Friday, September 02, 2005

Vol-in-Law writes

The right-wing & even liberal-right blogosphere has been getting in a ruffle over comparisons between Katrina and 9/11 - see eg (Andrew's what I'd call liberal-right, the right-wing* but reality-based category in which Vol Abroad & I usually belong). I commented on Wednesday to Vol Abroad that it looked worse than 9/11. While there is clearly a difference between premeditated mass murder and a natural disaster, even a natural disaster largely made possible by human error (ask the Dutch how unforeseeable it is that land below sea level can flood), there's now no doubt that this is much worse than 9/11 in its scale and in the likely number of fatalities. People are still dying. No casualty estimates are being released, 3-4 days after the hurricane hit, but reading between the lines - 50,000 bodybags en route to Louisiana Superdome, said a Sky News reporter last night, 1,000 estimated dead in *Biloxi* alone - we are looking at 5 figures, not four. If that figure for Biloxi is halfway accurate, I can't see the final death toll being much under 15,000 - and I have a pretty good record on guesstimating these things.

*In UK political terms, I mean. I think Schwarzenegger and McCain are kinda cool. I think Cheney and Rumsfeld are traitors who presumably hate America, the amount of damage they've done to it over the past 4.5 years.

What really gets me is the reports (including on Fox News' website) that police and national guard are physically _preventing_ people from leaving the flooded city, possibly to stop them causing trouble in the unflooded western suburbs - but this applies to tourists, too -,2933,168270,00.html
I also saw a report that private sector relief efforts have also been turned back and prevented from entering the city by police & NG perimeter guards. How can that be right? Hopefully this has changed by now, but too late for many.

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