Friday, September 09, 2005

Revised Letter to the Editor.

Apparently I have to send my letter by mail, so I took the opportunity to revise it some. The new version is below.

I have lived in [omitted] County my entire life, but I'm currently at Kent State University completing my senior year of college (woo-hoo!). I don't usually write letters to the editor, but I have some thoughts I need to express.

If I had turned off the volume of my television while watching coverage of the disaster in New Orleans, I would have thought I was watching footage of a crisis in a third world country.

George W. Bush and his administration have allowed a humanitarian crisis to happen in the United States. It was a sad day when I realized my county is rich and powerful enough to make war, but not rich and powerful enough to help its own citizens in a crisis.

There will be people who will blindly defend Bush. They will say "no one can control Mother Nature" or "any administration would have had difficulties dealing with this situation" or etc., etc.

No one can control Mother Nature; that's true. It's also true that the government on all levels have known about the problems in New Orleans for years, even before Bush took office (Bush would like us to believe otherwise, though, blatantly lying that he didn't "think anybody anticipated the breach of the levees." Who does he think he's fooling? FEMA told him back in 2001 that New Orleans and its levees were headed for a disaster, and that wasn't the first time the issue came up).

But how can anyone ignore or explain away the fact that Bush did everything in his power to hinder the correction of the levee problems? And after the hurricane struck, Bush once again demonstrated his callous disregard for ordinary, American citizens--especially the poor. He and his administration abandoned those people. New Orleans has many accessible entrances, even after the flooding, but no one rescued the victims or brought them supplies for days. If journalists could enter New Orleans, why couldn't rescuers?

Sadly, most of the damage and loss of lives in New Orleans could have been prevented if not for Bush's actions, a mere portion of which are listed below.

Bush and his administration:
--diverted funds needed for the critical maintenance of the levees to the Iraq war
--sent parts of Louisiana's and Mississippi's National Guard (people needed in the United States in case of a disaster) to the war in Iraq
--diverted funds earmarked for planning a response to a Category Five hurricane hitting New Orleans to the Iraq war
--filled and developed wetlands that could have alleviated the storm surge
--sharply cut disaster mitigation funding at FEMA
--appointed unqualified, incompetent people to head FEMA
--remained on vacation while thousands died (Bush, Cheney, and Rice--who was buying shoes worth thousands of dollars in New York City!)

The Bush administration's delayed response to the disaster in New Orleans was particularly shameful. Wake up, America. Unless you're part of the elite, George W. Bush and his administration don't care about you. Their handling of the situation in New Orleans just proves this fact even more.

Bush and his administration need to be held accountable for their gross mismanagement of the relief efforts in New Orleans. Every citizen should write their representatives and senators, demanding that an independent group--someone who doesn't have a stake in the outcome--investigate why things went so devastatingly wrong, before and after the hurricane, in New Orleans.

On an additional note, I've noticed that the administration's new favorite term is the "blame game." Catchphrases are typical Karl Rovian strategy. The Bush administration never defends its actions; it just goes on the offensive. Bush and his supporters attempt to trivialize their opponents and their concerns so people don't realize that Bush is the one who's actually done something wrong. To distract the public and media, Rove thinks of a catchy term and has every Bush-supporter continuously spout it on television, planting it in every American's mind until they start saying it themselves with no real thought to it's validity. Remember "flip flop"?

"Blame game" even rhymes, so Rove must be particularly proud of himself! But I don't think his strategy is going to work this time. What they fail to understand is that this situation is no game. Americans, don't let them distract us from the real problems anymore.

Americans in the South have died. Americans have suffered and lost their loved ones, homes, and livelihoods. They don't get a continue. They don't get to hit the reset button.

So, no, I don't blame the Bush administration or FEMA. I accuse them. The rest of America should, too.


Anonymous said...

Really, really great letter. It gets all your points across without being overly emotional yet letting everyone know that you really CARE and believe what you are saying. Excellently written, I congratulate you.

Stefanie said...

Thanks, "anonymous." ; )