By Douglas Brinkley
Sunday, August 26, 2007; Page B01
Over the past two years since Hurricane Katrina, I've seen waves of hardworking volunteers from nonprofits, faith-based groups and college campuses descend on New Orleans, full of compassion and hope.
Two full years after the hurricane, the Big Easy is barely limping along, unable to make truly meaningful reconstruction progress. The most important issues concerning the city's long-term survival are still up in the air. Why is no Herculean clean-up effort underway? Why hasn't President Bush named a high-profile czar such as Colin Powell or James Baker to oversee the ongoing disaster?
There's nothing reckless about the abandonment of New Orleans. The fact is that there's no 'there' there and politicians are at the same time reluctant to turn their backs on an American icon city and unwilling to spend money on a city with no future.
This city, by all logical standards of measurement, is no longer economically, historically or socially viable. Check out the Gulf Coast gambling casinos if you want to see reconstruction money seeking out profit. Trent Lott finds all he needs along that part of the coast. The very fact of volunteerism is proof. You don't see the World Trade Center site being rebuilt with volunteers.