Posted by Lex, on September 7, 2005

Your Navy has moved thousands upon thousands of Katrina refugees across the country (with press accounts attributing their efforts to the Air Force, so it goes) and this is how we get press: *

PENSACOLA, Fla., Sept. 6 – Two Navy helicopter pilots and their crews returned from New Orleans on Aug. 30 expecting to be greeted as lifesavers after ferrying more than 100 hurricane victims to safety.

Instead, their superiors chided the pilots, Lt. David Shand and Lt. Matt Udkow, at a meeting the next morning for rescuing civilians when their assignment that day had been to deliver food and water to military installations along the Gulf Coast.

This fits the NYT weltanschaung perfectly: Unspoiled junior military personnel (like we journalists would have been, if ever we’d served) are upbraided by automaton martinet senior officers, themselves fully inculcated into the mysteries of the military-industrial complex that Dwight Eisenhower warned us about!!! The bad military folks, in other words. The ones that didn’t leave the service while still pure, and go to Columbia, and get journalism degrees.

The episode illustrates how the rescue effort in the days immediately after Hurricane Katrina had to compete with the military’s other, more mundane logistical needs.

Logistical needs are only mundane until you’re the guy running out of ammo, or gas, or food. And you’re the guy whose job it is to do the rescuing. While somebody else has the job of running the “mundane” logistical lines. It’s very simple: Some folks shoot, and other folks bring up bullets. Everyone wants to shoot, but if someone doesn’t bring up bullets, eventually we run out. And then good people start to die in large numbers. The same thing is true in search and rescue.

Speak that truth to power.


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** 07-28-20 Old link gone; new one found – Ed.

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Filed under Best of Neptunus Lex, by lex, Carroll "Lex" LeFon, Carroll LeFon, Neptunus Lex, Tales Of The Sea Service

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