Just listening to CNN, as the MSM disaster coverage ebbs back toward pacifying the American public, much like the storm surge of Katrina made its way back to the Gulf of Mexico.

Comments I just heard by reporter Barbara Starr bear some analysis.  It seems to me that she was paving an avenue of retreat for Bush Co., and their massive failure.

America, the militant empire that it is, needs a hero in these trying times.  And, Barbara Starr is busy constructing one like a master propagandist.
She is currently on CNN blathering about America’s newest hero in construction:  Lt. General Russell Honore.

Booman readers are, of course, aware of Gen. Honore’s presence during this disaster.  He was lauded early on by Mayor Nagin, as a “John Wayne-dude” who got off the plane “yelling at people” getting things done.  It was Nagin’s only early praise for Bush, saying he was glad that the President had sent Gen. Honore, and that the entire effort should be turned over to the forceful leader.

A couple of days ago, Gen. Honore also broached the awareness of many at Booman, and perhaps in the broader public, for his angry curtain call at a news conference broadcast by MSNBC.  As FEMA director Brown, and HSD Chertoff, were about to be soundly (and deservedly) routed by press questioning about the ineptitude of the federal response, Gen. Honore jumped in, denounced the reporters for hindering the help effort, and closed the press conference, leading Brown and Chertoff to safety off-stage.  The MSNBC anchor overseeing the press conference had nothing but praise for Gen. Honore’s infantile outburst.  “Isn’t he a force.”

From everything I have seen of Gen. Honore, he is much like every other Lt. Gen. I have ever had the privilege of meeting in the U.S. Army.  He is an egomaniacal blowhard.

But, Starr painted a much different picture of the man.  A heroic picture, you might say.  He ordered his soldiers to point their guns down, constantly, during the crisis.  Because he wanted to set a tone that this was a humanitarian operation, not a military operation, according to Starr.  Can the government response to Katrina be fairly called a humanitarian operation?  Seems like a stretch to me.

Gen. Honore personally rescued three hungry babies, hugging them on the street, according to Starr.  And, he had a grandchild of his own, during the crisis.  Not only is he a tough talking Cowboy.  He is a family man.  But, how many infants were lost because of the government response?

He is working, as we speak (and write), according to Starr.  He is working around the clock, yelling at somebody on the phone, to make it happen.  He has ordered every single troop to get out of camp, and onto the street, to help people.  He is a forceful leader, you see.  But, why weren’t the troops on the street immediately after the disaster?

I am not here to bash Lt. Gen. Honore.  I don’t have the facts or skill to do so.  But, it seems to me, that before we coronate a new hero, and future recipient of the Medal of Freedom, we need to have a fair and impartial investigation into the complete catastrophe this rescue mission was.  We need to know, as near as possible, how many died?  How many were lost to Katrina?  And, how many were lost to incompetence?  What went wrong?  Who is responsible?

Lt. Gen. Honore is a member high in the command structure of the response team.  He cannot be hailed as the new “Big Man,” and given a ticker tape parade, as bodies are bloating in the streets of the Big Easy.  If Bush can say it is too early for the “blame game,” it is certainly fair to say that it is far too early for the banquet of honor.

I’ll leave you with a tidbit from Barbara Starr.  A question.  Maybe rhetorical.  But, I think it illustrates the problem with the MSM trying to anoint a savior at this stage of the game.

Starr said that the military officials were very afraid that if they took in food aid to the masses starving in New Orleans, they would set off an uncontrollable food riot.  (The logic of this being the reason to let people starve, is proof enough for me that Lt. Gen. Honore is not necessarily deserving of any medal or praise).  Then Starr goes on to say:

No one is really sure why there wasn’t a food riot?

Note to Starr:  I think a food riot requires food.

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