BBC News’ Trystan Young leaves no cliché unturned
in his coverage of the hurricane relief effort, by managing to squeeze the words Baghdad, Viet-Nam, and Contras in the first sentence of this report (see 5 September Army battles to bring order to New Orleans at this page if the prior link doesn’t work).
Too bad Mr. Young didn’t have time to search back in history books or he would have included names such as Forts Jackson and St. Phillip, and Port Hudson which at least are in the vecinity. Citing those names would require a modicum of knowledge of history and geography, and they aren’t as catchy as “Baghdad, Viet-Nam, and Contras”, though. I wouldn’t expect him to mention the January 8, 1815 defeat of the British at the Battle of New Orleans because of its Jacksonian overtones.
As a former Air Force logistics officer, let me clarify the following for the idiots in the Left Wing Media:
1. Things can get destroyed far more swiftly than they can get fixed.
2. The United States military can wipe out the Taliban and the Iraqi Republican Guard far more swiftly than they can bring 3 million Swanson dinners to an underwater city through an area the size of Great Britain which has no power, no working ports or airports, and a devastated and impassable road network.
3. You cannot speed recovery and relief efforts up by prepositioning assets since the assets are endangered by the very storm which destroyed the region.
4. We do not yet have teleporter nor replicator technology like you saw on “Star Trek” in college between hookah hits and waiting to pick up your worthless communications degree while the grownups actually engaged in the recovery effort today were studying engineering.
5. Getting people out of the stricken areas is the most pressing concern, since we cannot get enough supplies into it to safely sustain them.
6. Getting the airport, bridges, and roads repaired is the next priority, since the supplies and people needed to fix levees, drain the city, and repair the infrastructure cannot be transported via aircraft. You need to truck them in.
7. Once the infrastructure is repaired, it is vital to get the ports in working order. Equipment and supplies can only be moved into the area in large quantities by sea.
8. Only then can recovery efforts begin in earnest.
9. The above will take weeks and months, not days or hours.
10. No amount of yelling, crying, and mustering of moral indignation will change any of the facts above. Facts are facts. Opinion is cheap.
11. You could do more help actually keeping your damned satellite trucks out of the way of the folks doing the real work.
12. If you must vent your indignation, how about targeting the Louisiana officials who did absolutely nothing to protect their constituents? At least you can help ensure the populace doesn’t elect these clowns again.
Don’t miss the rest of the post.
Update Harry sent this, New Orleans: A Geopolitical Prize by George Friedman (emphasis mine):
The focus in the media has been on the oil industry in Louisiana and Mississippi. This is not a trivial question, but in a certain sense, it is dwarfed by the shipping issue. First, Louisiana is the source of about 15 percent of U.S.-produced petroleum, much of it from the Gulf. The local refineries are critical to American infrastructure. Were all of these facilities to be lost, the effect on the price of oil worldwide would be extraordinarily painful. If the river itself became unnavigable or if the ports are no longer functioning, however, the impact to the wider economy would be significantly more severe. In a sense, there is more flexibility in oil than in the physical transport of these other commodities.
There is clearly good news as information comes in. By all accounts, the Louisiana Offshore Oil Port, which services supertankers in the Gulf, is intact. Port Fourchon, which is the center of extraction operations in the Gulf, has sustained damage but is recoverable. The status of the oil platforms is unclear and it is not known what the underwater systems look like, but on the surface, the damage – though not trivial — is manageable.
The news on the river is also far better than would have been expected on Sunday. The river has not changed its course. No major levees containing the river have burst. The Mississippi apparently has not silted up to such an extent that massive dredging would be required to render it navigable. Even the port facilities, although apparently damaged in many places and destroyed in few, are still there. The river, as transport corridor, has not been lost.
I’ll be waiting a long time before the Beeb finds Mr. Friedman and asks for his perspective, instead of puffing up their inane reports with inappropriate clichés.