Just who is to blame for the suffering in New Orleans?
Much has been said, in recent days, about the failures that caused the massive human suffering in New Orleans apre Katrina. As I stated here there is certainly more than enough blame to go around, and most of it should start with the Mayor of New Orleans and the Governor of Louisiana, but that some blame could rightly be laid on a federal doorstep. The Manchester (NH) Union Leader had an interesting editorial that to addresses the issue of just who is at fault for the levee failure and the lack of funds to bring the levees up to a standard that could withstand the storm surge of a Cat 5 hurricane (I will give you a hint and say that they do not blame President Bush). Many, myself included, have opined that those who stayed in New Orleans after the evacuation order was issued should also share some blame for their state of suffering. Thanks to Captain Ed at Captains' Quarters blog, I have to say that I was wrong, wrong, WRONG in making that statement. Captain Ed had a post this morning that talks about the NOLA comprehensive emergency evacuation plan that was developed in September of 2004! The evacuation plan can be found here and it lays out precisely who is responsible for rolling the busses in order for the poor and feeble to be able to evacuate should the need arise. According to the comprehensive plan, the Mayor of New Orleans is not only responsible for declaring the need to evacuate, he (or she) is supposed to have a SOP in place to cover the evacuation needs of those who are unable to evacuate on their own! In other words, Mayor Nagin is the one who needs to stand up and take responsibility for the state of his city! Mayor Nagin should have and could have prevented the suffering of the people of NOLA. Not the governor, not the President, not the National Guard, no one but Mayor Nagin himself. Considering that Mayor Nagin was elected in 2002, he certainly has no one to blame but himself for not being prepared for a storm that "everyone expected to come eventually"!