THE BLOG

The Gulf Between the White House and Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida

06/07/2010 03:34 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

President Obama boasts he is commander in chief. So, why hasn't he declared war on the Gulf of Mexico oil spill and mobilized the National Guard and Reserves from those states? The adage of actions speaking louder than words applies here. What more can be done? Time is the enemy here, time lost because BP convinced everyone, including the president, it alone could contain the spill. The enemy is the oil, with effects far worse than terrorists can inflict.

The president can show his resoluteness by castigating the Department of the Interior for allowing deep water drilling without having understood the lack of understanding of what could go wrong with this effort. Instead, the easy target of blame is BP, and its oily CEO. Now we hear that Interior's Department of Fish and Wildlife is slow to respond when pelicans are coming ashore paralyzed by oily gook. That same department appeared just as lax in dealing with the deadly coal mine disaster barely two months ago.

The buck which is supposed to stop at 1600 Pennsylvania seems to have taken a bureaucratic detour.

Even if the oil finally is contained, the damage it has done will spread world-wide. Couple this with the horrendous volcano eruption in Iceland also in April, and we should understand how the forces of nature can disrupt not only our lives but also those around the world. And, the hurricane season has not even begun yet. Predictions are that more severe storms are in the offing this summer.

Disasters such as the ones described need immediate action, not a plethora of words. Pointing fingers of blame will not help. The oil spill begs for federal involvement even at the expense of embarrassing BP. We cannot fight hurricanes or volcanic eruptions. We can fight deep-water drilling eruptions.

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