it especially vulnerable. All resources of the Federal Government have now been unleashed to provide aid.

President Bush, who stays away from funerals of dead soldiers and does not permit publication of photographs of caskets arriving from Iraq, will now have to appear among the displaced. He will smell the stench and see the detritus at close quarters---at least that is the impression given by statement from the White House. The atrocities of 9/11 gave him the opportunity to obtain a carte blanche from the legislature to pursue the neo-conservative agenda both at home and abroad. Now the nation will give the president complete support to deal with the aftermath of Katrina. This, however, is an entirely different scenario---one in which the president's handlers cannot even think of staging a "mission accompished" appearance. News about relief efforts and rehabilitation of the displaced people will remain in focus of the media for a long, long time. Time for rhetorics is over. Successes will be noted; failures will not be allowed to be covered up.

Most of New Orleans, including the Desire area, is under waters. The French Quarter has escaped major flooding. Number of dead cannot even be estimated. There are doubts that the city can be rebuilt. The human spirit, however, has tremendous capacity for survival. The people of Mississippi Delta will eventually emerge from this nightmarish situation to begin a new chapter. They deserve all the help that our country can provide; they must not be let down.

Note: Edited Sept.3,2005

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