Saturday, September 03, 2005

KATRINA EXPOSED A DIRTY LITTLE SECRET!

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, so true, but words are important just the same. What is happening in New Orleans after hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast region, is beyond pictures and beyond words. To see the human suffering, live on your TV and not see any help, has to be one of the most calloused happening of our time! Right here in America, the land of plenty, it is completely horrendous and unbelievable.

The babies, old people, desperate mothers, hungry, thirsty little children and the dead bodies floating in the sludge mixture of the Pontchartrain river and filthy debris left in the storm’s wake, played out a nightmare scenario that no movie set could have duplicated with more heart wrenching agony.

All of us, who watched our TV screens displaying the suffering of people searing in the heat of the smoldering, hot southern sun, felt so helpless. I swear if I had had the means I would have hired the buses, helicopters or whatever it would take to bring food, water, supplies and then get the victims out of there and to safe lodgings.

Now, I am hearing all kinds of excuses but they are empty; Exhausted rationalizations to save face and hide guilt. I truly believe, this is a blight on our government and on the wealthy of this country. There are many who should be hanging their heads in shame at this very moment. These images will not go away too quickly. We will forever be reminded of the human cruelty perpetrated against our own kind by the turning of apathetic heads away from a
Overpowering Tragedy.

But if there is a silver lining in all this it would be the fact that POVERTY in the United States has been exposed, with all its ugliness and unsightliness that most people who haven’t a clue would rather not be faced with. Make it go away, is the collective sentimentality of those who are not willing to admit of it’s existence. Impoverishment is not my problem they utter in unison. But it is our dilemma and it belongs to every one of us, as long as it exists anywhere in the world! No more excuses, no more rationalizations and no more hiding the fact that POVERTY is alive and subsists.

Now let us figure out a way to destroy it, once and for all. I believe if we could do that, all the other problems we face in today’s world would also quickly fade away along with it.

Below is a group of somber, mournful pictures to view, please be aware that some of them are graphic in nature because they reveal the tragic, true story of human suffering that is still unfolding in our nation.

Thinking Blue

WHAT THE AFTERMATH OF KATRINA REALLY LOOKS LIKE!

(Click Here To Go To Full Page)

www.wsws.org

Bush rules out significant federal aid to hurricane victims

Statement of the WSWS Editorial Board


ON THURSDAY SEPT. 1, 2005

BUSH AND CHERTOFF DISCUSS HURRICANE KATRINA


Only hours after reports that the death toll from Hurricane
Katrina may number in the thousands, President Bush delivered
perfunctory remarks that offered little except condescending sympathy to
the victims of the worst natural disaster in American history.


Nothing in his words, facial expression, or body language
indicated that Bush either comprehended or was even concerned about the
monumental catastrophe that has struck hundreds of thousands of people
in one of the United States’ greatest and most historic cities.


Rather, with a smirk on his face, he allowed that “the days seem
awfully dark for those affected”—a phrase that could only have been
uttered in these terrible circumstances by someone who did not count
himself among those unfortunates. This from the President of the United
States!


And yet, this was not merely a poor choice of words. For the Bush
administration, the tragedy of New Orleans is not particularly important
and requires no major effort on the part of the United States.


In a brief nine-minute speech, Bush made no statement committing
the federal government to a significant or sustained effort to aid the
citizens of New Orleans and other areas that have been shattered by the
hurricane.


The president said he had instructed his cabinet “to work closely
with state and local officials, as well as with the private sector, to
ensure that we’re helping, not hindering, recovery efforts.”

In the course of his brief remarks, he repeated multiple times
that the federal government would be working with “local officials.” The
government would be “assisting local officials in New Orleans” to
evacuate remaining citizens; the Coast Guard was “working alongside
local officials, local assets” to conduct search and rescue missions;
the National Guard would “assist governors and local officials” with
disaster response efforts; the cabinet would “work with local folks,
local officials, to develop a comprehensive strategy to rebuild the
communities affected.”


The process of recovery, Bush said, would take
“years.” This is not a timetable that indicates any exceptional level of
urgency.

This language was chosen by Bush’s handlers to convey a definite
message: the administration will not allow the disaster to entangle the
federal government in significant financial commitments.

Beyond the most immediate and basic rescue efforts, the immense
human problems arising from the hurricane will be left largely in the
hands of local authorities, who have no access to the tens of billions
of dollars required to meet the needs of those affected, particularly in
New Orleans.


Bush avoided any concrete commitment of financial resources. In
the course of his speech, money was mentioned only once, at the end,
when he declared, “At this stage in the recovery efforts, it’s important
for those who want to contribute, to contribute cash.” He expressed
thanks to “the American Red Cross and the Salvation Army and the
Catholic Charities, and all other members of the armies of compassion.”


