In 2001 the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers warned that a hurricane striking New Orleans was one of the three most likely disasters in the United States, according to an article in the New Orleans Times-Picayune.
But the Bush administration decided in 2003 to cut New Orleans flood-control funding by 44 percent to pay for the Iraq war.
Because of Hurricane Katrina, almost 900,000 people in Louisiana lost power, nearly 2,000 people died and around 1,000 are missing.
It gets worse.
Mental health specialists agree the level of depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress among Katrina survivors is reaching an all-time high, and recent reports show an unusually high number of suicides.
The United States has spent nearly $400 billion since the Iraq war began and about $6.4 billion a month currently.
Apparently the government doesn’t have enough money to rebuild a dam that would have prevented the ruin and loss of thousands of lives. But we have enough money to support a war. The sad part is, does anybody even remember why we’re there?
Saddam Hussein is dead, and Osama Bin Laden is still missing. Aside from North Korea, I don’t know where the weapons of mass destruction are and our nation’s credibility has been tremendously compromised.
In the meantime, New Orleans residents survive in a wasteland riddled with constant reminders of images, and intense mental anguish that will haunt them forever.
But I guess that’s the price we have to pay.
Yewande Addie for the Editorial Board.