Sunday, June 3, 2007

The Katrina War

The casualties from the Katrina War continue to mount in New Orleans and along the Mississippi Gulf Coast. Beyond the wounds and deaths that were reported in the immediate weeks and months following the most noticeably conflictive period in the late summer of 2005, the number of victims suffering from often mortal respiratory infections, poisonings, and insidious cancers continues to swell. As with the conflicts in Vietnam, Iraq and elsewhere, those who suffer from the maladies of post traumatic stress syndrome are largely ignored, and many do not and will not receive needed help for this terrible affliction, so they will continue to suffer, or worse.

This article indicates that attention to this issue has begun, but that the numbers of casualties from Katrina provided to us by officialdom are woefully underestimated and sadly inaccurate. Unlike Vietnam and Iraq where the government, though belatedly and inadequately, has paid lip service to PTSD for combat veterans and in a few cases, their families, and has offered half-heartedly, limited relief to some of those victims, there is very little mention of this regarding the denizens of the Gulf coast. The topic is just now entering the conversation as regards the hundreds of thousands whose lives were forever shattered as a result of Katrina and to some degree, Rita.

The common thread with these national nightmares is that disastrous decisions by our government are largely responsible for the volume of pain that has been inflicted on the victims of these conflictive episodes, in terms of those directly damaged by the events as well as the indirect but also very serious pain inflicted on families, friends, and communities affected.

The United States will continue to suffer from our government’s neglect of those impacted by Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan, Katrina and other recent large-scale national traumas for at least a generation, probably longer. We can do better.

Lest we forget…

(Note: The amazing photo above was taken in the historic Garden District in New Orleans in the days immediately following the rupturing of the levees in that city. Via YourDailyAwesome.)

Update: By all means, check out the link from Mark in the comments at the Wet Bank Guide.

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