There has been widespread criticism of the response of US officials to Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans in 2005.
The tone of these complaints is that the authorities failed to do their job quickly enough.
Some commentators have said this is a racial issue, claiming that the government would have acted more promptly if the majority of victims had been white instead of black.
Others have said it was an issue of the rich against the poor, the oil companies against the consumers, the land developers and contractors seeking to force people out of the city so they can rebuild without interference at taxpayers’ expense.
Democrats have said the problem is that Republicans were in control, and Republicans are indifferent to the plight of the common man.
In news coverage of this tragedy, the most significant events often were buried beneath a blanket of heart-wrenching stories of personal survival, scenes of awesome destruction, reports of looting, and interviews with experts.
However, the key to understanding can be found in the following list of news headlines, most of which did not make it into mainstream coverage.
These reports make it clear that the government did not fail to respond in a timely fashion.
The problem was that it did respond – but in such a way as to actually hinder rescue operations