Even as the why's are reverberating through the American skies, one finds the New Orleans misery still a puzzle. and almost all TV channels - at least the news channels -are covering the devastation non stop. And the more you see them the louder the cries of why's echo around you.
The TV journalists - even though they are trained to be impersonal and stay emotionally away from the stories that they report, many of them couldn't control their feelings in front of the camera. One CNN reporter today was almost choking as he described the trauma talking to people and reporting back to station. He pulled out a chair which had a huge hole in the center and described how people were making round holes in chairs and keeping a bucket underneath - to use as a toilet. " what they need today is basic needs - water, food, shelter, cloths, sanitation. why couldn't they get it even after 5 whole days after Katrina hit them. Observing the visibly shaken reporter the anchor from the station asked, " you have witnessed many flood affected areas across the world, what is the difference you find in New Orleans today?" The reporter was nearly at a loss of words again. " yes," he said, "I have seen and reported many devastated areas and have witnessed several scenes of misery. But this is America. One doesn't expect this to happen here." Another reporter said, elsewhere, " You have heard things like this in third world countries or elsewhere. But this is home."
And that precisely is the crux of the matter. natural calamities causing Devastation; trauma ; death toll, chaos, disease; - all elsewhere. Not here; Not in United States America. Nobody expected this to happen here. and hence the Shock.
And what irked me more was the smile and "ok. I hv heard enough" look from Mr. Bush's as he listened to the brief from the heads of various agencies. Well, one doesn't need to put on a grave face all the time. But somehow his countenance seemed inappropriate at that time. And worse so, his words of " We'll overcome... rebuild and prove to the world...." etc sounded so hollow given the back drop of buildings still sunk under water, people crying for food and water and tears all around.
As one NBC reporter said, " ... this disaster has changed this country." I don't know if it has. But it certainly has left questions unanswered.Photos
onKatrina and aftermath.
Particularly the photos under the caption " Growing despair and the ruins" in Washington Post are very disturbing