It’s amazing, given the context, how much effort people will put into finger-pointing exercises. Not that I’m excluding myself for even a second, mind you, but it still is quite fascinating.
Equally engrossing is how a democratically elected president of a First-world country, arguable the country with the best communication and transport infrastructure in the world can take nearly a week to respond in earnest to a calamity that’s devastated one of his nations great cities.
Very few people outside of America really like the Americans, but some things are not wished upon even your worst enemy, let alone people you merely feel ambivalent about.
That being said, it is another American president’s administration– Theodore Roosevelt’s, 99 and a half years earlier — that gives one of the best examples in modern history yet of how a calamity like this should be handled.
On 18 April 1906 the San Francisco great earthquake struck at 5h13. By 7h00 the first troops reported to the Mayor of the city; by 8h00 they were patrolling the streets.
By 10h30 on the same day, the USS Preble had already landed a medical team and had set up an emergency hospital.
Within two days, the USS Chicago had reached San Francisco, where it evacuated 20,000 refugees.
Now please compare that to how the current president of America handled New Orleans. 100 years later and incomprehensibly more advanced with infinitely better infrastructure.
America needs another statesman, and they need to get rid of the politicians running the show at present.
And, Thabo, if ever something like this had to happen in South Africa, I will expect considerably more from you than your American counterpart managed to achieve…