Sonntag, 18. September 2005


Nachfolgend ein Kommentar, den ich heute, am 18.09.05  in zwei englischsprachigen Blogs zum Thema "Hurrikan Katrina( und veröffentlicht habe, und den ich auch meinen Besuchern nicht vorenthalten möchte:

Here in Germany (or, for that matter, anywhere in Europe) you would probably have to use a magnifying glass to find very many followers of president Bush and his like (or ilk). (If you want to get an idea, why I personally don't care for his ideological stance, take a look at my blog - the only one in English, the rest are in German - "THE B(RAT) IN THE BOX AT THE ULTIMATE LEVER?"

Nevertheless, the liberal use of words like "moron", "asshole", "freeze-dried brain" [I really like that one (] etc. is not an adequate substitute for a rational analysis of the chain of causation which has led to those consequences of the natural disaster, that could have been avoided if adequate measures with a reasonable cost-benefit ratio had been taken in advance.
While nobody in their right mind would blame the hurricane itself on president Bush of his party, politics does seem to have made a few mistakes inside and outside of the timeline that has been given in the opening lines of this blog discussion. Also, mistakes seem to have been made on all three relevant political levels: local, state and federal. Therefore, if I venture a prediction, the Democrats will not be extremely eager to dig deeply into the pre-history of the disastrous consequences of hurricane Katrina.
Long before Bush came into power, the levees could have been improved on in order to withstand a hurricane of category 5 instead just category 3. With 500.000 people involved, and a lot of valuable property, any rational cost-benefit-analysis would have called for such action long before.
However, while the Democratic Administrations have not been eager to do more about this than Republican Administrations, also the people and politicians of Louisiana and New Orleans do not seem to have pressured enough (and, when it comes to co-financed measures, spend enough) to change political priorities.
And if you do not spend enough money to raise and enforce the levees, and make sure that the pumps keep working independent of central power supply, why not at least construct the Superdome as a kind of "dual-use"-building with enough toilets, generators and drinking water supplies to serve as Noah's Arc when the deluge comes?
And if you have not even done that, you still would be able to stock more supplies, if you have a 72-hour-warning for a category 5 hurricane.

From what I have read about the catastrophe, the present budget cuts of the levee program have not been the cause of the collapse of some stretches of levees. So while George Bush may have to bear the possibly belated and inadequate reaction of FEMA, it would appear to me that he cannot fairly be blamed for causing the catastrophe any more than previous administrations.

However, much as the Democrats may not be to keen to have all the political shortcomings uncovered, they will of course be happy to lay the blame on president Bush. And, ironically, the Republicans (and in particular that upper crust of society, which finds its interests well served by the Republicans) might have the very same interest, namely to see the debate focus on persons rather than on long-term political concepts.
Even if the political upsurge of the "I-know-best-what-to-do-with-my-money"-ideology did not cause the disaster, everybody in the world (not just in the USA) might take it as a lesson that the balances between those private interests, that are immediately visible, and those interests, which are termed to be the interest of society as a whole, but which are, in effect, private interests on a different time scale and a different intellectually scale (which is not easily accessible for everyone) have to be determined rather differently from what the egoists and libertarians would like to see and to a certain extent have already achieved to have.
I really do hope that the Democrats in the USA and the "Democrats" all over the world will understand this and that they will not be content with having some more or less symbolic political figure removed (or simply bashed, and not even removed).

In this context, the most strange and worrying comment on Katrina that I have read was the article "Katrina’s Triage. It is a grim but inescapable fact that not everyone in New Orleans could be saved" by Marc Gellman ( I do not know which political preferences Mr. Gellman has, but to me his words sound very much like he wants to take the heat off president Bush. This is not the worst though (because, even in my own opinion, Bush gets – on this occasion – more criticism than he actually deserves). What really upsets me are his words in the last paragraph:

"Finally, I believe we are compelled to acknowledge that no possible scenario of human existence will ever free us from more than occasionally having too much need and not enough help. Killer storms, wars, famines and other natural catastrophes will test us forever. That is the most sad fact of life here on planet earth. And in the face of temporarily scarce lifesaving resources, there will always be those whose idea of helping is to scream, accuse and point fingers at people they hated before the storm. Thank God, however, there will also be people like the smiling nurse on the hospital rooftop. I am glad I am not in New Orleans now, but if I were there, I would want to be standing right next to her."

Wars are not, and famines very often not "natural catastrophes", and whether we will be having "too much need and not enough help" does depends, in many situations, on whether we have prepared for such catastrophes (or, thinking of clima change, tried to avoid them) or whether we have funneled the funds into private pockets. Even and particularly the religious fundamentalists should pay heed to the biblical simile of the foolish virgins.
And those, who do not have the money to construct their own levees around their own property (as has been suggested - ironically, I assume - in some blog comment) have any reason to question the libertarian and related ideologies.

Zum Begriff "Triage" verweise ich auch auf die umfangreiche Eintragung in der deutschsprachigen Wikipedia (; der Artikel in der englischsprachigen Wikipedia ist mehr praktisch orientiert).
Besonders interessant dort der Hinweis: "Ein volkswirtschaftlicher Ansatz zielt darauf ab, das 'Humankapital' der Geretteten abzuschätzen, also bei den zu Rettenden darauf zu sehen, dass ihr zu erwartendes Lebenseinkommen vom Zeitpunkt der Rettung an maximiert wird."
Wieso erinnert mich das an meinen Aufsatz " Nur die totale Entfesselung d. Kapitalismus rettet unsere Umwelt" auf meiner Webseite    

Textstand vom 29.07.2019

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