I don't understand the pictures on the news of the refugees who are sitting along the freeways with no food or water. Has anyone seen this? I know resources are stretched to the max but this is hard to understand. They are just sitting there, people of all ages in all conditions. I know there are also thousands in shelters -- 78,000 I just heard -- but these people are in a pathetic situation. There is nobody coming to bring them even food or water. They are shown just sitting in the hot sun. No place but the concrete to lie down. They are getting desperate. One lady has the dead body of her husband with her. Where is the outpouring of help such as we saw with the tsunami? Or 9/11? A collection for the Red Cross is being taken up in my town, and I assume that's going on elsewhere. I guess they'll get to them but two days in that condition is a long time. Maybe the problem isn't the supplies but ways to get it to them?
Edit: Berberry who started this thread hasn't posted since Katrina hit, has he? He's in Vickwburg just north of the major disasters, but they must have been hit too.
This message has been edited by Faith, 08-31-2005 09:39 PM
I'm sure there's a lot of 100% accurate hindsight being developed by the people in charge of these things by now, but it looks to me like despite the best intentions and dedicated work of the helpers, the magnitude of the problem has simply swamped all available solutions. A representative from FEMA was on the news this morning saying that because of the power outage and general communication problems, they didn't even know about the people who had been directed away from the Superdome where they were concentrating their efforts.
The destruction of New Orleans is a blow to the entire nation that is not going to be over soon, possibly not ever. We start with the horrors of the people left stranded in complete misery, but there are more horrors to come.
Got this via email but didn't want to post the entire column, and I don't know anything about this site but they had it there so here it is:
During the Cold War, a macabre topic of discussion among bored graduate students who studied such things was this: If the Soviets could destroy one city with a large nuclear device, which would it be? The usual answers were Washington or New York. For me, the answer was simple: New Orleans. If the Mississippi River was shut to traffic, then the foundations of the economy would be shattered. The industrial minerals needed in the factories wouldn't come in, and the agricultural wealth wouldn't flow out. Alternative routes really weren't available. The Germans knew it too: A U-boat campaign occurred near the mouth of the Mississippi during World War II. Both the Germans and Stratfor have stood with Andy Jackson: New Orleans was the prize.
Last Sunday, nature took out New Orleans almost as surely as a nuclear strike. Hurricane Katrina's geopolitical effect was not, in many ways, distinguishable from a mushroom cloud. The key exit from North America was closed. The petrochemical industry, which has become an added value to the region since Jackson's days, was at risk. The navigability of the Mississippi south of New Orleans was a question mark. New Orleans as a city and as a port complex had ceased to exist, and it was not clear that it could recover.
The Ports of South Louisiana and New Orleans, which run north and south of the city, are as important today as at any point during the history of the republic. On its own merit, POSL is the largest port in the United States by tonnage and the fifth-largest in the world. It exports more than 52 million tons a year, of which more than half are agricultural products -- corn, soybeans and so on. A large proportion of U.S. agriculture flows out of the port. Almost as much cargo, nearly 17 million tons, comes in through the port -- including not only crude oil, but chemicals and fertilizers, coal, concrete and so on.
A simple way to think about the New Orleans port complex is that it is where the bulk commodities of agriculture go out to the world and the bulk commodities of industrialism come in. The commodity chain of the global food industry starts here, as does that of American industrialism. If these facilities are gone, more than the price of goods shifts: The very physical structure of the global economy would have to be reshaped. Consider the impact to the U.S. auto industry if steel doesn't come up the river, or the effect on global food supplies if U.S. corn and soybeans don't get to the markets.
Here are a few lines of what God told the Israelites would happen to them if they did not obey the Law of the Covenant they had just made with Him:
Deuteronomy 28:15 "But it shall come to pass come to pass, if you do not obey the voice of the Lord your God, to observe carefully all His commandments and His statutes which I command you today, that all these curses will come upon you and overtake you: 16 "Cursed shall you be in the city, and cursed shall you be in the country. 17 "Cursed shall be your basket and your kneading bowl. 18 "Cursed shall be the fruit of your body and the produce of your land, the increase of your cattle and the offspring of your flocks. 19 "Cursed shall you be when you come in, and cursed shall you be when you go out ... 25 "The Lord will cause you to be defeated before your enemies; you shall go out one way against them and flee seven ways before them; and you shall become troublesome to all the kingdoms of the earth. ... you shall not prosper in your ways; you shall be only oppressed and plundered continually, and no one shall save you.
As long as the attitude continues to prevail in this country that disaster is a matter of statistics and nothing out of the ordinary, as long as God is ignored or reviled or considered to be remote from these "ordinary" disasters, they will only get worse.
I have been careful to say that we have no way of knowing anything about God's judgment of individuals, only God does.
God does judge nations and cities, and NOTHING, absolutely NOTHING happens without God's will.
Amos 3:6: ... If there is calamity in a city, will not the Lord have done it?
Isaiah 45:6 I am the Lord, and there is no other; 7 I form the light and create darkness, I make peace and create calamity; I, the Lord, do all these things.'
Jer 49:8 Flee ye, turn back, dwell deep, O inhabitants of Dedan; for I will bring the calamity of Esau upon him, the time [that] I will visit him.
Jer 49:32 And their camels shall be a booty, and the multitude of their cattle a spoil: and I will scatter into all winds them [that are] in the utmost corners; and I will bring their calamity from all sides thereof, saith the LORD.
I also haven't suggested what might be the provoking causes of the judgment. I'm sure I don't know the half of it. New Orleans has a reputation for various kinds of corruption, but also it was the nation as a whole that was hit, not just the city. 9/11 was also a judgment on the nation as a whole. What was the response? The reiterated demand that "God bless America," not repentance. The right response to judgment warnings is repentance.
However, I believe I also mentioned, and will emphasize now in any case, that I do believe it is the church that is judged first and that has the real responsibility. What this would look like in reality is probably not much like what the person who suggested it has in mind, but nevertheless I agree it is where we must start.
I'm on vacation from EvC for a while. Just dropped in to make this post.