Friday, August 5, 2011

Government History Of Poor Judgement

If the latest and continuing carnage from Congress is indicitive of their ability to govern then the axiom "Be worried when you call for help and the Government comes to the rescue," seems to be valid.

The people of New Orleans understand that better than most. The bureaucracy always bungles good intent and they do so because "the bureaucracy" by its very nature lacks compassion, empathy and a singular leadership.

Long before the Hurricane Katrina rescue and that debacle our government tried to come to the rescue of the native people of the Aleutian Islands, the Aleuts.

The Aleutians are a thousand mile long string of ragged islands that sit atop a submerged ridge that stretches from Alaska to Russia.

The Aleuts were nothing more than simple folk who enjoyed plain living harvesting seal fur. In June of 1942, bombs fell on some of the small Aleut villages. The war with the Japanese had reached these unprotected islands and Washington was worried.

American troops rushed to the rescue. Government officials ordered the Aleuts out. Their homes became barracks as villagers were taken to relocation camps on the Alaskan coast. The rescue wasn't a rescue at all. The Aleuts were no better off than Japanese-Americans locked up as security risks.

Some villagers were put in abandoned canneries, some were locked up in a gutted gold mine. Visiting doctors said the Aleuts were living like POW's. Deaths increased by 300 percent.

Bitter fighting finally defeated the Japanese, but the Aleut exile had lasted nearly three years and when they returned to their villages, nothing was the same. Their boats had long since rotted and sunk. Their possessions were gone, even their religious icons were stolen.

There was a government settlement. Ten-thousand dollars for all claims, about 12 dollars a person. Congress periodically looked into the debacle, trying to find out what went wrong when the government went to the rescue.

What Congress ought to look at is the meager settlement to the innocent citizens of the Aleutians.

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