Saturday, September 03, 2005

Nobody expects...the Bush administration

If the three defining characteristics of the Spanish Inquisition were "fear, surprise, ruthless efficiency and"... OK, four defining characteristics..."an almost fanatical devotion to the Pope", then the leitmotivs of the Bush administration have been belligerence, sadism, myopia and stupidity. Stop press: we can now add incompetence and impotence to the uniquely charmless mix.

Sadly, I doubt the Bush administration's response (and I've seen corpses with faster reflexes) to this, eminently foreseeable, natural disaster will be to launch a War Against Global Warming or a Crusade Against Climate Change.

They say bad stuff comes in threes: Bush hitting the White House was an even greater disaster for the people of America (and the world) than the planes which hit New York and the hurricane which hit New Orleans (and it's unfortunate environs). I hope this once-great nation, and the extraordinarily vibrant city of New Orleans (like New York), can recover. One thing's for sure: Bush won't.


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Coolout said...

Does race play role in hurricane relief?
The hurricane victims plucked from rooftops and slogging through waist-deep water on TV newscasts have been mostly the poor, usually black.
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Anonymous said...

Perhaps rather than spending tens of billions of dollars rebuilding New Orleans we should abandon it. Give it back to the sea and the swamps. It is rediculous in the extreme to waste money pumping out the water every day for eternity when we could just turn off the pumps and then save on air conditioning as well.

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eugene ionesco said...

"Does race play role in hurricane relief?
The hurricane victims plucked from rooftops and slogging through waist-deep water on TV newscasts have been mostly the poor, usually black."

The poor, the sick, the marginalised and the disenfranchised were, predictably, left behind when the city was
"evacuated" in an ad hoc, individualistic, "survival of the fittest" fashion. The rich and the mobile got out first leaving the poor and the immobile behind.

The fact that 98% of those who remained were non-Whites testifies to the deep socio-political divisions in contemporary American society (the Dystopian Nightmare lurking behind the American Dream).

The post-Hurricane "criminalisation" of those who remained (the abandoned, unaided survivors) is an egregious example of misdirection: blame the victim for his misfortune when the fault clearly lies elsewhere.

In the wake of Hurricane Katrina we hear the same "we must ensure this never happens again" platitudes from political talkng heads as we did in the aftermath of 9/11.

But, of course, the post-disaster "criminality" was as foreseeable as the "unforeseen" flooding of New Orleans. How exactly do we expect people who have lost everything, who have been stripped of the last vestiges of their dignity, who are without food and water, whose infant children have no source of nourishment, whose sick and aging relatives are dying, who have been abandoned, who have been denied aid to behave?

The Darwinian, individualistic, "surival of the fittest" ethos, espoused as core values by the Bush administration, have a darker flipside. And this comes as a surprise?