Had Hurricane Katrina been Iraqi or Afghan or any number of nationalities with some tedious relation to al-qaeda, this President would know what to do.

But it wasn’t , nor indeed was it human. It was literally a force of nature to which we are all subject at one time or another.

Images of the devastating floods in Mozambique in February 2000 may have shaken the hearts of many the world over, albeit briefly. Then the world forgot the suffering and the poor. Even the fantastically destructive tsunami that wiped out over 200,000 lives across the indian ocean states seems to have all but vanished from the western psyche.

Buoyed by a seemingly tireless patriotism, Americans have generally been comfortable with their leaders’ efforts to make them the most powerful nation on earth. Economically and militarily perhaps. In the currency of humankind, perhaps. But they die and they suffer like the rest of us, at the hands of nature.

Undoubtedly Mr Bush would have carpet bombed entire nations to smithereens had this been a human terrorism act. As it is , it wasn’t (atleast not yet proven), it was that other ‘terrorist’ – the weather, reminding us all that our wasteful ways are disturbing patterns that we do not understand…. yet delight in meddling with.

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