Kossacks get it. The MSM gets it. Even intellectually honest conservatives get it. But much of America is still just stunned, distracted by the "blame the victims" or "this is not the time for politics" memes, or reacting with "rally 'round the leaders" that is the immediate aftermath of every major disaster.
Here is question we should be asking the nation. How confident do you feel now in the government's preparations to protect you and your family from a national security disaster?
More below the fold...
In early 2001, FEMA identified the three worst disasters that could hit the US: the California "Big One," a Cat 5 hurricane hitting New Orleans, and a major terrorist strike on New York City. In the four years since 9/11. we have spent hundreds of billions of dollars and have reorganized the goverment, passed the Patriot Act, and sent our military to take over two countries, all in the name of "Homeland Security".
The second of those three disasters has now struck. In the four years since 9/11, this is the first test of how well all of this money, human resources, and reorganization has prepared the U.S. government to deal with catastrophe affecting millions of American lives and the nation's infrastructure.
This time, there were some differences:
1 - There was advance warning of the coming disaster, several days ahead.
2 - There was no "intelligence wall" that would prevent any responsible agency from being informed.
3 - There were very specific calculated predictions about what would happen in terms of the depth of flooding, where flooding would occur, and the number of people who would be affected. Those calculations have turned out to be accurate.
4 - There were very specific calculated predictions as to the effect on the nation's infrastructure in terms of damage to the port, the pipelines, the refineries, and the offshore drilling platforms. Those calculations have turned out to be accurate.
5 - There was no foreign "them" to blame it on.
There is a fundamental set of issues we need to discuss as a nation. They really boil down to whether the consevative-neocon-fundamentalist philosophy and agenda is good for our country, or whether we've been feasting on the seed corn while pursuing visions that are destructive to our country's freedom and future.
Over the coming weeks and months, I hope that we can turn the national consciousness into considering them. This agenda has been sold mostly on "national security" and "prosperity." If there is a silver lining to this catastrophe, it will be that the country wakes up from its slumber as the cost of Katrina affects them in their own lives.
But that question is one with many more factors -- it's not the simple black-and-white question that many Americans can easily grasp in one sentence.
So, let's put it to them simply.
Now that we have seen the Federal Government's ability to deal with a major catastrophe, are you more confident, or less confident, that you and your family have been made more secure since 9/11?