The meaning of these words is clear: relief efforts will be
organized through private charities and religious institutions, just as
the administration has sought to promote “faith-based” initiatives to
replace government guaranteed social welfare programs. The American Red
Cross hopes to raise $135 million to provide hurricane relief, a figure
that is dwarfed by estimated damage—much of it uninsured—in the tens of
billions of dollars.

Bush waited more than two days before reacting to the hurricane.
He has so far refused to visit the region. Instead, he used Air Force
One for a stunt, evidently meant to convey compassion and concern, to
fly over the area so he could see “how devastating the sights were.”


For days, the entire country has focused with growing horror on
the utter destruction caused by the hurricane, but Bush, in his
demeanor, tone and actions, cannot help but convey a sense of
indifference. Nothing in the way he spoke on Wednesday gave any
indication that he was speaking about one of the worst catastrophes ever
to hit the American people.


Bush made clear that he would do nothing to halt brazen
price-gouging by the energy industry, which has seized on the disaster
to hike up gasoline prices all across the country, boosting already
swollen corporate profits. Gas prices were raised literally overnight
anywhere from 30 to 75 cents a gallon, and are now above $3 in most of
the country. There is talk of gasoline soaring toward $5 a gallon in the
coming weeks or months.


This is placing new strains on the American population, which has
already been hard hit by a combination of stagnating wages and
accelerating inflation. But Bush merely declared piously that “our
citizens must understand this storm has disrupted the capacity to make
gasoline and distribute gasoline.”

In other words, no serious measures will be taken to stop wild
profiteering by Bush’s former business associates and cronies in the oil
industry.

Against the background of the catastrophe that has struck the
southern states, the immense loss of life and terrible suffering, Bush’s
response reflects the callous indifference to human life that is a
hallmark of his administration. Even as the White House, with the
support of the Democratic Party, squanders nearly $6 billion a month on
a war to subjugate the people of Iraq and grab control of the country’s
oil—with the toll in Iraqi and American deaths rising every day—it has
no interest in providing the resources necessary to address the crisis
in Louisiana.

New Orleans is drowning: the water level rising to 15 or 20 feet
in some areas. Almost the entire metropolitan area, once home to over
one million people, is underwater. Storm surges caused by the hurricane
simply overpowered the inadequate system of levees and pumps.


On Wednesday, the city’s mayor warned that the number of people
killed in New Orleans could number in the thousands. Hundreds more have
been killed in Mississippi and Alabama.

Tens of thousands remain trapped in New Orleans, hemmed in by the
flood waters surrounding houses, apartment buildings and hospitals.

Homes numbering in the tens of thousands have been destroyed or
damaged beyond repair. A million people have been turned into refugees,
unable to return home for weeks or months, if ever. These individuals
have no source of income.

New Orleans is a flooded plain resembling the topography prior to
its settlement in 1718. As the New Orleans Times-Picayune wrote
on Wednesday, “the only dry land was a narrow band from the French
Quarter and parts of Uptown, the same small strip that was settled by
[Jean-Baptiste Le Moyne de] Bienville amid the swamps... With solid
water from the lake to the French Quarter, the inundation and
depopulation of an entire American city was at hand.”


This disaster requires the immediate commitment of tens of
billions of dollars to meet the needs for rescue operations and the
care, housing and feeding of the displaced and dispossessed, and the
mammoth challenges of rebuilding and recovery. The people who, through
no fault of their own, have lost loved ones, homes, employment and a
lifetime’s worth of belongings, must be made whole.


The utter lack of preparation for the hurricane and the gross
inadequacy of the New Orleans’ levee system constitute an indictment of
a social and economic system—capitalism—which subordinates all human
needs to the requirements of corporate profit and the accumulation of
personal wealth.


The archaic and reactionary economic principles which left New
Orleans defenseless—and which are being upheld by Bush, regardless of
the human consequences—must not be allowed to dictate how the
catastrophe will be dealt with.



Working people should demand the organization of a massive
national relief effort, utilizing all necessary resources, to rebuild
the devastated areas and restore the lives of the survivors.


Those who are now refugees require an influx of funds to secure
shelter, food and other necessities until they are able to relocate and
stabilize their living conditions.


People who have lost their homes and their possessions must be
provided with the resources they need to relocate, rebuild, and, so far
as possible, recover fully from the disaster that has befallen them.

The rebuilding New Orleans will be an enormous task, but it is one
that can and must be carried out. Not only must homes and buildings be
rebuilt, restored or replaced, but a new and much improved levee system
must be put in place, and serious efforts undertaken to implement a
longer-term response to the hurricane threat.

THIS IS HAPPENING IN THE UNITED STATES OF
AMERICA, ONE OF THE RICHEST COUNTRIES IN THE WORLD.

MR BUSH, WHY?

MORE
PICTURES CLICK HERE


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CAROLYNCONNETION - I've got a mind

and I'm going to use it!

4 Comments:

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