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                                       politics + culture

Saturday, September 03, 2005

Iraq and Katrina

There's two, less obvious, ways that Iraq and Katrina intersect.

The first is that the damage to the credibility of the President in the mishandling of Iraq is plain for all to see. He simply does not sound credible when he tries to project optimism and leadership. The truth is, he does not have optimism and leadership to project. He's not believable.

Second, in Iraq today American soldiers will fight and die for a "noble cause" that Cindy Sheehan and the nation still have not received a credible description of. And yet, here in our own nation, when women and children, when the elderly and poor were desperate and needy in New Orleans and on the Gulf Coast...a truly "noble cause" if there ever was one...the response of the federal government was muted. In fact, FEMA consistently and explicitly put the life and safety of the rescuers, when there were any, above those of the victims of Katrina.

Simply put, aside from brave efforts of local heroes and the Coast Guard, we let the victims of a hurricane suffer and die in place...even as we sent our military to die for causes that we cannot define. Katrina has shown our elected government as lacking competance...and heart...when its own citizens needed it most; and held up a bitter mirror to the ongoing "noble cause" that is the war in Iraq.

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