Monday, September 05, 2005

What Happens When Your Faith in God Can't Feed Your Starving Children?

I am glad that Frank has come around on the question of the Federael Government's performance in New Orleans. The hurricane produced a media circus and predictable political point scoring, but those events are separate from the Bush administration's performance in handling the crisis.

I will not be able to say anything new about the administration's abysmal response to the hurricane and its aftermath. In truth, I have been too busy to follow the tragedy very closely, and I think I also share other Americans' general weariness from watching the Bush administration blow it over and over.

One interesting aspect of the story, though, that has received a lot of coverage is that so many of the dead and abandoned in New Orleans are black. This, to my mind, is the first time the formerly hot-button issue of race has resurfaced to the forefront of American culture since 9/11. It is sad that images on television seem to be the only catalyst for outrage in our culture anymore. Those that read the news were probably not very surprised to see that the vast majority of the people who remained stranded in New Orleans are black, much like we were not totally surprised to see the pictures from Abu Ghraib (and will continue to not be surprised when new pictures emerge, as torture continues to be condoned and practiced).

Condi Rice has predictably been deployed by the administration to defend its handling of the crisis, and she has been adament that race has not influenced their response. One particular comment from Rice struck me:
Asked to say a few words from the pulpit, Rice, a preacher's daughter, said: "The Lord Jesus Christ is going to come on time." She added: "If we just wait."

There have been quite a few statements from public officials in the past few days that have come to symbolize how disconnected from reality they are (think of the picture of Bush strumming the guitar and the constant assurances by the FEMA director that everything in New Orleans was going alright). But Condi Rice pathetically asks residents of New Orleans to just have faith in God and know that everything will be alright, just as long as they are patient. It is easy to see how administration officials have remained publicly cheery in spite of the incredible messes they have been responsible for creating and mismanaging in the past five years. They just have faith in God, from the comfort of their cushy, powerful, prestigious jobs, that everything will be alright. Because, for them, it always has and always will.
-- Eric


Blogger NSC 68 said...


Frank, check out the leader in last week's Economist about the lack of response from both the EU and U.S. on Uzbekistan. Looks like they finally started reading your blog and decided to follow up on it.

11:58 AM  
Blogger poster said...

It's about time that I started dictating U.S. foreign policy.

2:16 PM  

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