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AP: Obama Heeds Lessons Of Katrina

Some very deep and predictable ‘analysis’ from the Associated Press:

Analysis: Obama heeding lessons of Katrina

By BEN FELLER
Friday, January 15, 2010

WASHINGTON — This is what President Barack Obama wants people to think about the U.S. reaction to the catastrophe in Haiti: "swift, coordinated and aggressive." He promised that stellar response in his first comments about the earthquake on Wednesday, then repeated it twice on Thursday.

In other words, this will not be Hurricane Katrina.

Obama is determined to show that the United States, even consumed with its own troubles, can get this right. And that he can, too.

The world is watching because of the expectations that come with being a rich, powerful democracy that is supposed to look out for its neighbors.

And because the stain of Katrina is not gone.

"This is one of those moments that calls out for American leadership," said Obama, who can add a humanitarian crisis to his first-year tests in office.

There are huge contrasts between Katrina, the most destructive natural disaster in U.S. history, and the sorrowful scene unfolding in Haiti. One was a hurricane on U.S. soil that killed 1,800 people across the Gulf Coast; the other was an earthquake hundreds of miles away that may have killed 50,000 people.

Yet as the wrenching images come in of people clinging to wreckage, of bodies piling up on the street, the comparisons are inevitable.

The botched federal response to Katrina in 2005 became the standard by which emergency responses are measured, and presidents are held accountable.

Well, the lie that the federal response to Katrina was ‘botched’ has certainly become the standard.

In fact, the federal response – especially from the military – was spectacular.

Once the Democrat locals let them in.

"The United States is seen in the world as the first responder to this kind of humanitarian crisis, and it has echoes – inappropriate echoes, to be sure – of Hurricane Katrina," said Paul Light, a professor of public service at New York University. "Can we get there fast enough? There’s a risk there for the president."

World’s policeman – bad.

World’s EMT – good.

Obama has responded with urgency, and the White House has tried to make sure that people know it.

The president has dispatched ships, soldiers, Marines and loads of other assets to the reeling Caribbean nation. He has pledged $100 million for relief efforts now and promised that that number will grow.

President Obama was quick to claim that it costs the US taxpayers $1 billion dollars for every thousand soldiers sent to Afghanistan.

And he has yet to mention how much it costs to send a soldier to Haiti. (Not counting the ‘relief supplies,’ etc.)

Of course we’re not suggesting that we should not send soldiers to Haiti. But why is there no concern about the cost from the White House, when there was so much concern about Afghanistan?

After all, isn’t the job of the US military first and foremost to protect the national security and interests of the US?

He has positioned the United States as a coalition-building leader – the United Nations itself has been rocked by the collapse of its headquarters in Haiti. He has pleaded for donations from his old campaign list of supporters, more than 13 million strong.

Like most Americans, we have somehow ended up on several of Mr. Obama’s email lists.

We have yet to receive anything from him or any of his myriad organizations about Haiti.

And he told his team: "I will not put up with any excuses" for an inadequate response, another allusion to past government failures. A senior White House official, national security staff chief Denis McDonough, arrived in Haiti to help make sure U.S. agencies were coordinating as promised.

What the White House is not ready to do is trumpet any results – not yet. Another lesson learned. No "heckuva job" here.

The White House won’t have to. They have the media for that.

When Obama spokesman Robert Gibbs was asked whether Obama was pleased with the pace of the U.S. response so far, he said: "He is, but …"

Gibbs followed by telling reporters that Obama had sternly told his team in the White House Situation Room that they must work day and night to get help fast into Haiti.

Gosh. You can bet Mr. Bush never said anything like that to his staff about Hurricane Katrina.

The human cost of disasters is the toll that matters. But the political one cannot be ignored.

And yet if people like Rush Limbaugh mention it, they are lambasted for being insensitive.

"Presidents have a very limited time to prove their effectiveness in managing a crisis," said Light, who praised Obama for the way he has spelled out the U.S. response and rallied his own country to help. Still, Light added: "The clock is ticking."

