Irak, Katrina, Irak

Vor vier Jahren bewegte sich Präsident George W. Bush auf schwankendem politischen Grund. Er hatte die umstrittene Wahl des Jahres 2000 knapp gewonnen, und die Meinungsumfragen zeigten, dass die amerikanische Bevölkerung weiterhin an ihm zweifelte. Nach den Terroranschlägen vom 11. September 2001 fand Bush seine Stimme, und das amerikanische Volk scharte sich um seine Präsidentschaft. Dank Osama bin Laden schoss Bushs Popularität in die Höhe, und obgleich der Grad an Zustimmung, die er genoss, bis zur Wahl 2004 gesunken war, verhalf ihm sein „Krieg gegen den Terror“ zum Gewinn einer zweiten Amtszeit.

Im September 2005 kamen bei einer weiteren Krise, dem Hurrikan Katrina, vermutlich mindestens genau so viele Amerikaner ums Leben wie bei den Terroranschlägen des Jahres 2001 – doch hatte dies eine gegenteilige Auswirkung auf Bushs Umfragewerte, die auf ihren bisher tiefsten Stand fielen. Warum dieser verblüffende Unterschied?

Zum einen gingen die Angriffe vom 11. September von einem menschlichen Feind aus, und trotz unzureichender Vorbereitungen auf ein solches Ereignis in Amerika selbst richtete sich die Wut der Amerikaner nach außen. Katrina andererseits war ein fürchterliches Werk der Natur, aber eins, dass der nationale Wetterdienst mit beeindruckender Präzision vorhergesagt hatte. Die unzureichende Vorbereitung und langsame Reaktion der Bush-Administration bedeutete, dass der Zorn der Bevölkerung sich auf den Präsidenten richtete.

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