Tell me Dave, why do catastrophic earthquakes happen in Iran?
The answer to Hemati is that, after a quarter of a century, Iran is still being ruled by a useless, incompetent semi-theocracy, which is fatalistic, complacent, unresponsive and often brutal. And such a system does not deliver to its citizens one fraction of what the Great Satan, for all its manifest faults, manages to guarantee to ordinary Americans.
Tell me Dave, why do catastrophic hurricanes happen in the USA?
Twice in recent years there have been full-scale disaster drills in New Orleans, because the risk to the city — should anything happen — was so great. But in 2000 and in 2004 the assumption made by experts and officials was that the levees would not be breached. In other words the disaster they got was far worse than the disaster they’d planned for.
You can’t help wondering whether this omission wasn’t essential — that had they hypothesised a levee failure, it would have called the whole existence of the city into question. After the great Galveston, Texas, hurricane of 1900 the seawalls were built 17ft high and the whole town was raised by something like 8ft. It would have been impossible to do that in New Orleans. So maybe they just didn’t let themselves think just how bad things could be.