George W. Bush paid a huge price when America watched, in horror, as New Orleans was drowning and governments at all levels were slow to respond.

Exactly how many people actually “drowned” because of Hurricane Katrina?

The flooding in New Orleans occurred after the hurricane passed, when the canal levees broke. The water rose less than a foot an hour.

How many people couldn’t out-walk the rising water?

Now Obama has tasked Bush, along with fellow former President Bill Clinton, to lead the private fundraising efforts to help Haiti and its people recover.

Never mind that Obama blasted Bush’s government for "unconscionable ineptitude" after Hurricane Katrina hit.

Time for some common humanity, as Obama put it.

Nevertheless, to this day Mr. Obama’s White House website still slams the “catastrophic failures in emergency planning and response” that allegedly occurred under Mr. Bush.

The balance for the president is to not be seen as heavy-handed or as the world’s problem-solver. He has emphasized that his chief priority is Americans, from getting injured U.S. citizens airlifted out of Haiti to helping Haitian-Americans try to get answers about their families.

Yet Obama says a robust response to another nation in need is also an American imperative.

"This is a time when the world looks to us," Obama told House Democrats on Thursday. "And they say, given our capacity, given our unique capacity to project power around the world, that we have to project that not just for our own interests but for the interests of the world."

The next few days will determine whether there is a gap between intentions and actions…

Why should Mr. Obama worry?

He’s never been called on the gap between his intentions and actions up to now?

The United Nations humanitarian chief, John Holmes, said the U.N. is leading the humanitarian relief but the U.S. will have a dominant presence in Haiti. Describing the coordination of the operation, he told The Associated Press: "So far, it’s very good."

That’s what Obama wants to hear.

Certainly there is nothing more important than getting a pat on the head from that paragon of efficiency (and integrity), the United Nations.

Oh, well.

We’re just relieved nobody is politicizing this tragedy.

This article was posted by Steve on Friday, January 15th, 2010. Comments are currently closed.

32 Responses to “AP: Obama Heeds Lessons Of Katrina”

  1. canary says:

    I think our U.S. soldiers getting blown up by bombs should be priority as far as Obama’s delays & dwindling in aiding them. Instead he sends the U.S. military ASAP to a countries who don’t aid us.

    Obama in his “stage role” playing savior to the globe. It’s always about him. To busy playing savior to American Indians with shout-outs when U.S. military base was attacked by a known terrorist, Hasan, his administration appointed to aid Homeland Security

    After all the aid in the after-math of Indonesia’s tsunami they hated us, and their muslims gave us hell during the aid, that churches could not say anything religious to the people. After our aid, even Obama made statement that his Indonesia homie where he experienced the most joy in his life, still hates America.

  2. Rusty Shackleford says:

    Rush read this whole thing, including Steve’s interjections.

    Excellent.

    I also had to go look up Danny Glover’s reaction that this earthquake was caused because of a failed climate summit in Dopes-in-hagen.

    • tranquil.night says:

      Compare Glover’s comments with Pat Robertson’s: both statements are completely appropriate to each individual’s religious beliefs, and completely inappropriate to each statement’s opposing media.

      But yes, the mystic Pagan Gods absolutely punish man for their failure to sacrifice properly. And who is the great mystic messiah? Barack Hussein Obama, MM MM MM, who just got his second chance at building a new world coalition.

    • Rusty Shackleford says:

      As has been said, globalclimatewarmingchange has become a religion with all the trappings thereof. Blind faith over facts.

      Even when California was having the fire problem last summer, climate change was to blame? How? Was the outside air temperature over 450 degrees?

      In our scientific adolescence, the scientific method was developed over many centuries in order to arrive at proof.

