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Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Katrina- Natural Tragedy or Human Tragedy

No doubt it is some combination of both, but it might help to get a clear picture by trying to separate the two.

The looting is clearly Human Tragedy... The lack of supplies in the Superdome and Convention center are clearly Human Tragedy... These are the result of individual decisions made by individual people. Not only that, they are also inexcusable. There is no excuse for taking a plasma television. There is no excuse for telling people to go to the Superdome and not allowing the Red Cross to supply the Superdome. Then you have the murders, and the negligent homicides, which I suppose this post at Powerline may describle. I'm hesitant to label it as such until more information comes out.

Then you have your areas where it is clearly a Natural Tragedy. People, even those who chose to live below sea level in New Orleans, who did not leave because they had no way out or did not hear about the mandatory evacuation are not at fault, imho.

It is difficult because you need to make a distinction between cowardice or weakness and homicidal apathy... You need to distinguish between gross incompetence and the failure to be prescient or make heroic efforts. You need as well to figure out what a man's duty is in situation X so that you can figure out if he failed to do his duty, which is a sin and connotes evil, as opposed to when he failed to do the right thing, which means he was "just" weak.

We'll see. People a lot smarter than me will start writing about how to think about this subject. (I hope.) I'll be learning as I go along, and pass their thoughts and mine along.


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