Saturday, September 03, 2005

Michael Moore on Bush's response to New Orleans

the acerbic wit and biting political satire of Michael Moore are once more clearly in evidence in this open letter to George Bush....



Dear Mr Bush,

Any idea where all our helicopters are? It's Day 5 of Hurricane Katrina and thousands remain stranded in New Orleans and need to be airlifted. Where on earth could you have misplaced all our military choppers? Do you need help finding them? I once lost my car in a Sears parking lot. Man, was that a drag.

Also, any idea where all our National Guard soldiers are? We could really use them right now for the type of thing they signed up to do like helping with national disasters. How come they weren't there to begin with?

Last Thursday I was in south Florida and sat outside while the eye of Hurricane Katrina passed over my head. It was only a Category 1 then but it was pretty nasty. Eleven people died and, as of today, there were still homes without power. That night the weatherman said this storm was on its way to New Orleans. That was Thursday! Did anybody tell you? I know you didn't want to interrupt your vacation and I know how you don't like to get bad news. Plus, you had fundraisers to go to and mothers of dead soldiers to ignore and smear. You sure showed her!

I especially like how, the day after the hurricane, instead of flying to Louisiana, you flew to San Diego to party with your business peeps. Don't let people criticize you for this - after all, the hurricane was over and what the heck could you do, put your finger in the dike?

And don't listen to those who, in the coming days, will reveal how you specifically reduced the Army Corps of Engineers' budget for New Orleans this summer for the third year in a row. You just tell them that even if you hadn't cut the money to fix those levees, there weren't going to be any Army engineers to fix them anyway because you had a much more important construction job for them - BUILDING DEMOCRACY IN IRAQ!

On Day 3, when you finally left your vacation home, I have to say I was moved by how you had your Air Force One pilot descend from the clouds as you flew over New Orleans so you could catch a quick look of the disaster. Hey, I know you couldn't stop and grab a bullhorn and stand on some rubble and act like a commander in chief. Been there done that.

There will be those who will try to politicize this tragedy and try to use it against you. Just have your people keep pointing that out. Respond to nothing. Even those pesky scientists who predicted this would happen because the water in the Gulf of Mexico is getting hotter and hotter making a storm like this inevitable. Ignore them and all their global warming Chicken Littles. There is nothing unusual about a hurricane that was so wide it would be like having one F-4 tornado that stretched from New York to Cleveland.

No, Mr Bush, you just stay the course. It's not your fault that 30 per cent of New Orleans lives in poverty or that tens of thousands had no transportation to get out of town. C'mon, they're black! I mean, it's not like this happened to Kennebunkport. Can you imagine leaving white people on their roofs for five days? Don't make me laugh! Race has nothing - NOTHING - to do with this!

You hang in there, Mr Bush. Just try to find a few of our Army helicopters and send them there. Pretend the people of New Orleans and the Gulf Coast are near Tikrit.

Yours, Michael Moore;

P.S. That annoying mother, Cindy Sheehan, is no longer at your ranch. She and dozens of other relatives of the Iraqi War dead are now driving across the country, stopping in many cities along the way. Maybe you can catch up with them before they get to DC on September 21st.


richard said...

Hi Matt,
I can't help but sigh at the inevitability of Michael Moore's letter. It's almost like he feels an obligation to criticise George Bush on anything. He might have some justification (half of the Lousiana National Guard is in Iraq) but I doubt that he is to blame for this one. Sure, as Roosevelvt (or was it Truman) said, 'the buck stops here' but I don't really see that he deserves this sort of criticism. No doubt somebody (or a lot of somebodies) screwed up royally here, but I suspect that that is more of a consequence of no one really anticipating the magnitude of this disaster. I say judge him by what happens next. Michael Moore's letter does nothing for formulating a constructive response to this disaster. Moreover it comes across as petty pointscoring.


Matt said...

Hi Rich.
yes Moore undoubtedly has an agenda to attack Bush at any opportunity and i agree that it seems that he looks for any pretext to do so. having said that Bush has got this one all wrong and i think he deserves everything he gets. i mean - not even visiting the city but flying over it! come on! of course he is not to blame for the magnitude of the disaster but he has to take some responsibility for the completely inadequate response. the role of political satirist in society is to point these things out and i think Moore does it particularly well.