Bush Blames Hurricane on "Red Ni–o," Proposes Storm Wars Initiative
A Disassociated Press Report, Washington, D.C., Sept. 2, 2005
By Eric Mader
U.S. President George W. Bush, seeking to stem criticism that a slow federal response has contributed to needless misery, promised suffering residents up and down the hurricane-battered Gulf Coast that such a disaster "would not happen again on my watch" and that he would "address the root causes of this terrible tragedy."
After returning to Washington late Friday from a tour of the most devastated areas, Bush announced that a recently appointed cabinet committee had discovered the cause of the hurricane in the Caribbean Sea.
The special committee, appointed last year by the president, is known as the Global Climate Research Bank, and consists of a high school science teacher from Amarillo and seven oil industry executives. The committee's mandate is to compile the results of scientific research on climate change and offer policy suggestions to the administration.
Bush announced today that the committee had made a significant discovery relative to Hurricane Katrina.
"This terrible disaster was brought upon us by the Red Ni–o," Bush said.
The president explained that the Red Ni–o was similar to the Pacific Ocean temperature fluctuation called El Ni–o, but that the new phenomenon caused the water to turn a reddish hue. He also said that there was strong evidence the Red Ni–o was caused by hot air blowing down onto the water from the mountains of Venezuela.
"The hot air currents come down onto the water from the Venezuelan mountains," Bush said. "This in turn heats up the water, which then causes the destructive storms that wreak havoc on our coasts."
Venezuela is a country in South America. South America can be found on a map somewhat to the south of the United States, which is in North America. The people in Venezuela speak Spanish and the country's main export is oil.
"Our evidence shows it is in the Venezuelan mountains that these hurricanes are formed," the president said. "As Americans, we must face this challenge with swift and effective action. We must not allow this to happen again."
Talking of the destruction he saw on the Gulf Coast, Bush evoked the terrorist attacks of 9/11.
"I have seen the suffering of families," he said. "I have seen buildings reduced to rubble and have stood at ground zero. Rather than wait for further destruction, I chose to act. And I will again choose prompt action as the safest course."
The president proposed the construction of a series of giant windbreaking walls along the Venezuelan coast. The walls, he said, would be positioned so as to route the hot air currents eastward, thus ensuring they no longer affected the crucial area of the Caribbean where the storms were formed.
"According to our current estimates, this project will take less than a year to complete," Bush said. "To expedite building these walls, we will be seeking regime change in Venezuela. I have already informed the Joint Chiefs to prepare plans for a military operation."
Bush called the new initiative "Storm Wars," in an evident echo of Ronald Reagan's 1980s defense project Star Wars.
"America has faced difficult challenges before," the president said, "and we have always overcome. I am confident that if we stand together as a nation we can make it through the current crisis."
When asked by a reporter after his speech what the federal government was doing to rescue the thousands of people still stranded in New Orleans, the president at first seemed confused.
"Some of those people have guns," he finally said. "You don't expect us to try to rescue people with guns, do you? Someone could get hurt."
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