Moore Accuses Bush of Race-Based Response to Katrina

By Nathan Burchfiel | July 7, 2008 | 8:05 PM EDT

( - In an open letter to President Bush posted on his Web site, liberal filmmaker and anti-war activist Michael Moore suggests that a delay in rescuing stranded residents of New Orleans was based on race and class.

"It's not your fault that 30 percent of New Orleans lives in poverty or that tens of thousands has no transportation to get out of town," Moore wrote. "C'mon, they're black! ... Can you imagine leaving white people on their roofs for five days?"

The letter, dripping with sarcasm, accuses Bush of not doing enough in the immediate wake of the storm to begin recovery efforts. "On Day 3, when you finally left your vacation home," Moore writes, "I have to say I was moved by how you had your Air Force One pilot descend from the clouds as you flew over New Orleans so you could catch a quick look of the disaster."

Bush cut his five-week vacation short after reports of the hurricane's damage began to come in. He returned to Washington, D.C. to discuss recovery efforts with members of his cabinet.

Moore writes that the war in Iraq has claimed too many supplies and men who could otherwise be helping the recovery efforts in the Gulf areas affected by the storm. "It's Day 5 of Hurricane Katrina and thousands remain stranded in New Orleans and need to be airlifted," he wrote.

Moore asks if Bush has "any idea where all our national guard soldiers are? We could really use them right now for the type of thing they signed up to do like helping with national disasters."

The number of National Guard soldiers heading toward the disaster area is increasing daily, with more than 50,000 part-time guardsmen and active-duty soldiers already there and many more on the way.

Echoing the accusation of German environment minister Juergen Trittin, Moore suggests that global warming is to blame for the hurricane. He said Bush ignored "pesky scientists who predicted this would happen because the water in the Gulf of Mexico is getting hotter and hotter making a storm like this inevitable."

Moore acknowledged that "there will be those who will try to politicize this tragedy and try to use it against you." He suggested that Bush not respond to his critics.

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