Thursday, September 7th, 2006

From MSNBC and Newsweek, for the price of one month in Iraq we could restore the gulf coast:

Most people in the Netherlands live below sea level, and the country’s major cities are in continual danger of being washed away. Or they would be, if Dutch engineers weren’t so good at designing levees and floodgates to keep storms at bay.
. . .
The Dutch are, no argument, the world’s experts. Which raises a question as U.S. politicians and bureaucrats dicker over whether and how to fortify New Orleans against future storms: why not hire the Dutch?
. . .
Hans Vrijling, a renowned authority on flood control who designed part of the Dutch system, says it should be possible to protect New Orleans—even low-lying sections—from storm surges more than 10 times Katrina’s. The price tag: less than $10 billion.
. . .
Vrijling, for one, can’t understand what the Corps is going to study for so long. The technology already exists and has been tested over decades in the Netherlands. He says Dutch and American engineers, working together, would need only “a couple of months” to draw up a detailed plan. “If we had the will and one month’s money from Iraq, we could do all the levees and restore the coast,” says Ivor Van Heerden, a Louisiana State University hurricane scientist who warned for years about a Katrina-like disaster. “We can save Louisiana. It is very doable.”

Bush said:

” One of the hardest parts of my job is to connect Iraq to the war on terror”

in an interview with Katie Couric Sept. 6. He has generally succeeded in making this linkage, at least with the American people, at least until recently.

For the first time since it began, a majority of Americans believe the Iraq war is not part of the war on terrorism, as US President George W. Bush keeps insisting it is, according to a poll just published. (August 23, 2006)

I guess this goes well with the best moment from his presidency as another example of seriously missing the point:

“I would say the best moment of all was when I caught a 7.5-pound perch in my lake,”

which he told a German newspaper.

Here are pictures taken over Labor Day weekend, from the 9th Ward in New Orleans. They pretty much speak for themselves. It is equally obvious that nothing has been done here in the past year.

The streets are eerily quiet. Very few cars driving around and those folks that are out are mainly tourists. I saw one local woman walking around, but not another soul. The place still looks and sounds like death.