The Aftermath

Christopher Burrow

Katrina has dissipated, leaving scars that will not soon heal, and in the aftermath many thoughts and feelings are swirling around: In England, this hurricane is being seen "as big a test for the United States as was the attack on the World Trade Center," that will not only test the leadership of President Bush, but of the whole country. So far, it has turned out like his college days for our president, where he also did not receive the highest of marks. Peggy Noonan wrote of President Bush in the WSJ: “Does he understand that what has happened in our Gulf is as important as what is happening in the other Gulf?” There was even concern in a red-state he visited the day after Katrina hit about his focus. In fairness, he did do a fly-by in Air Force One on his way back to Washington D.C. from his 5-week vacation in Texas. While the president had pledged aid, it has been slow in coming. There are National Guard troops on the ground, but on the ground in Baghdad. Those guardsmen are anxiously watching reports on what is happening to their homes, but they will not be coming home any sooner. In 2001, FEMA warned that a hurricane striking New Orleans was one of the three most likely disasters in the U.S. But the Bush administration cut New Orleans flood control funding by 44 percent to pay for the Iraq war. Most of victims had little and could not afford to flee before Katrina came and if you watch any news programs you will see that most are African-American. Congress has cut short their vacation to vote on emergency funding for the disaster, although I believe they moved more quickly to act on Terry Schivo’s behalf. And Dennis Hastert, the House Speaker, in particular doesn’t seem to be in the spirit of rebuilding.

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Illustrated cover of Gaza issue. Illustration shows an illustrated representation of Gaza, sohwing crowded buildings surrounded by a wall on three sides. Above the buildings is the sun, with light shining down. Above the sun is a white bird. Text below the city says: All Eyes on Gaza
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