Tuesday, May 09, 2006

United 93: Gross Negligence and Real Heroism

I saw United 93 tonight and cannot stop thinking about the many levels of incompetence. Although the FAA identified the hijacked planes, they didn't insure that the military was in sync with them; they couldn't even find their liason person!

The military didn't know or follow their own procedures; they flew the wrong way; they flew unarmed; they didn't put enough planes in the air; and they couldn't find anyone to give them permission to arm their weapons; AND they were never coordinated with the FAA.

I was so angry watching that movie. Angry at the deterioration of our government; at the lack of training and management. I believe that the people involved were earnest in their desire to help. But they weren't trained, drilled, informed, assisted, or prepared.

And all of this is AFTER the intelligence snafus preceding 9/11.

And all of this was REPEATED four years later with Hurricane Katrina.

The poignent, heroic but fruitless efforts of the passengers to take back their hijacked plane showed the heroism that's within us all. But the contrasting failures by everyone involved, particularly the military, left me shaken in our system of governmental trust.

We trust the red and green lights; we trust the military to protect us; we trust our representatives to attempt to present our views and interests; we trust our government to provide us with prescription relief and standards; and a million other activities involving trust. United 93 shows the breakdown of that trust up close and personal. Katrina shows that we haven't made any significant improvements.

It's time for a real house-cleaning -- from top to bottom -- AND it's also time to take away government employment and replace it with service jobs where real services are extended by caring, well-trained and willing providers.

I appreciate United 93 for the feelings and thoughts that it brought up in me. I hope you all see it and let yourself feel too.