Broken Levees

Bush continues to say “we’re fighting terrorists in Iraq so that we won’t have to fight them at home.” But the war in Iraq is actively killing people here in the U.S., in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

Although you can’t control when a natural disaster is going to hit, you can prepare for it. And as detailed in the article (linked from Atrios), “Attytood: When the levee breaks,” we see that diverting money and resources to the debacle in Iraq contributed to the broken levees that are causing massive flooding and loss of life in New Orleans.

It appears that the money has been moved in the president’s budget to handle homeland security and the war in Iraq, and I suppose that’s the price we pay. Nobody locally is happy that the levees can’t be finished, and we are doing everything we can to make the case that this is a security issue for us.

— Walter Maestri, emergency management chief for Jefferson Parish, Louisiana; New Orleans Times-Picayune, June 8, 2004.

The article wraps up by saying:

“We probably have 80 percent of our city under water; with some sections of our city the water is as deep as 20 feet. Both airports are underwater,” Mayor Ray Nagin told a radio interviewer.

Washington knew that this day could come at any time, and it knew the things that needed to be done to protect the citizens of New Orleans. But in the tradition of the riverboat gambler, the Bush administration decided to roll the dice on its fool’s errand in Iraq, and on a tax cut that mainly benefitted the rich.

And now Bush has lost that gamble, big time. We hope that Congress will investigate what went wrong here.

The president told us that we needed to fight in Iraq to save lives here at home, and yet — after moving billions of domestic dollars to the Persian Gulf — there are bodies floating through the streets of Louisana. What does George W. Bush have to say for himself now?

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