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September 03, 2005

I'm Stumped

Posted by Nicholas Beaudrot of Electoral Math

Can someone explain this to me?

I'm not looking for hysterics. I'm looking for a calm, collected, calculated reason why it would be a bad idea for the American Red Cross shouldn't be allowed into New Orleans to deliver services. I'm even willing to accept an answer along the lines of "the government doesn't want the liability exposure if a Red Cross volunteer gets shot".

September 3, 2005 in Policy | Permalink


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The official answer I heard was that they think that people will be less likely to evacuate if they can get food in the city. Sort of like how people should be thrown off welfare because it will encourage them to get a job. There are some truly sick fucks in charge of this country.

Posted by: Greg | Sep 3, 2005 6:14:29 PM

If that's the official answer, the real answer must be even worse.

But I can't even imagine what that is.

Posted by: Karl the Idiot | Sep 3, 2005 6:20:38 PM

The official answer I heard was that they think that people will be less likely to evacuate if they can get food in the city.

Right. This strikes me as a complete jumbling of priorities. You have a bunch of people who probably haven't eaten in days, have no running water, and may need medical attention. But, you're not going to send in the Red Cross, because then they might stay.

Am I not wrong in thinking that at this point they will either "stay and die" or "stay and live"? Could the CEO of the Red Cross just defy the orders and let the US Army run the risk of the terrible PR of arresting Red Cross volunteers?

Posted by: Nicholas Beaudrot | Sep 3, 2005 6:21:19 PM

What about security? Is New Orleans such a madhouse right now that the Guard can't expend resources protecting Red Cross workers?

Posted by: Nicholas Beaudrot | Sep 3, 2005 6:22:04 PM

The people in charge have no idea what they are doing. But being basically untrustworthy bullies who would shoot and eat their own mothers in a crisis, they are projecting the worst parts of their own damaged psyches onto the people of New Orleans. This makes them think that the people in NO are a bunch of crazed psychopaths who would take the meager rations being offered to them and try to hole up in their flood-ravaged homes, leaving only to murder Red Cross workers for sport.

They have a basically authoritarian view of the role of government, where citizens are not trusted, not given freedom to make decisions and act upon them. They are worried that people will try to stay only because the decision was made that they shouldn't stay. They also want to make sure that they not only know where everyone is going, but that they are going where they are sent and not some other part of the country. This disaster is giving the Republican government a chance to exercise, over this group of people, the amount of control they would like to exert over every citizen.

Posted by: Stephen | Sep 3, 2005 6:59:30 PM

And I'm not being hysterical. This is my calm, very calculated response.

Posted by: Stephen | Sep 3, 2005 7:00:18 PM

Goethe said it well: Against stupidity, the gods themselves contend in vain.

Posted by: LeisureGuy | Sep 3, 2005 7:15:05 PM

My neocon is a bit rusty, but apparently, it is too dangerous for the Red Cross, who has operated in practically every war-torn environment for decades, to do their work in New Orleans.

Posted by: ItAintEazy | Sep 3, 2005 7:40:00 PM

Stephen, that makes total sense. Do the people suppoedly in charge of the rescue effort watch television? Have they seen the reports coming from the convention center and the interstates? Those are law-abiding citizens who are desperate and dying.

Posted by: Pepper | Sep 3, 2005 8:19:30 PM

The reason they didn't come in and set up shelters BEFORE the storm hit was because people would be more likely to stay. The reason they didn't come in after was because it wasn't safe.

I should the say, the reason the government kept them out. The Red Cross would have gone in if authorized.

Posted by: Bill K | Sep 4, 2005 11:50:55 AM

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