      From Wikipedia:

      This demonstrates Ludwik Fleck’s caution that people observe what they expect to observe, until shown otherwise; our beliefs will affect our observations (and therefore our subsequent actions) The purpose of a scientific method is to test a hypothesis, a proposed explanation about how things are, via repeatable experimental observations which can definitively contradict the hypothesis.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientific_method

      This very statement refers specifically to the inaccurate portrayal of splayed legs of horses as depicted in paintings of same while in a gallop. But it applies equally to all scientific research.

      Globalclimatewarmingchange cannot, as yet be tested. It is all theory and all climate models designed by advocates of same, somehow manage to “prove” that their theory is correct. What they fail, or fear to admit is that it will take many decades, if not centuries of observation to arrive at the truth.

      So, for now, it’s a religion. A faith. A belief. Unfortunately, it’s being taught in schools as FACT.

    • tranquil.night says:

      No disillusion here.

      I think we’ve all recognized by now that Climatology is mostly a religion, not a scientific study. I believe that it publicly leads the current alliance of existential spiritual narratives which also include: atheism, a/gnosticism, scientology, various forms of animism (like Egyptian or Mayan Mythos), and many of the Eastern Philosophies. Furthermore, it’s my belief that all of these narratives continue to be propogated through the likes of visual media (hollywood, video games) and other mediums purposely in Paganisms ongoing war against Judeo-Christianity.

  3. crosspatch says:

    A couple of points. Why would someone want to compare a government response to a disaster inside that government’s country to a government’s response to a disaster in a foreign country? Anyone expecting a similar response between the two events is basically a moron. Secondly, how can a military that is “stretched to the limit” in Iraq and Afghanistan suddenly come up with 10,000 troops mobilized in days to appear on the scene?

    Haiti has one of the most corrupt governments (such as it is) on the face of the planet. The world has poured billions of dollars into Haiti over the recent past and has nothing to show for it. If we are going to respond on this sort of scale, we should declare Haiti to be a US “protectorate” and put them under martial law and officially occupy the country until some sort of law and order and then a government can be installed. Otherwise we are should simply take the cash we are spending on this and have a bonfire on the National Mall instead for as much good as it will do.

  4. NoNeoCommies says:

    Obama’s response is already doomed to be slower than Bush’s because of the distance and logistics involved in moving people an materials over sea.
    As much as I would like for more people to wake up to the facts where this narcissistic, Marxist, serial liar is concerned I hope for the Hatian’s sake that he succeeds in saving them from a much worse disaster.
    Maybe it isn’t fair to compare this disaster to New Orleans and Katrina.
    After all, the Hatians are actually prepared to help themselves instead of sitting on their posteriors because they believe government is supposed to take care of them from cradle to grave.

  5. proreason says:

    Whew.

    Haiti happened just in time.

    Polls going over the cliff. Fort Hood. Panty bomber. Disastrous economic policies. Health Care monstrosity. Virginia, New Jersey, Scott Brown. Global Warming Scam exposed. Unemployment skyrocketing. Universal hatred for everything the Moron stands for.

    But with Haiti, we can see what leadership really is.

    In other words, it’s a relief effort a Cub Scout could make happen.

  6. MinnesotaRush says:

    Well .. let’s see.

    Both events were caused by natural disasters.

    New Orleans – had weeks to prepare and/or evacuate.
    Haiti – had no warning.

    New Orleans – occured IN the most prosperous Country in the world and in a city lead by “progressive democrats” (unfortunately for them).
    Haiti – took place in the most impoverished country possibly in the world and lead by whom today(???)/nobody.

    New Orleans – had finances and a multitude of other resources available to them to minimize damage and loss (if they’d used them – ie. school buses).
    Haiti – no nothing and no warning.

    New Orleans – the Democrats looting what is available and stuffing cash in freezers.
    Haiti – no cash – no freezers.

    I’m not seeing terribly too many reasons to compare the two; but I did catch one .. ” .. complaining aid isn’t getting there fast enough!”

    CERTAINLY .. God bless ’em. Let’s pray for them and help however we can; but quit with the charades, ‘ay.

