Sunday, January 17, 2010

The Haiti-Katrina Comparisons

I've been holding off on commenting on this, since it's so predictable. But this Campbell Brown video has apparently triggered some humanistic philosophy among radical leftists, so here goes ...

At the video you'll see CNN anchor Campbell Brown overcome with emotion at the story of an 11 year-old Haitian who succumbed to her injuries on the way to the hospital. It's clearly riveting television. In response, Nicole Belle at the radical Crooks and Liars writes:
If only more talking heads in this country could move past their own limited binary thought of politics to recognize that there is no Left/Right, no Democratic/Rebublican paradigm to this story. There is only humanity and more importantly, human suffering, to which we, as fellow humans, are obligated to respond. You can donate to Haitian Relief via Red Cross or Doctors Without Borders.
That's perfectly reasonable, but given the increasing intensification of partisan polarization, it's frankly hopelessly idealistic. I don't claim any innocence here, since I'd be the first to hammer Bill Clinton's insincerity and opportunism in bailing out on Haiti last week to campaign for Martha Coakley in Massachusetts. But I have to say the radical left's exploitation the Haitian disaster to demonize the George W. Bush administration really gets my goat. The worst is Amy Goodman in response to Randall Robinson, who was interviewed on the communist Democracy Now! channel, "Bush Was Responsible for Destroying Haitian Democracy." It's not all about Bush, although Robinson pins a lot of blame on him:

RANDALL ROBINSON: ... Of course, President Bush was responsible for destroying Haitian democracy in 2004, when he and American forces abducted President Aristide and his wife, taking them off to Africa, and they are now in South Africa ...
Robinson, however, takes issue with U.S. foreign policy as a whole, and criticizes Democratic administrations as well. But then Amy Goodman tries to pry some BDS out of Robinson in a follow-up:
AMY GOODMAN: In talking about President Bush, while most people may not know the role the US played in the ouster of President Aristide February 29th, 2004, probably what would come to mind when there’s any discussion of relief efforts is Katrina.
It's amazing to me that communist partisans like Goodman give Democrats a pass on the failures of Haitian democracy, but it's the Katrina parallel that's really galling. Of course, as Bob Willliams wrote in the Wall Street Journal in 2005, in response to criticism of the Bush adminstration response in New Orleans:

Many in the media are turning their eyes toward the federal government, rather than considering the culpability of city and state officials. I am fully aware of the challenges of having a quick and responsive emergency response to a major disaster. And there is definitely a time for accountability; but what isn't fair is to dump on the federal officials and avoid those most responsible--local and state officials who failed to do their job as the first responders. The plain fact is, lives were needlessly lost in New Orleans due to the failure of Louisiana's governor, Kathleen Blanco, and the city's mayor, Ray Nagin.

The primary responsibility for dealing with emergencies does not belong to the federal government. It belongs to local and state officials who are charged by law with the management of the crucial first response to disasters. First response should be carried out by local and state emergency personnel under the supervision of the state governor and his emergency operations center.

The actions and inactions of Gov. Blanco and Mayor Nagin are a national disgrace due to their failure to implement the previously established evacuation plans of the state and city. Gov. Blanco and Mayor Nagin cannot claim that they were surprised by the extent of the damage and the need to evacuate so many people. Detailed written plans were already in place to evacuate more than a million people. The plans projected that 300,000 people would need transportation in the event of a hurricane like Katrina. If the plans had been implemented, thousands of lives would likely have been saved.

In addition to the plans, local, state and federal officials held a simulated hurricane drill 13 months ago, in which widespread flooding supposedly trapped 300,000 people inside New Orleans. The exercise simulated the evacuation of more than a million residents. The problems identified in the simulation apparently were not solved.
Of course, every level of government -- federal, state, and local -- failed to respond as quickly and effectively as possible in 2005. Yet, there's some kind of leftist urban legend that the horrendous damage in the Gulf Coast after Katrina was exclusively a Bush administration failure.

Check out this post, for example, from Lance Mannion, "
Our Corrupt National Press Corps Trying to Make Haiti Part of the Game":
As John McQuaid says, there are no meaningful comparisons between what’s happening in Haiti and how the Bush Administration screwed up on Katrina, unless you reduce both events to nothing more than political theater.

As has been bewailed constantly in the liberal blogworld (see
this post by Glenn Greenwald for a recent example), to the insiders in the Washington Press Corps, politics is just a game---and a game Democrats can’t win even when they don’t lose and Republicans can’t lose even though they keep getting beaten time and time again---with nothing at stake but which team scores the most political points.

Scoring is kept my the insiders themselves without regard to polls, election results---when those results favor Democrats---history, or even obvious facts.

This is why and how Howard Fineman, an Insider’s Insider, can write an
“analysis” that deals with the devastation in New Orleans five years ago and in Haiti this week as matters of perception.

As Fineman sees it, the problem in New Orleans wasn’t that the city drowned because of the Bush Leaguers’ incompetence and negligence. The problem was that voters blamed George Bush.

So the problem for President Obama isn’t to coordinate US aid to Haiti but that he avoid being blamed for that aid not doing a good enough job once it gets there.
See that? The "Bush Leaguers' incompetence and negligence"? No mention of the distrastrous actions of Kathleen Blanco and Ray Nagin.

(And you might check radical Michael Stickings, at
The Reaction, who in discussing Campbell Brown somehow manages to get a jab in at Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh for their alleged inhumanity).

It all relates, of course. Folks like Amy Goodman and Michael Stickings don't really care about Haitians or human suffering. They care about naked power, and their diatribes against Republicans and conservatives are all of a piece with the program of neo-communist revolution.

Folks need to see the big picture to be able to fight back.

The Ideological War Within the West" (via Blazing Cat Fur).


Viking said...

There's now a facebook group warning against "radical rightwingers" who want to use the Shock Doctrine to impose reforms on Haiti.
They are getting behind Naomi Klein, whose take on the earthquake can be found here:

and here:

They compare Haiti to Indonesia after the Tsunami.

The Griper said...

may be there is a lesson here for teachers of the political system, professor. too much emphasis is placed upon the central government and its politics but very little on state and local politics and their influence along with their responsibilities to the communitie they rule over.

Ron K said...

there is one really big difference between Katrina and Haiti. everyone knew Katrina was coming and had all the opportunity to get out of the way in plenty of time.