The blood of the 13 victims of the latest flooding in Louisiana is on the hands of the politicians of both parties. And they died for no other reason than that they were poor.
In 2005 Hurricane Katrina left 1,245 people dead and tens of thousands homeless.
The Dutch offered America a solution. They offered to re-design the levee system for the Mississippi and Delta region. The Dutch didn’t do this for profit (although they wanted to pay their engineers a fair wage). They did this because they are America’s friend. All they asked was for the USA to foot the bill. They would provide the “know-how” professionals for a huge building project that would restore employment and a sense of community to Louisiana by employing the local population.
This is akin to Rembrandt offering to paint your portrait and asking only that you send your guy out to buy the paint. With all respect to the Army Corps of Engineers they are still at the “connect the dots” level when it comes to water management.
Mary Landrieu, a senator from New Orleans in 2005, pushed for the Dutch offer.
They have engineers and architects that build a flood control system that is integrated into the landscape. We have a one-size-fits-all military model that is out of date – building levees – when we should be managing water.
There is no master plan for New Orleans.
But … the Dutch have built the world’s most sophisticated system of flood defenses.
Congress allocates money for water projects on the basis of political power, not a scientific assessment of need. The people of New Orleans are dirty and poor. Nobody wants a portrait of the filthy poor hanging in their house. But you can bet your sweet-ass the fat cats in DC would have hired Rembrandt to paint 17 Manhattan-ites in a New York minute!