    How much “aid” has o-blah-blah rendered to his own impoverished family?

    Libs LOVE to give money when its’ somebody elses!

    • jobeth says:

      Don’t forget.

      Haiti…Earthquake…massive..quick…no warning.

      N.O.. DAYS of warning to get the H*** out of the way (where by the people sat and waited for someone to come get them and put them up in a comfy hotel room I guess)

      One group had no chance to save themselves…the other too stupid (or lazy) to save themselves.

      If Bush was at fault for something it was that he gave the state and city officials too much credit to get off their their butts and help their own people…as the law dictates they do. The feds can’t be expected to be first responders. Ever. The people themselves should be, then the local and the state and then fed.

      Haiti of course is another whole ball of wax, but N.O. has no excuse what so ever. None of the other surrounding states had this much difficulty during Katrinia.

      How in the world can anyone compare the two?

  7. Right of the People says:

    Steve said; “Of course we’re not suggesting that we should not send soldiers to Haiti. But why is there no concern about the cost from the White House, when there was so much concern about Afghanistan?

    After all, isn’t the job of the US military first and foremost to protect the national security and interests of the US?”

    The Bamster like Slick Willie before him uses the military like a police force. After all, Afgahanistan is an actual war, something soldiers know about, Kosovo, Somolia and the others were all law enforcement problems at best and we had no business being there.

    We’ve already sent a floating city (aircraft carrier) with the capacity to desalinate thousands of gallons of water daily, create enough electricity to power a medium sized city and over 6000 able bodied men and women to assist and got them there in record time, much more than the crooks at the UN have done so far. I think we can all agree that this is a tragedy that we need to assist with but I’m with Crosspatch, we need to take decisive action to keep the aid from disappearing into some corrupt Haitian’s bank account.

  8. eaglewingz08 says:

    Where were the Caribbean Sea and Atlantic Ocean seismographs to alert Mr. Obama to the potential earthquake in Haiti? If Bush were President you could be sure that would be the first line of attack. As I am not racist, I ask the democraps, where were these sensors and why did not Mr. Obama personally call the Pres of Haiti to alert him about the upcoming quake. Remember that Bush was faulted for not telephoning Thailand and Indonesia heads of state about the Tsunami, several years ago. So release the phone records showing such a pre disaster call from the current occupant of the WH.
    Looting has already broken out in Port Au Prince. Since Mr. Obama was on top of the situation from the get go, why shouldn’t Obama be blamed for not keeping law and order the same way Bush was blamed for phantom cannibalism and murders in New Orleans?

  9. canary says:

    CrossPatch, excellent points. I also feel Obama’s arrogant statement of showing America’s “power”, reveals a purpose that lacks of true compassion, but to feed a need for an over-sized megalomaniac Obama.

    Obama is shouting to the world our powerful military defense is out of country when humbleness would be best.

    If we could only hear the megalomaniac Obama use such power words with action in defense of the USA against terrorists and communism; instead of his constant apologies and drooling love for terrorists.

  10. Confucius says:

    I don’t understand the analogy. Comparing our response to Indonesia’s tsunami is more appropriate.

    • 2old2givea says:

      No one understands the analogy but it’s the comparison the Obamaites are spewing forth all over the place. They’re using this one because it’s just another chance to bash Bush.

      So they’re bashing Bush (erroneously, of course), all over while BO has the NERVE (I’m fuming…), to “ask” Bush to team up with Clinton and go help, like The Messiah’s giving him a chance at redemption and forgiveness. Oops, strike that last. (I think my hair just caught on fire.)

    • Confucius says:

      Its wickedly clever of Obama to publically ask for Bush’s help.

      Bush will have no alternative but to say “yes.” And this will set up for the many “news” stories where Bush is bashed and Obama made the saviour.

      I just hope Bush doesn’t go down there with a shovel and pail.

  11. 2old2givea says:

    (Excellent job, Steve.)

