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Friday, September 16, 2005

Katrina: While the MSM fiddled...they missed the real story

Katrina

Disaster? Yes.

Triumph? Yes.

While the MSM was emoting on bridges, real work was being done to rescue the 20% of New Orleans that hadn't self-evacuated and the heavily damaged cities of Louisiana and Mississippi (and the damaged cities of Alabama and even Panhandle Florida) and with the exception of some videos covering helipcopter rescues and boat rescues, the coverage hyped the problems and messiness of any catastrophre in its early stages and failed to present any picture of the quiet heroics of the helicopter crews (Coast Guard, Navy, Army and Air Force), the National Guard, the Army, the Navy, the police who stayed, the Fire Departments who were trying to bring an order out of chaos. A good analysis is at The American Thinker here.

And the logistics train that was put in place by the services, private enterprise and the helping non-profit sector like the Red Cross, the Salvation Army and all the other religious and other groups who got water, ice and compassion delivered to those in need. The Texans who opened the Astrodome and their homes and their hearts (remember the words of the New Orleanians who arrived there "for the first time, we felt someone cared.")

And the Mexican government, the Canadian Navy and all the rest.

The true story of the triumph has yet to be written, But it will be.

UPDATE: Caption:
U.S. Navy Seabees with Construction Battalion Maintenance Unit 202, work with Canadian Sailors and other Sailors assigned to the amphibious assault ship USS Bataan (LSD 5) to clean up the compound at Gulfport, Miss. Armed Forces Veterans Home. Canadian Sailors arrived yesterday and have been coming to the beach for the past two days to aid the Seabees in continued Hurricane Katrina relief efforts. U.S. Navy photo by Journalist 3rd Class Chris Gethings. (Photo source)


Hull Technician 3rd Class Thomas Sauerbrey attaches a shower assembly to a baseball field dugout fence. Sailors assigned to the amphibious assault ship USS Iwo Jima (LHD 7), are fabricating and constructing two deep sinks and an outside shower to function as a decontamination station for personnel engaged in ongoing hurricane relief and recovery efforts. The Navy's involvement in the humanitarian assistance operations are being led by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), in conjunction with the Department of Defense. U.S. Navy photo by Photographer’s Mate 2nd Class R.J. Stratchko


Aviation Structural Mechanic 1st Class Roger Clites prepares a connection for one of two homemade sinks. Sailors assigned to the amphibious assault ship USS Iwo Jima (LHD 7), are fabricating and constructing two deep sinks and an outside shower to function as a decontamination station for personnel engaged in ongoing hurricane relief and recovery efforts. The Navy's involvement in the humanitarian assistance operations are being led by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), in conjunction with the Department of Defense. U.S. Navy photo by Photographer’s Mate 2nd Class R.J. Stratchko
It's the thousands of little things that make a difference...

UPDATE 2: Okay, someone else did notice:
Largely invisible to the media's radar, a broad-based rescue effort by federal, state and local first responders pulled 25,000 to 50,000 people from harm's way in floodwaters in the city. Ironically, FEMA's role, for good or ill, was essentially non-existent, as was the Governor's and the Mayor's. An ad-hoc distributed network responded on its own. Big Government didn't work. Odds and ends of little government did.


UPDATE 3: From A Singpore Angle also picks up on the theme of an untold story, noting the difference between the "big government approach and the underreported neighbors helping neighbors aspect here.

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