Katrina is magnitudes worse than 9/11

Dave Winer: Scripting News: 9/1/2005

"I've had a chance to think about the US Open tennis tournament going on in NYC, and I am very angry about it. How dare the citizens of NY, who received so much help from the rest of the country, host a sporting event, while this tragedy is unfolding. September 11 was an instant event, it destroyed a large complex of buildings and killed thousands of Americans, but it was over quickly, and except for emotional damage, the city went on exactly as it did before. This is so much bigger, it effects so many more people, and its effect will be felt for the indefinite future. New York must stop right now, and reflect on exactly how it can now come to the aid of the rest of the country. It is completely inappropriate for a sport tournament to be going on now, while so many are suffering, while so many are dying."

I totally disagree. After 9/11 the games stopped, not because of respect, but because there was no air transport and citizens were rightly cautious, unwilling to go to public events (potential terrorist targets).

After 9/11 the President said "keep shopping, rebuild our economy, don't let the terrorists win". This time the terrorist is Mother Nature. America should not cow to this event. There has been enough economic disaster, we don't need more by stopping an event which brings a significant amount of jobs and money to that area. Not to mention people need things to think about other than the disaster! After watching CNN or FOX news for hours on end, it's nice to wind down by watching some tennis.

But, I do agree with Dave's other comments that the response by the media and the government has been totally insufficient, especially in comparison to 9/11. This situation is orders of magnitude worse than 9/11. Why are people afraid to say that? It is. Perhaps it's just the magnitude of this that is hard to fathom. Of course no-one wants to disrespect the suffering from 9/11, but let's give the victims of Katrina the respect they deserve.

And before too long you should think, is your city prepared. Is my city, I don't know. I seriously doubt it.

Written on September 2, 2005