Is Iowa Another Katrina?
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A good-sized swath of America's heartland is under water, and you'd never know it from reading the newspapers or watching the news. Via Warren Street at Blue Girl, Red State comes this on-the-scene report from Le Grand Orange :
Darrell in Iowa writes:
I am in Mason City. Our levees broke Sunday morning. Flood stage is 7 foot and waters are now at 19 feet. Hundreds of homes and businesses are underwater. The City's water plant was flooded and the entire city of 30,000 is without potable water. A couple of hours ago the main electric substation flooded and failed and much of the city is without power. People remain in flooded homes. Early tonight I saw people wandering the streets not knowing where to go. There are entrie areas of the city with NO emergency personnel on hand.
NOBODY from the outside has come to help. Our local first responders are exhausted and overwhelmed. Small rural towns downstream tonight are being devasted. Levees everywhere are failing. Calls for help in these small towns have been unmet. Portions of our local guard are in Iraq.
The homeland has been left unprotected and people are suffering horribly.
"Darrell in Iowa"'s updates are here. Obviously someone chastised him for drawing parallels with New Orleans and complaining that the National Guard was not there to help. That seems a shame and uncalled-for. That Iowa was similarly left to fend for itself in no way diminishes what happened to New Orleans three years ago -- a tragedy that continues to this day. This gets back to that unfortunate concept of "a patent on suffering" -- that there is only so much empathy to go around. That our government is letting white communities drown as blithely as it did black communities should tell us that it isn't even about race -- it's about a fundamental contempt for EVERY American not in the Bush Family Circle.
As for the National Guard, complaints that the Guard just isn't there isn't a knock on Our Fearless Troops™ it's a knock on their Commander-in-Chief, who has sent them off to fight in a war based on lies so that he doesn't have to institute a draft.
The fact of the matter remains this: that once again, a section of this country is flooded, and the attitude of the Federal government is "Fuck you...you're on your own." This is what Republican policies look like. This is what making the government so small you could drown it in a bathtub looks like. This is what the domestic consequences of a war fought on the cheap look like. And it isn't over yet: