Saturday, July 15, 2006

Bush’s “Katrina Like” Response to Americans in Lebanon

American’s vacationing or working in Lebanon might as well be New Orleans hospital patients post Hurricane Katrina. According to President Bush and the federal government “they are on their own”. Roughly two thousand patients endured in dead and dying hospitals for days after the levee collapse. Approximately 25,000 Americans are currently in Lebanon bearing the brunt of an all out attack from the Israeli war machine bent on revenge.

Post landfall it took President Bush days to order full military mobilization, claiming he didn’t want to interfere with state and local officials. Similarly, the White House stated “the President is not going to make military decisions for Israel.” This after Bush hinted to the democratically elected Lebanese leader that he was ready to put pressure on Israel to reduce the human toll. Buckeye!

The Americans stuck in Lebanon might want to read the White House Lessons Learned report on Hurricane Katrina. It anchored that ailing and dead hospitals are responsible for their own evacuations. For the independent hospitals buried in toxic sewer water, this task became near impossible. Even most for profit, chain hospitals had difficulty executing this task. FEMA happened to be AWOL when it came to hospitals and nursing homes despite the President’s dramatic questioning of Michael Brown in this area the day the storm struck. Stranded Americans should check out the clip.

If they have power, internet access, and are able to get through the whole document, most will be completely unaware of a major omission. The hospital with the largest patient death toll, LifeCare, is not mentioned one time in the White House Lessons Learned report. The company joined the Carlyle Group family just weeks before Katrina’s landfall.

The Carlyle Group is an investment house with a Pennsylvania Avenue address and employs many ex-Republican heavyweights. Two of the names being bandied about to mediate the Middle Eastern conflict worked for Carlyle, James Baker and Colin Powell. Bush Sr. also pushed Carlyle investment offerings in areas of the world where George H.W. Bush is respected, namely the Middle East.

What does this mean for Americans trapped in Lebanon? It means any company hired that botches the job will get a free pass come investigation time. Beware if a Carlyle Affiliate or Halliburton show up wanting to escort you to safety. They are not accountable for their work due to their connections. What incentive do they have to keep things clean in Lebanon? They will be rebuilding the country later, so what are a few mess ups now?

Carlyle just started up an infrastructure division that specializes in roads and bridges. What timing!

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