Friday, September 09, 2005

In the conservative Corner

Rod Dreher writes in the National Review's blog (Via atrios):
How is it possible that four years after 9/11, the president treats a federal agency vital to homeland security as a patronage prize? The main reason I've been a Bush supporter all along is I trusted him (note past tense) on national security -- which, in the age of mass terrorism, means homeland security too. Call me naive, but it's a real blow to learn that political hacks have been running FEMA, of all agencies of the federal government! What if al-Qaeda had blown the New Orleans levees? How much worse would the crony-led FEMA's response have been? Would conservatives stand for any of this for one second if a Democrat were president? If this is what Republican government means, God help the poor GOP Congressmen up for re-election in 2006.
Meditate on the part I bolded. It's nice to see Republicans abandoning Bush when he's a lame duck anyway. Ask yourself if Republicans would still be whining about the Democratic governor and mayor (who endorsed the Republican candidate for Governor, and contributed to Bush's campaign).

Ask yourself who you'd blame for that utter failure to plan. Yes, of course, local law enforcement should take some heat, but the feds, by sheer size, are the ones capable of preventing an attack like that, or failing that, of mounting an effective response. Now imagine that it wasn't a surprise attack. Imagine that someone told you that there would be incredible damage and
MOST OF THE AREA WILL BE UNINHABITABLE FOR WEEKS…PERHAPS LONGER. AT LEAST ONE HALF OF WELL CONSTRUCTED HOMES WILL HAVE ROOF AND WALL FAILURE. ALL GABLED ROOFS WILL FAIL…LEAVING THOSE HOMES SEVERELY DAMAGED OR DESTROYED.

THE MAJORITY OF INDUSTRIAL BUILDINGS WILL BECOME NON FUNCTIONAL. PARTIAL TO COMPLETE WALL AND ROOF FAILURE IS EXPECTED. ALL WOOD FRAMED LOW RISING APARTMENT BUILDINGS WILL BE DESTROYED. CONCRETE BLOCK LOW RISE APARTMENTS WILL SUSTAIN MAJOR DAMAGE…INCLUDING SOME WALL AND ROOF FAILURE.



HUMAN SUFFERING [will be] INCREDIBLE BY MODERN STANDARDS
Bad, huh?

Now what if, instead of them warning that the attack would be in ~36 hours, imagine that there were general threats, maybe a memo floating around "Katrina determined to strike levees." Would you be upset at this level of incompetence in preparing for and responding to the subsequent attack?

The analogy is imperfect, and I don't want to push it all the way over the cliff by imagining tornados practicing attacking small levees in Minnesota or Phoenix.

This failure to plan and effectively respond when we saw the threat coming will embolden terrorists. How could it fail to?

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