Wednesday, August 31, 2005

letter to the new york times

While the Governor of Mississipi is understandably under very considerable stress following the devastation suffered in the wake of hurricane Katrina, it is not alright to compare hurricane damage to an atomic bomb dropped on the population of Hiroshima, Japan.

"It looks like Hiroshima is what it looks like," Gov. Haley Barbour said, describing parts of Harrison County, Miss. What it looks like is a hugely powerful hurricane accompanied by a very strong storm surge. The images ingrained in memory of Hiroshima that disturb us the most are the ones of people's indescribable agony that have suffered horrifc burns.

While the images coming out of the worst affected areas are very disturbing and emotionally charged, let us not compare natural disasters to the deadliest of man-made bombs. I'm sure any survivors of Hiroshima or their kin living in Mississippi would agree.

Speaking of World War II, I'm also surprised that Pres. Bush likens the war on terror to that of War II, saying both were launched by attacks on the U.S. killing thousands. Really? I thought it was Hitler's attack on Poland on Sept. 1st, 1939. Not Pearl Harbour! The war began in 1939, Mr. President. A fact known throughout Europe.

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