“I don’t see that the level of funding was really a contributing factor in this case,” said Lt. Gen. Carl Strock, chief of engineers for the corps. “Had this project been fully complete, it is my opinion that based on the intensity of this storm that the flooding of the business district and the French Quarter would have still taken place.”
His opinion is one to be trusted. Despite the fact that Lt. Gen. Strock is a fellow VMI graduate, he has the credibility inherent in being a military officer, not a politician with decidedly political goals. Yes, Bush cut the budget for the levee system, but Lt. Gen. Strock answers that question as well –
The other question is, in general is the civil works budget of the Army Corps of Engineers suffering because of the war in Iraq? Not in my opinion. And the reason I say that is that if you look at the funding levels of the corps from pre-war days of 2001 and 2002, it has been a fairly steady level. We are spending a lot of money and the Corps of Engineers is involved in the reconstruction of Iraq and Afghanistan, but we’re able to balance that with our human resources and it is not directly affecting our budget.
I am trying to educate myself before I make my arguments to those who have pre-existing prejudices against Bush; I hope they do the same. Knee-jerk, emotional arguments are easy to make. Read the whole thing.
And read this too.
Changing the subject, at some point the people of NOLA are going to have to take responsibility for their barbarism. Fighting for food and shelter is understandable. Reflecting on the stories of children being raped and murdered in the Superdome and elsewhere, my initial reaction is that many of the refugees do not deserve to be saved.