by Daniel Greenfield
What New Orleans, Houston and Puerto Rico have in common.
We’ve seen this show before.
When there’s a national disaster, neighborhoods have been reduced to rubble, shelters are filled with crying families, and a Republican is in the White House, the Democrats jump into action.
Not to help, but to make political capital from a disaster that they helped cause.
After Hurricane Katrina, the media shrieked that survivors inside the New Orleans Superdome were murdering each other. But there actually wasn’t a single murder in the Superdome. And no, NBC’s Brian Williams, never saw any corpses floating past the Ritz-Carlton. The media exaggerated and lied.
New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin was all over the news shouting, “Get off your asses” and accusing the Bush administration of “spinning” while “people are dying”. The dirty Democrat demanded more resources while claiming that everything that the Federal government was doing wasn’t good enough. He called for Greyhound buses, when there were plenty of school buses in New Orleans that weren’t being used.
Much of the disaster was actually Nagin’s fault. And Ray Nagin has been convicted of his crimes.
Puerto Rico is the new New Orleans. San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz is the new Nagin.
While media types claim that there’s a cholera outbreak in Puerto Rico (there isn’t), Yulin Cruz hops from CNN to MSNBC to accuse, demand aid, taunt Trump and throw around claims of “genocide”.
There has been no shortage of Federal aid to Puerto Rico. There are tons of supplies sitting and rotting. There are 10,000 shipping containers in a San Juan port alone. The dysfunctional local authorities were having trouble finding the drivers to deliver them.
The Governor of Puerto Rico has said that he doesn’t need more supplies. He needs drivers. And, currently, only 20% of the truck drivers are reporting for work. Meanwhile fuel trucks can’t travel because of a curfew.
Is that Trump’s fault?
Local relief is the job of local authorities. It is not President Trump’s job to dispatch truck drivers to Puerto Rico. The White House has, by the admission of local authorities, filled every aid request. According to FEMA, 11,800 Federal personnel are on the ground in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. FEMA personnel have helped 843 people and entered thousands of buildings.
But Mayor Yulin Cruz keeps singing from Nagin’s old hymnal about old people being trapped and massive death tolls. But where are the 1,500 employees of San Juan’s police department? Why can’t San Juan find municipal employees who can drive a truck or evacuate the elderly?
Yulin Cruz found the time to appear on every single cable news program, but has yet to visit a FEMA center. She poses against a backdrop of massive amounts of aid, which the local authorities can’t seem to distribute, but they did find the time to print out a “We are all dying” t-shirt for her to wear while chatting with Anderson Cooper on CNN.
Cruz is a member of the Partido Popular Democratico which is affiliated with the Democrats.
Despite being exposed to plenty of storms, Puerto Rico was obviously unprepared for the disaster, in all the ways that count, like having a Plan B for when the cell towers stop working. Like New Orleans, much of which is below sea level, the authorities had no viable plan to deal with an inevitable disaster. The PPD had one agenda. And that agenda was fighting “austerity”, not preparing for the day when the lights go out.
When Hurricane Georges hit Puerto Rico in 1998, 100% of electrical services were disrupted. Roads and bridges were destroyed. Utility workers actually had to be flown in from outside to handle repairs. (The media was much less interested in Georges because a Clinton was in the White House.) But a FEMA audit found questionable costs and no useful lessons were learned from the disaster.
In 2004, Tropical Storm Jeanne hit Puerto Rico and all the power went out. Governor Sila Calderon, the Dem politico, who had also served as Mayor of San Juan, was back to warning that there was no water or power. Two years earlier, Caldreon had pressured the United States to leave Vieques. A referendum showed 70% Puerto Rican support for withdrawal. As a result, Roosevelt Roads Naval Station was closed.
Calderon and the PPD claimed that the abandoned base would become an international airport. Instead it’s an eyesore. And there are no more Navy bases in Puerto Rico. That makes it harder to ship supplies.
But the PPD has come full circle from “US Out of Vieques” to “Why the Hell Aren’t You in Vieques?”
"I cannot fathom the thought that the greatest nation in the world cannot figure out the logistics for a small island,” Mayor Yulin Cruz rants. But it’s Puerto Rico that hasn’t figured out its own logistics.
It’s deep in debt and yet it’s completely unprepared every time a storm arrives.
President Trump dispatched vessels to Puerto Rico before the hurricane. These included the Kearsarge; one of the Navy’s big powerhouses. The USS Kearsarge Amphibious Ready Group had delivered 44,000 pounds of supplies and conducted 144 airlifts. It’s operating from Roosevelt Roads, which would have had a stable Naval presence if it wasn’t for the PPD and the left’s Vieques protests.
Military personnel are busy clearing roads. But the question is why can’t Puerto Rico do it?
And what was President Trump supposed to do about it? Was he supposed to magically ensure that Puerto Rico would be better prepared when its own authorities and Obama Inc. had failed to do so?
After Superstorm Sandy, the media flipped the script and turned its disaster coverage into a reelection commercial for Barack Obama. But the reality on the ground was a completely inept response. FEMA proved useless. Its centers shut down due to snow. Biker gangs, the local equivalent of the Cajun Navy, were much more useful. Obama took a photo op hug with a victim and then ignored her pleas for help.
But that too was business as usual.
The media has struggled to, in its own words, turn the latest disaster into Trump’s Katrina. They pivoted from initially ignoring the hurricane (just as they usually do) to accusing Trump of ignoring it. They pounded away at the Jones Act, and when that was waived, are berating Trump for not “caring enough”.
But this disaster is their puppy.
The Democrats have held the White House for eight years. If the disaster is a Federal problem, they had eight years to fix it.
Governor Ricardo Rossello was an Obama delegate. He taped an ad for Hillary Clinton. Mayor Yulin Cruz is on the left. But, just like New Orleans, the local authorities somehow escape all the blame.
Trump didn’t make Puerto Rico dysfunctional. Puerto Rico has yet to come up with a functional response to a storm. And some of its dysfunctional politicians gleefully tour cable news denouncing Trump while ignoring their own people even as they exploit their suffering.
New Orleans, Houston and Puerto Rico share a common pattern. The left runs an area into the ground. And then when disaster strikes, it lashes out at a Republican in the White House. When local authorities fail to evacuate, when they don’t have a viable disaster plan, when they don’t use available resources, it’s Bush’s fault or it’s Trump’s fault. But it’s never the fault of the Democrats. Nothing ever is.
It’s the job of local authorities to deal with a disaster. The Federal government is only supposed to step in when local resources are overwhelmed. But in Puerto Rico, there seem to be no local resources.
Even expecting truck drivers to pick up supplies from the port is expecting too much.
That’s not President Trump’s fault. If you want someone to blame, talk to the angry leftist wearing her “We are all dying” t-shirt on CNN. Maybe the same driver who delivered her shirt and her news crew, can take the time to deliver some supplies to all the dying people.
Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is a New York writer focusing on radical Islam.
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