Your e-mails: Hurricane Katrina
Thousands wait to be evacuated outside the Superdome in New Orleans on Friday.
CNN.com asked readers to share their thoughts about Hurricane Katrina. Here is a sampling from the responses, some of which have been edited:
After being glued to your coverage of the Katrina aftermath, I have this to say to President Bush, if you can't get those poor souls at the convention center just one canteen of water you might as well go back on vacation.
I am shocked to see the level of slowness of the help provided. Coming from a third world country without the resources of USA, I have seen my country handling situations much better in extreme floods which are very common. Example of armed forces pressed into service immediately, air dropping food and water, ensuring security are the first things that one does...I cannot understand why it took 4 days to provide food and water at the Superdome and the convention center when we knew from beforehand that people shall move there. Communication failure is no excuse.
I sit and watch the terrible images on CNN and other news shows and everyone is screaming the government is to blame and George Bush is to blame. The people were told get out they didn't listen just like Andrew in South Florida. I'm very sad for the people and their suffering but stop blaming the government and start looking at who is destroying the city. The people need to start working with government officials and get their city back from the scumbags who are terrorizing and looting.
How repulsive can the 'lack of real response to these desperate needy storm survivors in New Orleans and throughout the Gulf Coast States' become! And to presently watch the president of the United States and two Republican governors turn this into a "photo-op" on the fifth day, literally, reassuring and patting one another on the back in front of running cameras" ... was really, quite frankly, a repulsive display.
I am furious that our president is thinking about Trent Lott's house while thousands of people are stranded, dying, and waiting for help in New Orleans. Like I said, as a person far from the situation I have to put my faith in the government to do the right thing. I have never been more upset. If I were standing next to him I would have said, "Excuse me Mr. President, we are not talking about Trent Lott's porch here; 75,000 of your citizens need your help in New Orleans. Trent Lott will be fine."
As a European watching in horror the evolving and increasing chaos in the American South, I find it well nigh impossible to believe the lack of civic responsibility evidenced by this disaster. How can any local authority recommend via the media evacuation of an area... but at the same time make no effort to transport the poor, the needy and even those most dependent on that authority -- the prisoners in the local jail -- simply beggars belief. While racism is ostensibly banned and frowned upon amongst your nation, this is surely economic cleansing where ethnic cleansing would be generally reckoned to be unacceptable? I'm not surprised that anarchy and armed looting has started in the face of such desperate conditions as these people have been abandoned in. Oh America, this is your shame -- please learn from it that everyone deserves care and dignity.
President Bush waited until the mayor of New Orleans stood up and verbally ripped the federal government for not doing enough. Then and only then did President Bush decide to go to New Orleans.
It seems to me that much of the refugee frustration is due to lack of information. Given that the power is out, why don't the officials drop leaflets to the crowds? Short and sweet: A) summarize the magnitude of problem; B) tell them what is being done; C) What they can do and when help should arrive.
I'm confident that President Bush and government officials are doing all they can and will continue to do so. It just takes time and unfortunately, time was/is not on some of the victims' or evacuees' side.
I was in Florida during Hurricane Andrew. I thought the government had learned its lesson. The actions, or lack of, of the federal government during this disaster are unpardonable. As I was watching the coverage yesterday on TV I was truly ashamed to be an American. We can send more and more troops to Iraq but we cannot save our own citizens who are literally dying before our eyes.
I have watched with great sadness the events over the past week. In the beginning I was accepting of our government and their efforts. Now, I am very disappointed and angry. We are the United States -- where is the help? We can do massive food drops and distributions all over the world but can't drop food in our own country... We need to pull together. Why hasn't America responded to the hurricane like it responded to 9/11? We have children dying. Get to these people and get them help. Where there is a will there is a way. Stop making excuses and start making progress.
We really shouldn't be surprised by the government response to this tragedy. We have the worst disaster in our country's history and the worst president in our country's history. We have a Republican administration which has demonstrated its lack of compassion for the poor.
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