The news media are all over the US government for the delay and sloth in helping the hurricane victims in Louisiana. They charge President Bush with mismanagement and incompetence in not helping those who suffered under Hurricane Katrina. Blame is an even harsher sound when applied to John Howard and our Aussie officials in not sending consular staff to help stranded Aussies.
So who is to blame? Sure, sure, there was a hurricane and certainly the hurricane did some damage, they say, but really where is the US when her citizens are in need? The mayor is angry at the state, the state is upset at the feds, and blame shifting is not ever satisfying, certainly to the victims.
But it does seem comfortable. It seems so self-completing. It seems to make some sense of a senseless situation.
Or does it?
Blaming the US government for the situation is not only simplistic, it's simply wrong. The hurricane knocked out the electricity and the rails and the phone lines and the travel paths for millions of citizens and tourists. You cannot blame government for that.
The residual effect of the wind and the rain will leave the costliest bill in American weather history, billions of dollars so far, and they are just now getting to half the homes. How many will lie dead? How many will need surgery and replacements of homes and farms and property and goods and ...? Where will it end?
So where to look? How about government? That's easy, but it's simply ill-founded. And blaming a government 9,000 miles away in Canberra for the inefficient or slow response to the aching 40, the travellers from Australia who were holidaying overseas. What sense does that make? Why should Mr Howard be responsible to send people of government stature to a state without any basic services? What would those people have been able to do there? How could they have communicated with the folks who were in harm's way?
It's so easy to blame. It's often so wrong.
Listen, things happen. Hurricanes happen. Who blamed the Thai government for the situation in December last year when the tsunami hit on Boxing Day? Didn't the world simply reach out to help? Didn't everyone feel the pain of the victims and gather resources to help? Why would the world be so angry and blaming today?
Think about it. Write if you want.