Merely pointing out in the Pie-Eyed Pickle of the Week that some people must be held responsible for the continually unfolding breakdown of law and order in New Orleans as a result of Hurrican Katrina, provoked some commentary questioning how blame could be tossed around. Esteemed PeP Supercorrespondent Anti-Everything did some serious sleuthing and came up with a couple of great articles to give our readers a better understanding of how this tragedy was considered not a matter of if but when.
One is a series that appeared in the New Orleans Times-Picayune in 2002 that details many of the problems faced by the geography and topography of that city, and how various government agencies - particularly the Army Corps of Engineers - have played roles in both protecting residents and setting them up for this disaster.
The other is from Editor & Publisher, which goes a bit more in-depth on the financial issue and how over the past few years - as hurricane seasons have produced larger and more frequent storms - funding for the projects that were meant to protect New Orleans was slashed; the biggest reduction came just this past year. There is also an argument to be made (my apologies to Xtra who may see a political spin to this) for a direct correlation between lack of funding for flood-prevention projects in New Orleans and increased funding for the Iraq war.
Of course, as the title of this post shows, this is all Monday-morning quarterbacking (and undoubtedly the kind that drives President Bush bonkers); however, it will be necessary in the weeks, months, and years ahead to figure out exactly why steps weren't taken to prevent a catastrophe that everyone agrees was inevitable. One of the core duties of government is ensuring public safety. There has been a dramatic and drastic breakdown in the public safety of an entire municipality. If responsibility is not assigned, there is no way to learn from these mistakes, and they are doomed to be repeated.