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  •  re:Why is it so outrageous? (none)
    The comparison is egregious because one is direct violence, the other nature. While plenty of arguments exist to support global warming causes more violent storms, and that global warming is running rampant under a seemingly lawless private sector, to suggest that a hurricane is worse than a precision attack by militant men is downright asinine. Hurricanes don't aim to destroy lives. Evacuation orders weren't given to people in the North Tower before the first plane hit.

    Which brings me to another disparity: the foolish partisan attacks propagating all over the web to somehow blame this on Bush is laughable. No one will buy it. If Bush had all toxic emissions outlawed back in 2001, we would still have hurricanes. Hurricanes have occured on this earth for ages, before cars, before factories.

    Perhaps you're misinterpreting my post; there was no attempt to tell anyone about 11 September.

    We can let Bush's budget cuts for hurricane preparation and his behavior speak for itself. No one cares if Bush is strumming a guitar in a press photo that I imagine the majority of Americans did not even see today. Democrats should be more focused on providing support for the region, not smearing the right. That is where we can make a genuine difference in peoples lives.
    If a president just sobbed on national television and then huddled himself up in the Oval to suck his thumb, the nation would follow suit. Regardless of how we on the left find his actions distasteful, the show must go on.

    I must admit this post blossomed into something more than the subject at hand, but it all just poured out. Take what you will. John Reed, my response is located chiefly in the first paragraph.

    •  Semantics (none)
      We can play games defining what the words "greatest disaster" actually mean. Putting 9/11 into another category because of human agency is a fair point, but it's really a different argument that has nothing to do with the scale of "disaster greatness."

      Your argument(s) seem excessively presentational, by which I mean that you're more concerned with how "we" sound to others (the people whom you're warning the original poster about). Then you complain about the partisan attacks because "no one will buy it."

      But this is a left-wing site where we occasionally discuss things independently of any concern for how it might sound to others who don't agree with us.

      The "partisan attacks" and the 9/11 comparison are valid. If I was talking to a Republican I'd expect objections, because he or she actually disagreed, not because he or she was concerned about how it would sound to someone else.

      I'm tired and rambling but my point is, can we not agree that 1) in terms of SCALE OF THE CATASTROPHE this is worse than 9/11 and 2) that Bush is directly responsible for the incredible, tragic scale of the disaster?

      If you don't agree, I'd like to hear why not. But otherwise, let's not worry about how less enlightened people will react to what we say. Instead, let's enlighten them.

      •  Semantics, indeed (none)
        Perhaps it is seen as a weakness around a site such as Daily Kos, but I am increasingly concerned with message. I understand this is a sandbox of sorts for us on the left, but sometimes I just want to scream when I see comparisons like that. Maybe I am doomed to become a strategist (and even a poor one at that).

        I do have a serious problem with getting Katrina anywhere near 9/11... those mere numbers just mean too many different things to too many different people, and I don't feel it's a legitimate comparison. Sure, all the water everywhere looks bigger right now, damage is everywhere, people will be without work... but recall the staggering hits the economy took back in 2001 (layoffs, poverty increases), or the aggressive foreign policies that changed our standing in the international community, even affecting trade. We won't be sending troops abroad for Hurricane Katrina. Those are among the reasons why I really think it is a bad idea to compare the two; it's a totally different beast. So in answer to 1) I'd say that the jury is still out on that. We're just two days down the road and I don't think the scale of the catastrophe can be determined at this time.

        As for 2), my response is an unequivocal no. There would absolutely be more money available for preparation if we weren't hemorrhaging cash in the Middle East, but I refuse to believe that 40 to 100 million dollars would have created a tremendously different outcome. More responsibility might fall on the state and local level, but evacuation was called for. On the coast, that's really the only ironclad safety measure. It happens to us out here on the coast of Georgia from time to time.

        In regards to New Orleans, the weakness to large hurricanes has been known for a long time. I don't recall any president taking the initiative on changing that situation. Hurricane preparation isn't really a national issue; perhaps it should be.

    •  Re: (3.66)
      The comparison is egregious because one is direct violence, the other nature. While plenty of arguments exist to support global warming causes more violent storms, and that global warming is running rampant under a seemingly lawless private sector, to suggest that a hurricane is worse than a precision attack by militant men is downright asinine. Hurricanes don't aim to destroy lives. Evacuation orders weren't given to people in the North Tower before the first plane hit.

      In terms of the magnitude of destruction, 9-11 will not rank anywhere near Katrina. To be blunt, the fact that one is an act of nature, and one the product of human ingenuity amounts to a big: Who gives a shit? Who cares if hurricanes do not intend to take lives, or destroy property, they do, it is the destruction itself, and not the motive of the agent of destruction that matters. By your logic 9-11 is worse than the Asian tsunami last year. 9-11 is worse than thousands killed by collateral damage during a war. 9-11 is worse than the fire that destroyed London, because in each of those instances, the forces at work did not intend to destroy innocent life. This is frankly stupid. It makes the dubious argument for the exceptionalism of certain forms of misery. Was the sinking of the Lusitania worse than the sinking of the Titanic? Because one was sunk by a German u-boat, and the other by an iceberg? Dead is dead. Destruction is destruction. In terms of human suffering, no event in the United States in my lifetime, has had the impact Katrina will.

      We are talking about the wholesale destruction of a major American city, and the nearly total destruction of Biloxi, and Gulfport, Mississippi. The denizens of those areas will greatly disagree with your estimation that their calamity is somehow inferior because it was an act of nature, and not an act of madness by mortals. Unlike the victimes of 9-11, the victims of Katrina, those that survive, will live their lives for the foreseeable future, in refugee camps. Childen will be unable to go to school because there will be no schools to go to. Workers will be unable to go to work because there will be no jobs. Many will become ill, in the short and long-term, because of what has happened to the environment in NO and the other gulf states. But we are somehow supposed to believe 9-11 was worse because the citizens of NO had been forewarned, and the poor souls in the WTC, and Pentagon were not? For most victims of Katrine, whether they are touched by human loss, or not, their lives have been physically altered, few could say that during 9/11.  

      The human toll of Katrina is unknown. The economic toll can only be estimated because it goes far beyond the actual physical damage to New Orleans and extends into the greater U.S. economy to an extent that 9-11 could in no way compare. The ecological damage will be far greater than 9-11, and the loss to our collective American culture will be exponentially worse if New Orleans is irrepearably altered by this tragedy. Skyscrapers can be rebuilt. The historic portions of NO cannot. If Los Angeles is struck by a catastrophic earthquake next year, killing thousands, leveling the city, few would hesitate to put that above 9-11 too.

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