Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Perception, Perception 

Watching the events of recent days is a study in perception. We don't really know what happened to delay help to New Orleans and the South. There was some foul-up that prevented positioning of troops and supplies. But, it is not clear now what the failure was. It will become clearer when commissions pick apart the sequence of the days leading to the disaster. It will never be fully resolved because each side is busily spinning its version of what happened. No one wants to take the blame for this one. It will cost political careers. So, we are in the middle of a perception war, a mighty effort to point fingers and pin blame so responsibility is firmly fixed well before official reports appear. It's an ugly scene, in some ways uglier than the mess the hurricane left. One loses respect for humans quickly in episodes like this, and no depth of cynicism is unwarranted.

There are choruses calling for the head of FEMA , and he may have to go. This is the kind of decision a President has to make. Survival counts more than loyalty at times, and Michael Brown should understand that. It's lonely when one is on the wrong side of a perception war. Meanwhile, sit back and watch the charges fly about the political ring. Politics are the nastiest kind of pugilistics, and there are no rules against hitting below the belt.


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