Mark Steyns column nails it. Theres plenty of blame to go around, but the people supervising the first responders clearly let them down, not to mention the people they were supposed to protect and serve. Heres the conclusion:
Those levees broke; they failed. And you think about Chicago and San Francisco and Boston and you wonder whats waiting to fail there. The assumption was that after 9/11, big towns and small took stock and identified their weak points. Thats what they told us they were doing, and thats what they were getting big bucks to do. But in New Orleans no one had a plan that addressed levee failure, and no one had a plan for the large percentage of vehicleless citizens whod be unable to evacuate, and no one had a plan to deal with widespread looting. Given that all these local factors are widely known -- New Orleans is a below-sea-level city with high crime and a low rate of automobile ownership -- it makes you wonder how the city would cope with something truly surprising -- like, say, a biological attack.
Oh, well, maybe the 9/11 commission can rename themselves the Katrina Kommission. Back in the real world, Americas enemies will draw many useful lessons from the events of this last week. Will America?
I guess Mary Landrieu will now have to punch Steyn (and, I guess, me).