A rapid response

Diana West has an excellent column about the fatuousness of what many politicians from both parties are saying in the aftermath of Katrina (but before the immediate response has been completed). Her main point is that much of the discussion is premature, and willfully ignores the reality of what the governments had to contend with. Diana also points out that federal responders were on the ground in force within 48 hours after the flooding began, which is a rapid response by historical standards.
It’s also true that federal responders were involved even earlier than that. At a press conference yesterday, the Louisiana National Guard noted that FEMA was supporting its efforts at the Superdome before the storm arrived. And, as John pointed out in his devastating take down of Paul Krugman, men and women form the U.S.S. Bataan were in action within 24 hours of the flooding, providing food and water to victims and providing sandbags to reinforce the levees. Moreover, as the Washington Times demonstrates today, the Coast Guard had already rescued 1,200 people by Tuesday, the day after Katrina hit land and shortly after the flooding began.

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