President Bush had a message Thursday for Southern Californians weary and frightened from five days of wildfires. “We’re not going to forget you in Washington, D.C.,” he declared in an eerie echo of what he once told Hurricane Katrina victims.Ã‚Â
I noticed at the The Register and The San Diego Union-Tribune’s fire blog that President Bush visited the charred remains of North San Diego County. Apparently, he wants us to see that he’s “learned the lessons of Katrina”, and that SoCal won’t be forgotten like New Orleans was. OK, that sounds nice. So will we actually be remembered? And will we be helped once the fire’s out?
But wait, is Bush helping? I noticed that thanks to Bush’s visit, traffic was stalled on the 15 for all the evacuees returning to what’s left of their homes in Rancho Bernardo. And wait, didn’t Bush’s visit hamper firefighting operations? I mean, think about it. When Air Force One was up in the sky, firefighting aircraft had to sit on the tarmac. When he was on the ground, people obviously couldn’t return to their neighborhood as they were stuck in traffic. Wouldn’t it had been easier for Bush to show that he “learned the lessons of Katrina” by simply sending us the resources we need to put out these fires, and then recover from them?
After all, what did Bush do to help before? Why no efforts to do away with excess brush? Why all this development so close to the national forests? Why are so many of our National Guard troops in Iraq, fighting a disaster of Bush’s choice, when they should be here, helping here in California? Think about it.
President Bush says that we won’t be forgotten, but can we believe him? Look what happened when New Orleans believed him. Are we next?