The state of our nation and how to help Katrina victims

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The leaders of our country have been negligent

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.  Preamble to the Constitution of the United States

By Amy Branham

This past week our nation has been held captive by the news of Hurricane Katrina and the resulting devastation of Louisiana and Mississippi.  Specifically, we have been horrified by the slow response of those in charge of disaster relief agencies to help the victims of the hurricane and the even more devastating aftermath of it, especially in New Orleans

Originally I had intended to write about my last weekend at Camp Casey, but at this point I just can’t.  There is a bigger picture here and that is the negligence of our country’s leaders, specifically the President of the United States who has almost completely dismantled the emergency safety net we have all come to depend on and expect in times of national disaster… 

     

I can’t help but wonder what was going through the heads of our country’s leaders specifically George Bush, who was out playing golf and eating cake with John McCain in Arizona last Tuesday.  Once again our President showed that he is completely out of touch with reality and the American people by doing this.  While private American citizens from across the country were busy trying to get disaster relief and aid in to the hurricane torn region of this country, King George was, once again, checked out on vacation.  Dick Cheney was still vacationing in Wyoming and Condi Rice was buying shoes in New York

 FEMA, a department created to (supposedly) protect our country and its citizens both before and after a disaster, now falls under the umbrella of the Department of Homeland Security.  The director of FEMA didn’t even know for several days that there were tens of thousands of refugees suffering in the Dome in New Orleans.  I cannot help but wonder why he didn’t know.  Most of the rest of the country knew about it even before Hurricane Katrina made landfall.   

News crews were able to get into the city but for some reason emergency response teams could not.  Private citizens were able to load up buses of refugees and drive them away from the city to get help, but our own emergency response crews did not go into the city because they were fearful of the lawlessness.  In the meantime, possibly thousands of people who survived the hurricane died in the aftermath, due to heat, starvation and lack of medical care.  The pictures coming out of New Orleans look more like something from the Sudan than they do the United States.  It is appalling.

I have to say here, now, that the leaders of our country have been negligent.  The House and the Senate has allowed the President of this country to run roughshod all over our constitution and the programs designed to protect the citizens of America because of partisan politics.   Budgets were cut across the board to fund the war in Iraq.  National Guard troops and their equipment were taken away from the places they were needed most to go fight the war in Iraq.  These are crews and equipment that traditionally have been called into action to help stabilize areas devastated by disaster.  Now they are not available to help because King George sent them to a foreign country to fight a war they had no business fighting.

They should have been here at home ready to help when they were needed.   

To be quite honest, I no longer feel safe in my country.  King George & Co. are more of a threat to our nation than any terrorist currently is.  I have no confidence whatsoever that, if a terrorist were to strike our country with a bomb or anything else, our nation could handle the ensuing chaos and devastation. 

This is yet another wake up call, America.  How long are we going to sit on our butts and put up with the status quo?  King George wanted a war; he wanted to be known as a war president.  Because of this, he has completely neglected his responsibilities to care for our nation and make sure the resources needed to care for its citizens are in place.  King George claims to be a man of compassion, but I want to know, where is that compassion?  I have never seen it.  He and his administration have the blood of thousands of American citizens on their hands.  When will the killing stop?  When will the American people say enough is enough?  How long are we going to put up with their negligence?

In the meantime, a small group of Veterans from Veterans for Peace are working their butts off in the town of Covington, LA, doing their best to help the people there get much needed food and medical attention.  These veterans took their bus directly from Crawford, Texas to Covington filled with unneeded supplies donated to the Peace House and Camp Casey to help the victims that our own government wasn’t helping.  They are the only source of communication and supplies there.  You can find out more about them at their website:  http://www.vfproadtrips.org/

We the People.  It’s about time the American people remind our leaders that America is for and about the people.  It’s time to remind them that they are public servants, put in office to serve America and its people.  This time they failed the people who have been devastated by Hurricane Katrina.  Who will it be next time?  It’s time to hold the leaders of our country accountable for their actions. 

Amy Branham
Houston, TX
Mother of Sgt. Jeremy R. Smith
Gold Star Families for Peace

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