Hurricane Katrina: A Third World Response Under An Inept Leadership

by Sylvester Fadal

Over the years, I have loved people that I had no respect for. These are sometimes called relatives. I have literarily hated people that I respected. A variety of people fit into this category. I may have intentionally avoided some people some of the time because they were completely abstract-natured from those I wanted around me. That was my freedom of choice. Regardless of if I hated people, loved them, respected them or whatever the case may be, I have, to the best of my knowledge, never intentionally ignored anyone’s cry for help because of my strong empathetic personality. I have and will always sacrifice a significant piece of my satisfaction for the joy of those in survival needs when and if possible.

The issue here today is not about me. It is about those that needed help and never got it. It is about those whose lives have been changed forever. It is about those who are seeking answers but may never get one in a country that has been ruined with bad policies over the past five years. It is about those who happen to be citizens of a developed nation governed with weak policies and third world programs and strategic plans on top shelves (SPOTS) that were never sampled, or thought out effectively. It is about those currently buried under water when they could have been rescued.

Hurricane Katrina has left hundreds of thousands homeless and/or displaced for life. The death toll is unknown and continues to rise. Images of these unfortunate victims are only but a capsule of the true experiences of these citizens. Until now, these were images only expected from countries in Asia, Africa or Eastern Europe. Not anymore. The current event shows that all countries may be alike in certain areas regardless of how developed they are if they fail to plan effectively for unforeseen contingencies. Through the eyes of Hurricane Katrina, the world has seen the reactive and unjustifiable disorganization of the United States Emergency Response System.

In a country like the USA where the pictographic retention of most individuals spans two weeks, it is not okay to shift the blame game to a later date and simply focus on a resolution. This will only create a sidetrack that will lead to little or no improvements in case of future incidences. Those at fault must be called upon and perhaps, a review of the current magnitude of the Department of Homeland Security should be reviewed to avoid this horrific level of doming down that has been witnessed from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). In all, what is most important is a resolution to the faith of those that needs help right now. The graciousness of the people of the states of Texas, Georgia and others that have intensified its supports in various ways must be complemented.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency failed. No level of analysis is required here. It failed woefully and rightly so. It is a disjointed association locked up under the auspices of the Department of Homeland Security that oversees 22 unreasonably sized agencies. FEMA failed because it has a very weak leadership, unqualified personnel and a system that is grossly incompetent. A quick study of FEMA shows an Agency that is supposed to assist victims respond to, plan for, recover from and reduce disaster-related sufferings. Its efforts so far contradicts it motto. It will be interesting to see its Flood Disaster Relief Plan. I can decipher the relationship here between its plan and its actions. The plan must have been drawn by a group of elite consultants, possibly plowboys consultants connected somehow to those at the helm of our political leaderships. These plans, I speculate, sat on top shelves with minimum usage. Speculations apart, FEMA’s actions so far leave a lot of room for negative doubt as it relates to its ability, viability and leadership.

I weep for a system that ignores ability, knowledge, and competency, solely for political reward. The system failed. The president failed. Condoleeza Rice failed. This group of “so-called” leaders currently has the world nauseated at their actions. They have the world gasping for breath in disbelief. It is a pugnacious sight. The mischievousness of some citizens is a direct reflection of the poverty level in a country that continuous to spend billions of dollars in an unjustified war at the expense of the needs of the masses.

FEMA – The Agency

The Federal Emergency Management Agency is currently in disarray. Its leaders are confused beyond doubt. They are lost as to how to act, respond to the needs of victims and/or respond to the overwhelming volunteers that are willing to provide support. In their state of confusion, they, as noted by several news outlets and most recently by Martha Mendoza of the Associated Press, as it relates to Jefferson Parish, among others (a) turned back trailer loads of water that was meant for victims, (b) ordered Coast Guards not to provide emergency diesel fuel and (c) cut emergency power lines. In its efforts to take control and bring ease to those that needs it most, FEMA has created chaos and intertwined itself in its own red tape to a level of disgustful failure. FEMA has lost the most basic inkling of how to handle emergency situations. It has fallen back to the chaos theory conc

ept for results. Then again, what do we expect from a system that is lead by an appointee with little or no qualifications. Shambles. What a shame.

The President Hates Black People

The above comment by Kanye West, a rapper of some sort that I knew very little of, until now, is preposterous. It is an understatement. The truth of the matter is, it is not about being Black, Asian/Pacific Islander, Hispanic or Caucasian. It is about ineptness. The president does not seem to care for any body as indicated by his actions. He seems inept. He knows very little about leading and affecting results-oriented actions. His approach, comments, and intents are just as confusing to him as it is to the American public. He failed in this regard as in some others. He shows no compassion when needed. He shows no sense of empathy when sought. He seem disconnected from everyday realities of American happenings. He is segmented from the day-to-day prevailing situations of life. He is buried in a world of advisers that are reactive in nature, illusionary in reasoning, and intellectually vacant in their thinking.

The government’s performance shows a paradigm of unacceptable actions, fueled by the non-chanlant ness of those that were suppose to make the appropriate decisions for relief. The sad catalytic mechanisms employed by the government and FEMA were heartless, inconsiderate, disconcerting, and borders on illegal congregative-coup-de-tat. It seems narcissistic recognizing how efforts were offered in a snail-like fashion. Despite the president’s devout goal to seek answers to the failures of Hurricane Katrina relief efforts, it may be an issue too late, a goal too late and a mission too insincere in the eyes of many Americans, regardless of their political affiliations. Then again, does the president care? In some opinions at this point, he doesn’t. Not because he wouldn’t want to, but he probably doesn’t know how. He seems lost, with his colleagues, in a game of politics and power.

Refugees vs. Evacuees or Survivors

Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton and others that have embarked on this regressive, insidious, silly rant should get a life. Their tendency to seize every opportunity and tweak it into an issue of race or insinuate an intent that is racial is becoming ridiculous. They have lost the respect they often seek because of their disconnection with the issues that are of importance. The people affected by this disaster don’t care what you call them. They need support; they need clear and specific resolutions to their predicaments and not an analysis of what they are called especially, if it is not something intended to be demeaning. No one likes to be labeled, especially negatively. Yet, humans love to label others and for some reason, the word refugee was a press-catcher for those that chose to exploit it. It is not acceptable to seize an opportunity of sadness for self-recognition. This act is an indirect sabotage of the efforts of the Red Cross, Salvation Army and others seeking the greater good for these displaced individuals.

You may also like


Anonymous September 23, 2005 - 5:49 pm

Leave Ms. Condi Rice out of this one. The leavee has been a bad case before G. W. Bush got there. You wrote "The current event shows that all countries may be alike in certain areas regardless of how developed they are if they fail to plan effectively for unforeseen contingencies". This comment puts the blame on every administration that had been before hurricane Katrina. I wonder why the local (Mayor) and State (Governor)did not bring the bad situation of the leavee to the national stage before hurricane Katrina. Now that Katrina had done its damage it is to rebuild.

Anonymous September 23, 2005 - 10:50 am

Interesting article. I personally did have an issue with the word refugee since refugee means someone leaving their country which no one in New Orleans or Mississippi did.'

Yes BUSH is an idiot in my polite words. Notice how the response to Rita has been beefed up like crazy. I wonder why. I pray this history will never repeat itself. Good analysis Mr. Fadal.



Leave a Comment