Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Government failed

My column today discusses the ways government failed over the last week. A few excerpts here: "As we dry our tears and settle in for the road ahead, no doubt the most devastating reality we face is the knowledge that it didn't have to be this way. When we're not feeling heartsick about what's happened, we're tempted to lash out and assign blame. But so far, the finger-pointing seems to be based less on fact and more on gut reaction to events, with political predispositions also playing a role. Of course this is natural, but it's not productive. "We need to save our energy for the protracted process of helping to rebuild lives and for the equally protracted process of learning what went wrong, when, where and why. We need to have energy to face the answers to those questions and to take the action those answers should compel us to take. "No doubt the anger comes from the powerlessness we've felt knowing people were suffering, combined with disbelief that, for days, there was little or no evidence of official intervention of any kind. In the end, there will be more than enough blame to go around and it will be widely distributed. "Punishment should then be meted out accordingly, either at the ballot box or in the court system, or perhaps, as some have suggested, in both. There can be no excuse, from any official, for any reason, at any level for having allowed this natural disaster to devolve into a man-made hell on earth."