Letters To The Editor

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

September 07, 2005

Katrina shows we're not ready for any attack

The human suffering in the aftermath of the devastation in the Gulf Coast following a natural disaster that the federal government had days to prepare for shows how ill-prepared our government is to deal with a sudden nuclear or biological terrorist attack.

This was not, after all, a sudden or unpredicted event. Maybe someone in the White House should watch the Weather Channel.

In spite of all of the flag-waving rhetoric, the reorganization of agencies and new appointments, this administration has accomplished nothing of significance in the four years following the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

It has squandered valuable time and squandered billions of taxpayer dollars - all the while deceiving us into believing that we are safer, better-prepared and more vigilant.

Hurricane Katrina stands as the litmus test of this organization and vigilance. And we should all be alarmed.

The reality is that we are no better prepared to deal with a crisis now, after the events of Sept. 11, 2001, than we are safer from terrorists because of the war in Iraq.

Michael Ziegler

Baltimore

Homeland security fails a critical test

As Americans watched in horror the tragedy on the Gulf Coast, millions of us wondered why the federal government couldn't get to the storm victims as fast as the journalists did.

Millions of us wondered why the city of New Orleans didn't provide transportation for the thousands of people who didn't own cars and couldn't afford to leave when an evacuation order was issued.

Millions of us wondered why we can air drop necessities to other countries but can't do it here in our own country.

And finally, millions of us wondered what exactly the Department of Homeland Security does - other than issue color-coded warnings.

Barbara Blumberg

Baltimore

Americans need to get an itemized receipt from the Bush administration for the billions we spent in 2002 to set up the Department of Homeland Security.

It looks like we didn't get everything we paid for.

Robert Wilke

Monkton

Using storm to score cheap political points

I can't believe all the finger-pointing and complaining that's been going on this past week.

This country has experienced the worst natural disaster in its history, and some people think supplies and aid should have been delivered overnight. But responding to an event of this unprecedented magnitude takes time.

And everyone from U.S. Rep. Elijah E. Cummings to the mayor of New Orleans to certain rap stars should be ashamed of themselves for certain statements - especially the ones that were politically motivated to take advantage of this sad situation.

This country needs to take a collective breath, roll up its sleeves and get to work helping all those affected by Hurricane Katrina, instead of engaging in the petty political sniping such as that being done by the Democrats.

John Cullom

Westminster

A disgraceful attack on our president

The Saturday Mailbox featured a disgraceful and undeserved attack on President Bush and the federal response to the onslaught of Hurricane Katrina ("Disgraceful response to disaster," letters, Sept. 3).

The letters showed a complete disregard for the existence of state and local governments and for man's inability to subdue nature, and were clearly intended to discredit the president for partisan political and moral reasons.

I pray for those suffering on the Gulf Coast, for those working to help those suffering and for a better understanding of the limits the 10th Amendment of the Constitution places on the role of the federal government.

Vincent Ciletti

Parkville

Troops are needed right here at home

Now is the time to bring our troops home from Baghdad and other places in Iraq.

Their help is sorely needed in New Orleans and Biloxi, Miss.

Magdalene B. Fennell

Columbia

Bush is responsible for the loss of life

The federal government's disastrous failure to evacuate New Orleans' impoverished, predominantly black residents before Hurricane Katrina hit and its delayed and inept relief effort caused unnecessary trauma, illness and loss of life.

President Bush must be held responsible; his appointment of Michael Chertoff as chief of the Department of Homeland Security is but one example of his selecting people for critical positions because of their ideological compatibility with him, not their knowledge, competence and experience.

The president has lied about the reasons for invading Iraq, shown cluelessness about how the Iraqis would respond, sent inadequately equipped troops to war and reduced taxes of the wealthy while pouring money into Iraq.

These, sadly, were not enough to cause Congress to impeach the president - his mistakes apparently being judged less serious than President Bill Clinton's sexual escapades.

Will Congress now hold the president responsible for gross incompetence and wanton disregard for some people's lives?

And what other disaster awaits us if Mr. Bush continues in the presidency?

Julia B. Rauch

Baltimore

We have met our real enemy

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