The Times makes the point in an article today that what's going on in New Orleans this week is a Man-Made Disaster - New York Times, 2 Sept 2005:
...one-third of the men and women of the Louisiana National Guard, and an even higher percentage of the Mississippi National Guard, were 7,000 miles away, fighting in Iraq. [...] One lasting lesson that has to be drawn from the Gulf Coast's misery is that from now on, the National Guard must be treated as America's most essential homeland security force, not as some kind of military piggy bank for the Pentagon to raid for long-term overseas missions. America clearly needs a larger active-duty Army. It just as clearly needs a homeland-based National Guard that's fully prepared and ready for any domestic emergency.This blog has been relatively quiet, but I cannot describe how pissed I am this week. I cannot describe how sick I feel that my government will blithely spend hundreds of billions of my tax dollars (and tax dollars of our children) to destroy Baghdad because of a family oil feud betwixt the Bushies and the Husseins, and then will have the nerve to ask for volunteers and donations when it comes to repairing a great American city. How much vital American infrastructure (levees, bridges, roads, mass transit, shelters, alternative energy...) can be built, rebuilt, or maintained by the money being thrown down the fucking rathole that is the Pentagon? What if Donald Rumsfeld (to revive a slogan from the Vietnam years) had to hold a bake sale to build his unnecessary (except as phallus replacements) Cruise® Missiles (named after the movie star) and B-2© Bombers? What if he had to call upon the big hearts of the American people to help out in his crusade to transfer money to subsidiaries of Halliburton? Would you open your wallet to fund the Pentagon's worthwhile activities in Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo or the next war in Iran or Syria? Of course you wouldn't. Would you?
Because the Bushies aren't comfortable with any problem that they can't solve with a gun, I have a real fear that they want this signature failure of their "leadership" to turn into a fight against "the looters," because "the looters" are less-than-human and can be dealt with in the way that these neo-Republicans feel most comfortable dealing with the lower classes. But try to imagine that you had lost everything you owned and hadn't had anything to eat or drink in days and were being given no aid or shelter or information or means of egress by your government. Would you have any hesitation in stealing food for yourself or your family? Would you be feeling more than a little anger at the authorities? Ask yourself if this anarchy is in anyone's political interest.
You know that Karl Rove & Karen Hughes are working hard at this moment to make sure that their understanding & caring boss will have a suitable folksy photo opportunity somewhere in the disaster area today or tomorrow to show how understanding & caring & kinder & gentler he really really is. But let's not forget the real story of this week when they try to shove their images down our throats. Remember that earlier this week their boss was on vacation and at political fundraisers and comparing his dirty little illegal war to World War II, and himself to FDR, while New Orleans sank.