Saturday, September 03, 2005

Ring! Are You Going to Answer That?.....

The alarm started ringing this week. Ring! Did you hear it? Are you going to answer? It's our wake-up call. Do you think the average American will hear the alarm and open his eyes for a new day? Three sobering facts stepped forward and presented themselves this week in New Orleans. 

1. Really bad things can happen to regular everyday people, even in America. We are in deep trouble if we don't learn from this experience. True, we were sorta expecting...well, we tried to understand...things could run amok...that terrorism especially could exact a brutal blow on us with a dirty bomb or a deadly germ, forcing a major city to send its inhabitants running. Some half-listened, while some covered their ears to obliterate the warning in favor of their own political bent against any reason to justify the war. Bottom line: most of us didn't dare imagine it or refused to imagine it. But it happened, and not because of terrorism, this time anyway.  

2. Over-weighted bureaucracies are the most inefficient, disorganized entities imaginable and can fail when you need them most. It's the same problem again. After 911, we discovered incommunicative government agencies failed to predict the attack even though vital information was in their separate hands. Different agencies had different pieces and they never converged their data. In New Orleans, resources were available, but there was no communication between entities to release the food, water, and protections when they were needed. We are in deep trouble if we don't learn from this experience.

3. Our ability to deal with natural or terror-related catastrophes is in serious doubt. We now know the system isn't working. If another major city needs to evacuate, then (I repeat) we are in deep trouble if we don't learn from this experience.

Copyright 2005 JO Janoski 

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