    Anyone notice how so many lefties – who have accused the Republicans of “nation-building” ad nauseum, are saying we should just make Haiti part of the U.S.?

    I guess nation-building is okay if you see all that horrible death and destruction, and see an opportunity for a whole new source of Democrat voters.

    • jobeth says:

      Yeah, and think of all those votes it would bring in for the lefties! Millions!

      The fact they are proven corruptible and easy to buy off is a real plus.

      Yep, I can easily see the attraction of statehood from the libs point of view

    • Rusty Shackleford says:

      Well, it would screw up the flag. So….no.

  12. crosspatch says:

    I don’t believe one of the major lessons of Katrina has been learned. I have a suggestion for those in the Haiti relief business.

    Don’t let able-bodied people sit around all day in camps or relocation centers with nothing to do. There is a LOT of work to do and you have a lot of able-bodied people there who can do it. Have those who want to work help in the cleaning up and clearing of debris, burying the dead, and rebuilding. Pay them for their labor. There should be plenty of jobs for all kinds of people of all levels of ability. Everything from maintaining a tent city, watching children, preparing meals, running a camp laundry, driving vehicles, etc. The strongest can operate equipment or simply haul debris with wheelbarrow if need be.

    Having thousands of people sitting idle with nothing to do breeds discontent, spreads rumors, and most importantly, it deprives them of an opportunity to take part in rebuilding their neighborhoods. If they do take part in that rebuilding, they have a personal investment in the success of that neighborhood going forward. It is an opportunity for a bonding of a community and a sharing of the labor AND the pride when it is done.

    Please don’t deprive these people of an opportunity to help build a better future. Put them to work. Do not allow them to sit idle all day and complain or be evacuated elsewhere so they lose their sense of community. THAT was one of the biggest mistakes we made with Katrina. We should not have shipped so many people off and we should have put them to work starting immediately after the rains stopped.

    • proreason says:

      Good point Crosspatch.

      Moreover, why not send some of the US’s unemployed workers there (for pay, of course) to help with the cleanup? We have many highly qualified people who could be put to productive use and benefit the world as well as this country. Many are collecting unemployment anyway. Boost that a bit, ship them there in military transports, and they could rebuild that tragic country in short order. As a side benefit, aid of that nature can’t be stolen by the politicians.

      But the expense does need to be capped….which no Democrat would ever do.

  13. jobeth says:

    crosspatch What a concept!

    I couldn’t agree with you more. Such a common sense idea that is a win-win for all.

    The fact that it is even necessary to suggest this says volumes about how far our country has gotten off the track of common sense and a strong work ethic.

    Alas…our leader needs victims…and lots of them. Helping people help themselves might make them self sufficient. And that would never do. Why. how could they be manipulated if they can do without “the one”?

    • JohnMG says:

      OK, so flame me as a racist, but what is the predominate racial composition of Haiti? Just a bit more affirmative action in play here. If you are a “brotha”, yo gots sump’in comin to ya!

      This despicable narcissistic POS has broken the limits of chutzpa by asking Bush to do ANYTHING, knowing full-well that W will have little choice but to comply. And when Obama falls on his ass it will be because he GAVE Bush a chance to “redeem himself” and he (Bush) blew it again.

      After all, it can’t be TCO’s fault, now, could it. Grrrrrrrrrrrrr!!!

    • Rusty Shackleford says:

      Well, backing W into a corner was the most obvious tactic. If I were him, I just would’ve said “NO. You’re the president, boy. Have at it, I’m gonna go play golf.” And let the media do as they would. It wouldn’t last long anyhow and I’d be flipping off photogs and telling reporters to go pound sand.

      Eventually, as with all things Obama does, the media has to spin it to his favor but the cracks are showing. New book is out, “Game Change” which makes Barry look exactly as he is: An overindulged egomaniac with only a fraction of his heralded intellect. Although he was marketed very carefully, and all his past was covered up, he cannot cover up that which everyone sees in the here & now.

