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Sunday, September 11, 2005 


It's been four years since the September 11 attacks, and now we're coping with another national disaster along the Gulf Coast. As a country, we'll be judged by how we respond, and the outpouring of assistance has been extraordinary. Unfortunately, the tug-of-war and finger-pointing between local, state, and federal government officials continues. There is plenty of blame to go around, but the federal government has the ultimate responsibility of coordinating the response to major disasters. They shouldn't be expected to do everything, but they need to bring everyone to the table, and some cases, save mayors and governors from themselves.

I understand that overseeing a rescue and recovery effort in the face of such widespread destruction is a daunting job, but while there is an excuse for being a little slow out of the gate, there is no reason why the chaos continued for so long. When the head of FEMA is learning about the conditions in the Superdome by watching NBC news, we have a problem. It makes you wonder if our leaders really learned the right lessons from those terrible days in 2001.

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