View Full Version : Bush Denies Racial Component To Response

09-12-2005, 03:58 PM
Bush Denies Racial Component to Response


By JENNIFER LOVEN, Associated Press Writer
52 minutes ago

NEW ORLEANS - President Bush denied Monday there was any racial component to people being left behind after Hurricane Katrina, despite suggestions from some critics that the response would have been quicker if so many of the victims hadn't been poor and black.

"The storm didn't discriminate and neither will the recovery effort," Bush said. "The rescue efforts were comprehensive. The recovery will be comprehensive."

Bush made the remarks to reporters beneath a highway overpass at the end of a tour that took him through several flooded New Orleans neighborhoods. Occasionally, Bush had to duck to avoid low-hanging electrical wires and branches.

It was Bush's first exposure to the on-the-ground leadership of his new hurricane relief chief, Vice Adm. Chad W. Allen of the U.S. Coast Guard. The federal response to the disaster has been roundly criticized as sluggish and inept.

While Bush was still in Louisiana, his demoted FEMA director, Mike Brown, announce he was resigning from the agency. Brown told The Associated Press that he was leaving "in the best interest of the agency and best interest of the president."

"The focus has got to be on FEMA, what the people are trying to do down there," Brown told The AP.

In a sign that Bush is growing weary of the accusations, he testily replied to a reporter who asked whether he felt let down by federal officials on the ground.

"Look, there will be plenty of time to play the blame game," he said. "That's what you're trying to do. You're trying to say somebody is at fault. And, look, I want to know. I want to know exactly what went on and how it went on, and we'll continually assess inside my administration."

He also sharply rejected suggestions that the nation's military was stretched too thinly with the war in Iraq to deal with the Gulf Coast devastation. "We've got plenty of troops to do both," the president said. "It is preposterous to claim that the engagement in Iraq meant there weren't enough troops."

Bush said Congress should consider whether the federal government should have more authority to step into disaster areas without a request from the states. He said lawmakers should examine what happened and make recommendations for change so the government can prepare for future disasters, including the possibility of a biological attack.

"We need to make sure that this country is knitted up as well as it can be in order to deal with significant problems and disasters," Bush said. "Meantime, we've got to keep moving forward. And I know there has been a lot of second-guessing. I can assure you I'm not interested in that. What I'm interested in is solving problems. And there'll be time to take a step back and to take a sober look at what went right, what didn't go right."

Bush also clarified his now-criticized remark that no one had anticipated the levees being breached. He said he was referring to that "sense of relaxation in a critical moment" when many people initially thought the storm had not inflicted heavy damage on the city.

Meanwhile, in Washington, the Federal Emergency Management Agency said it is suspending its emergency airlifts of hurricane victims to distant states as it reassess the needs of the storm victims.

"The big evacuation is over," spokeswoman Kathy Cable said. She said more than 22,000 evacuees had been relocated in less than 72 hours.

People who need to get to their families in a distant location will be sent on commercial flights, Cable said.

The commander of all active-duty Army troops in the New Orleans recovery mission said Monday that the house-to-house search for hurricane survivors is about 30 percent completed and may be finished entirely within 10 days.

Maj. Gen. Bill Caldwell, commander of the 82nd Airborne Division, said in a telephone interview that state and local civilian authorities have decided that once the search for people who want assistance is finished, there will be no forced entry of residences where there is no indication of survivors still holed up.

"If you go force all these homes open with all the people gone, and the homes are wide open, you're almost inviting looting," he said.

Caldwell, who is commanding an Army force of about 6,000 soldiers, including 3,800 from the 82nd Airborne, also said his soldiers have begun accompanying civilian teams dispatched to recover human remains from homes. Once the civilians prepare the remains for removal, the soldiers' role is to help carry them to a vehicle, he said.

Bush, on a two-day visit to hurricane-affected areas, started the day with a briefing on the federal response effort aboard the 844-foot USS Iwo Jima, a command center for military operations. The slideshow presentation, which covered the latest relief and recovery efforts in three states, was conducted in the ship's ward room by Coast Guard Vice Adm. Thad Allen, who replaced embattled FEMA Director Michael Brown as federal hurricane commander last Friday.

Bush was seated between New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin and Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco — both of whom have been critical of the federal response in Hurricane Katrina's wake.

Bush then toured the flooded city in a convoy of military trucks. Later, he was to tour hard-hit surrounding parishes by helicopter, touching down to meet with local leaders, and then was traveling to Gulfport, Miss.

It was Bush's first up-close look in the two weeks since Katrina smashed into the Gulf Coast and drowned this storied city. He had visited on ground last week in Mississippi and at the New Orleans airport and had made two previous airborne inspection tours. Although he stopped at the New Orleans airport and went to the site of one of the breached levees on the edge of the city, Bush had stayed far from the epicenter of the city's suffering.

The president spent Sunday night aboard the Iwo Jima, a military amphibious assault ship docked in the Mississippi River just behind the city's convention center — now eerily empty but still strewn with piles of trash — that was the scene of so much misery in the days after the storm.

The trip came as the White House is eager to show the president displaying hands-on, empathetic leadership in the storm effort. More than half of respondents in an Associated Press-Ipsos poll last week said he is at fault for the slow response.

The city's devastation is immense, but the situation has improved markedly in the last week. Law and order has been restored to New Orleans and looting curtailed; the Superdome and city convention center are empty; the water level is going down as workers begin to drain the city; and some power is being restored.

09-13-2005, 07:20 AM
This just in:

Bush denies Oil component to Iraq war.

At a press conference today, Bush talked a load of shite, which was reguritated by the mainstream media in an effort to make it look like they'd done some actual work. Meanwhile, the vast majority of the world remains of the opinion that George Bush is a fucking twat.

Try harder 'liberal' Media, TRY HARDER!