      Kinda like reading an ad for a car sale and then when you actually see the car. You can’t hide the smoke coming from the exhaust, the noise coming from the motor and ……what’s that smell?

      He’s racking up failures faster than a carny at the county fair. And like the carny, he’s raking it in big. But eventually, people will get wise, as we have, and won’t play his game anymore. The tide is growing and starting to permeate the mainstream and this will be another failure for him.

      I say that because he will over-use it and over-sell it at every opportunity because it’ll be the ONLY positive thing he can refer to. It will quickly become a past event and will lose its impact. But he will ride it into the ground.

      Now, with that said, let me be clear that my heart goes out to the people of Haiti, as it has for many years. A beautiful region spoiled by thugs, by cruelty and shame. It could be a remarkable paradise. Maybe someday it will be.

    • jobeth says:

      John, I was thinking this morning about how Obalmy is sure to take full and complete credit for how well everything was administered in Haiti once HE/America took over.

      You know, with the UN ever so crippled with the destruction of their building in Haiti. (Sorry, but don’t they have some sort of HQ in NY with people who could/should be able to run things? *sarc off)

      It drives me mad to know Obalmy will stand at his teleprompter, tall and proud, saying that HE managed this rescue op.

      We ALL know it’s the military who have the emergency plans in place and the discipline to make it all go like clock work. The military is behind what goes right…not this goof ball who has NO success under his belt to date for anything he has attempted.

      All I can say to those libs in the future who give Obalmy ill gotten credit is…”IT’S THE MILITARY,…STUPID!!! And thank God for those wonderful people

    • JohnMG says:

      Not until the area is purged of communist politicians and other sundry do-gooders will Haiti realize her potential. Such types are the parasites that prey on human misery. As ironic as it may seem, Obama reveals his true self, thinly masked as humanitarian aid. He’ll only benefit if he can keep them ‘down on the plantation’.

      Every Marine I ever served with who had done a cruise in the Carribean, said Port-Au-Prince was like New Orleans–a thin veneer of glitz covering a real dung-heap of misery, proped up by self-aggrandizing profiteers. Our current “Huckster-in-Chief” is just the latest example of the genre.

      I, too, am sorry for the people, but how can contributing to the demise of the greatest political experiment ever to grace the earth ultimately help the rest of the downtrodden?

      The only recent politician who paid a price for telling the truth was Joe Wilson, who saw a liar, writ large, and had the audacity to give voice to it.

    • jobeth says:

      Joe Wilson is my hero…:-D

  14. proreason says:

    Obamy doesn’t care any more about Haiti than he does about Detroit or New Orleans.

    The only thing he cares about is himself.

    But he does think Haiti is a wonderful distraction to serve as cover as he rams his evil agenda down the country’s throats.

    That’s why he asked Bush to oversee the relief effort. It sets up a nifty little psycho-drama that the media can munch on for several weeks longer than if the story didn’t have that dynamic.

    Don’t be surpised if the Moron decides to fly down himself in a couple of weeks, once he is absolutely sure he will be perfectly safe. That will prolong the story and clearly indicate that he views Bush as a failure, even in a purely symbolic role.

    • jobeth says:

      What you say rings true…especially considering his own brother lives in the same squalor that the Haitians live in.

      If my family member was living in such poverty…I would be embarrassed to NOT help him out of it…BEFORE I start spouting off about how I am helping others out of their squalor!

      No core values at all….only what advances his goals. Nothing else matters.

      What an empty suit. One day I expect he will pull away the rubberised face mask to reveal a bunch of diodes and a printed circuit!

    • JohnMG says:

      …..”If my family member was living in such poverty…I would be embarrassed to NOT help him out of it…BEFORE I start spouting off about how I am helping others out of their squalor!……”

      Much easier to help someone out if you get to use “other people’s money” rather than your own.

    • jobeth says:

      How true John, especially if using other people’s money comes with a ‘power’ bonus as well.


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