Fred Clark over at Slacktivist has much to say about what we could have done about Katrina and New Orleans, which brings us back to the missed opportunities we’ve had since 9/11. He references a 2003 Mother Jones article that discusses an alternative world where our country’s response to disaster anywhere is rapid, effective — and communicative:
And so this doppelganger Bush would have seen the advantage — oh, about a year ago, when half the world seemed to be wearing NYFD caps — in stationing a fleet of C-5 cargo planes at Kennedy Airport. When an Iranian earthquake or a Bali bomb blast occurred, 200 of New York’s bravest and all that rescue paraphernalia for which we are famous — Jaws of Life cutters, search dogs, remote cameras — would immediately be dispatched. In my dream, I see NYFD pulling trapped Persian grandmothers out of that collapsed mosque. And the fantasy plays on out, with the president — Bush would be especially great at this part — taking to a podium and saying, “Al Qaeda blows up buildings and kills people. We dig through rubble and save human lives. This is what America does.”
This is who we could have been. Instead, Bush started a war.