Well, everyone is blaming Bush for the response in Louisiana and I am sure it will be the same for issues with Hurricane Rita, but the response is not his fault. Sure, he should have ended his vacation and flown there immediately – for moral support if nothing else, but the fact is that local and state officials did not act in a timely manner and the national response is not in charge until asked.
So what is the solution? Well, President Bush thinks it is for the military to “play a larger role” in disaster management and response. This is VERY dangerous. This is not an issue of saving more people – it is an issue of state’s rights. Simply calling in the national resources earlier provides the same response without eroding the already limited state powers.
If legislation is passed to expand the powers of the military to act domestically, it is HUGE! The Patriot Act destroyed nearly every one of the first ten amendments (Bill of Rights) – a move like this would make that erosion pale in comparison. NEVER, NEVER, NEVER should the military be given the right to act in a state without the request of said state.
If you want less disaster in your natural disasters – elect local and state officials who take the issue seriously. Don’t think so? Governor Rick Perry of Texas declared an emergency and asked for federal aid days before Rita hit and despite some serious problems with evacuation, managed the crisis well. Hundreds of FEMA trucks were in the affected area within hours of the danger passing. No troops were needed – just a good plan.
Write every elected official you know and stress to them that you think the military should be ready to go when a disaster strikes, but giving them ANY sort of jurisdiction in these areas is unwanted, unneeded and DANGEROUS.