Was I dreaming? Great Caesar's salad!
What kind of bloody nightmare was this? Impoverished, war-ravaged Afghanistan – still battling a Taliban insurgency – has pledged $US110,000 in aid for the victims of Hurricane Katrina… the victims, that is, of the negligence, ignorance and venality of Presidense George W. Bogus and his millionaire gang of carpetbaggers barricaded in the White House.
Afghanistan! where escalating violence has seen some 800 people, including more than 41 US troops, killed this year alone. Is there any surer sign of the utter failure of the foreign and domestic policies of the Bush Regime than this?
Even when he is on holiday, which he seems to be most of the time.
According to the Washington Post's tabulations, by August 2003, the Shrub had spent 250 days - 21% of his presidency - on vacation,166 of those days hiding out at his Crawford ranch. His latest jaunt marked GWB's 49th trip to Crawford since he stole the presidency.
Jesus-on-a stick, people, in his first three years, Dumbya took more holidays than Slick Willy in seven years! No wonder the Pretzel Prez didn’t notice the biggest disaster to hit the U.S.A. since the San Francisco earthquake of 1906.
"I don't think anybody anticipated the breach of the levees," the slack-jawed, glassy-eyed Presidense babbled, desperately hoping he could still fool the American public as he did regarding pre 9/11 intelligence warnings of terrorists using hijacked planes.
Well, plenty of somebodys HAD predicted the gulf coast catastrophe, including within his own rotten administration.
A year ago a U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency document warned that one million evacuees and up to 350,000 left homeless would be the result of a hurricane hitting New Orleans. It warned that “the gravity of the situation calls for an extraordinary level of advance planning to improve government readiness to respond effectively to such an event".
So what did Bush do? He cut essential funding, enflamed civil war in Iraq, and went on holiday again.
So it is kind of ironic that heavily armed paramilitary mercenaries from the Blackwater private security firm, infamous for their “work” in Iraq, were openly patrolling the streets of New Orleans, under contract from the federal and Louisiana state governments. But the final irony – and obscenity – is poor Afghanistan coming to rich AmeriKKKa’s financial aid during this crisis.
Yep, the soaring costs of the Iraq war, combined with the Shrub's huge tax cuts and a cock-eyed definition of "homeland security", are behind cutbacks to government funding of the gulf coast’s critical hurricane-and flood-control projects over the last few years. But it’s GWB’s utter disdain for government responsibility that is the main culprit here.
Hell, even the Canadians beat the U.S. Army to New Orleans.
It took a search-and-rescue team five days to get from Vancouver to the battered New Orleans' parish of St Bernard, while the U.S. Army took seven days... And yes, it WAS a race to get there!
No amount of spin-doctoring, finger-pointing or back-pedalling by the prevaricating Bush League will get them off the hook.
It was two days after Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast before GWB ambled onto national television to announce the belated, underfunded federal relief response. Orders to actually MOVE didn't reach key active military units for another three days.
Heck of a job, Dumbass, heck of a job!
TV crews, pop stars and foreign rescuers rushed into stricken areas to help, so where was the U.S. federal response?
Where was Bush? Why, he just didn't give a shit.
After all, as his infamously callous, foot-in-mouth Mom remarked on displaced hurricane victims trapped in the appalling chaos of Houston's Astrodome: "so many of the people in the arena here, you know, were underprivilegd anyway, so this, this is working very well for them".
Pretty obvious where the Shrub gets his phoney "good- ol' boy" sense of caring-and sharing from.Presidense Bush made huge cuts to an Army Corps of Engineers project meant to shore up the levees and pumping stations that protect Delta residents from the waters of Lake Pontchartrain and the Mississippi. That project, known as the Southeast Louisiana Urban Flood Control Project, has been in effect since 1995. But government spending on it has been reduced dramatically since Bush defrauded his way into the White House.
Worse still, as economist Paul Krugman has pointed out, that’s just the tip of a callous, careless iceberg known as George W. Bogus.
The hapless Federal Emergency Management Agency is just one of many public projects and government functions that have been crippled by politicization, cronyism and/or the departure of experienced professionals. Five of eight top FEMA officials got their lofty jobs despite almost no experience in disaster management. They now head an agency whose ranks of seasoned crisis managers have depleted since 11 September 2001, the previous national emergency Bush fucked-up.
By slashing crucial public funding, the delusional Shrub has dangerously compromised the health and safety of U.S. citizens, doing Osama Bin Laden’s work for him.
Osama prayed for a U.S. invasion of Iraq… and his prayers were answered by Bush and the cuckoo neo-con fanatics he surrounds himself with.
Even before Hurricane Katrina, state governors were questioning if National Guard units bruised by hard yakka in Iraq would be available for domestic emergencies. Some 7,000 soldiers from the Louisiana and Mississippi National Guard are stationed in Iraq. They include more than 3000 members of the 256th Brigade Combat Team, a unit based in and around New Orleans. These soldiers represent 40% of Mississippi's and 35% of Louisiana's regular Guard strength. They would have come in handy, and would have worked harder and cheaper than, say, those Blackwater mercenaries.
When it comes to real – as opposed to rhetorical - “homeland security”, the AmeriKKKan Presidense is permanently out to lunch.
Looks like it took lethal Hurricane Katrina – powered by the global warming GWB shrugs off - to expose the hollow core within the world’s one remaining “superpower”.
Last of the dinosaurs! No wonder “bringing democracy” to Iraq is beyond the competence of a bloody-minded national leadership so recklessly governed within its own borders.
So, some $US100,000 in hurricane relief funding is accepted by the world's richest nation from one of poorest. That might just pay for one of GWB's Crawford brunches.
This is Max Gross for Xenox News, watching the ozone hole over Antarctica growing to 27 million square kilometres, listening for the winds of change, and waiting for the next big thing: honest democracy aroused.