It's the levees, stupid.Hopefully a lot of people all across America read The New York Times' Sunday editorial called "Death of an American City." (You can read it on their web page with free registration, or you can read it courtesy of Truthout.)
It's good that someone outside of Louisiana understands the situation so completely. The people of South Louisiana can and will rebuild. We just need the promise of adequate levees to protect us from the next hurricane. Empty rhetoric will not stop a storm surge, and it will not give homeowners and businesses the confidence to rebuild here.
Sure, some people will live in New Orleans no matter what happens. But this great city, this metropolis that in the early decades of our country was among the largest in the nation, and is the port of choice for Latin American trade and the heart of the Energy Coast, will be no more. New Orleans will be just a small town where tourists visit the pretty, old, empty buildings.
As The New York Times says, we need some straight talk from the President. Either he supports rebuilding New Orleans better, or he tells us up front that it's not going to happen.
We at least deserve that much, don't we?
A post script:
I also notice The New York Times compared the cost of providing real hurricane protection to the total 2006 federal budget and to the cost of our military expedition in Iraq. Perhaps the editors have been reading my blog. I used those same comparisons and also quoted the President's speech from Jackson Square in my post last month titled The Whims of Nature.