September 6, 2005
Is it possible to actually quantify how screwed up the priorities of the Bush cabal in Washington have been? Usually not. But when it comes to the issue of wetlands – the natural buffer that could have protected New Orleans against a deadly storm surge liked the one that essentially wiped out the city last week – the answer is “yes.”
In 2004 – at a time when George W. Bush was running for re-election and presumably courting votes in Louisiana, a potential swing state – the White House proposed spending a whopping 12 1/3 times as much taxpayer money restoring wetlands in southern Iraq as he planned to spend on the same task in the Mississippi Delta.
Before Congress intervened, the Bush administration asked for $100 million to restore the Iraqi marshlands, drained and destroyed by Saddam Hussein, to its status as – according to legend – the Biblical “Garden of Eden.”
The proposed funding that year for the Louisiana wetlands, heavily damaged by overdevelopment, was just $8 million. In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, the city once buffered by those disappearing wetlands is now Hell on Earth.
Even though the Iraq wetlands project didn’t get the federal dollars, it did get the next best thing: American know-how. And so some of the best minds that were supposed to be studying and improving Lousiana’s environment instead found themselves in the Persian Gulf.
More at Attytood.
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