Jesus fucking Christ.
Americans, wake up: the country is not safe. Bush failed to defend us from 9/11 (as did Clinton, but that's another story). He has failed to make us any safter after 9/11, despite his bullshit (and I would guess scripted) "I can hear you" moment standing atop the mass grave at Ground Zero; he has, in contrast, made us far less safe after 9/11, plunging us into a foolhardy and unnecessary war, estranging our erstwhile allies around the globe, further destabilizing the international oil market, cutting funding for crucial homeland security tasks like port inspections, and of course deploying thousands of National Guard troops far from home, exactly where they can't be marshalled in a crisis like this one.
And don't even get me started on global warming. What's next year's hurricane going to look like? What city will we lose in 2006?
Don't take it from me. Listen instead to Col. Terry Ebert, director of homeland security for New Orleans, quoted in the Times thusly:
"Asserting that the whole recovery operation had been 'carried on the backs of the little guys for four goddamn days,' he said 'the rest of the goddamn nation can't get us any resources for security.'
"'We are like little birds with our mouths open and you don't have to be very smart to know where to drop the worm,' Colonel Ebbert said. 'It's criminal within the confines of the United States that within one hour of the hurricane they weren't force-feeding us. It's like FEMA has never been to a hurricane.' FEMA is the Federal Emergency Management Agency."
New York bounced back in large part because of New Yorkers' efforts. Remember the squabbling over federal emergency funds? The Feds didn't want to help out; the Feds hate New York and everything it stands for. If the devastation in New York had been any larger, it's now clear that the Federal government and FEMA would have been powerless to do anything about it; Bush got lucky because the destruction, in the end, was manageable, and Guiliani and New York as a whole managed to take care of it, "carried on the backs of the goddamn little guys," while Bush napped, planned wars, and cut taxes for his buddies.
This is the executive leadership of the failed executive, the man who never successfully ran a corporation anywhere but into the ground. How much money went to the restructuring of Homeland Security? And now it turns out they can't keep a single American city from falling into the hands of gun-wielding "thugs"?
(And don't even get me started - again - on what would happen in the case of an honest-to-God terrorist strike right now. You think Al Qaeda isn't watching CNN? You think they're not drawing a little dotted line across our Achilles Heel?)
Hey Democrats, you listening?