Friday, September 02, 2005

Why the rush to assign blame?

Plenty of people in all the media (blogs, print, tv, radio, etc.) and all ends of the spectrum are blaming various politicians (local, state, and federal) and agencies (local, state, and federal) for what's happening in NOLA right now.

Why? And do those making these judgments have sufficient knowledge to render them?

In many instances, the problems are far more complex than they initially appear. For instance, equipment and supplies were pre-positioned around NOLA, but the extensive flooding has made their delivery into the city exceedingly problematic (see the some of the comment threads here regarding the near-impossiiblity of airlifting those supplies, and the earlier post from today regarding the near-impossibility of driving them in). There are other examples as well.

The point isn't that no one is at fault (there's probably plenty of fault to go around), but that in most cases, we simply do not know who bears the brunt of it. Sure, in some instances, the problems are most likely straightforward enough to recognize where the error was made and by whom. But it seems unlikely to me that this is the case in the majority of instances.

Instead of immediately wringing our hands and gnashing our teeth over what was or wasn't done, let's do what we can to help, let the air clear, and then -- with possession of as many facts as possible -- determine culpability and -- just as importantly -- how we are going to correct our planning for the future.

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