My job means I understand that a damaging hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico is a given, like an earthquake in California or a terrorsim attack in Manhattan. Its not if, its when.
Computer models have for many years made detailed projections of what would happen if water flowed over the levees protecting New Orleans, which had been built up under sea-level. In fact in July 2004, 40 federal, state, local and volunteer organisations practiced this very scenario in a 5-day exercise in the city. Since then funding has continued to be cut by Bush's government as terrorism and war tunnel vision engulfs him and his policies.
Of course I have been out of the country and have not read any papers and seen any news here, although let me tell you that the English langauge Arab newspapers are slaughtering the US president. I can only assume then that after watching 60 million people vote the clown back into goverment last year, that there might be some shamed heads around the country watching the horror unfold on their television screens.
The people of New Orleans, stranded on roof tops, running from gun toting gangs, starving and dying of neglect might reasonably ask how the most powerful country in the world, who insist on spreading their seed in other countries probems, often in towns and cities that American's have never heard off, could fail to respond to its biggest civil disaster in history.
Bush's support rating here has never been lower, last weekend while people were dying in one of America's greatest cities, he was still on holiday. He slumbered into action belatedly making a half-hearted speech asking for the public to send money and grinned and promised "that everything would work out in the end."
Well it hasn't. The death toll is expected to reach 10,000, there are now huge race issues bubbling, a million homes are still without electricity, there will be millions of people displaced, profiteering is out of control, oil prices are sky high (by American standards), the war rages on in Iraq and heaven help us if terrorism did strike here again. If this is a national heightened alert, I hate to see what it would be like if it was un-heightened.
Oh, and of course, Mr Bush won't even acknowledge that global warming exists so heaven help other towns and cities threatened by named storms in the last few weeks of the hurricane season.