Tuesday, September 13, 2005

[expletive deleted] for the U.S. in New Orleans

[Photo: I am thinking of you] Now I try to avoid foul language, particularly in print, but there's an extremely apt and descriptive term I'm seeing all over the place to describe what has gone on, and is still going on, in New Orleans: It's a clusterfuck. (Wiktionary defines that as “A disastrously unsuccessful collaborative effort.”)

From people being prevented from leaving the city on foot—turning them back at gun-point [another reference]—to blatant exploitation of the, predominantly black, poor, to what are effectively prison camps for survivors (with scarier implications for the more conspiracy minded).... It seems like practically everything that can go wrong there is going wrong—either through ignorance and extreme stupidity, or through wilful neglect.

Countless attempts to help the people there have been blocked. All sorts of excuses are being conjured up to prevent people from recovering, from getting the basic needs of food, clothing, shelter. The abuses being heaped on the survivors are deeply disturbing.

A very surprising amount of the media coverage, particularly the early coverage, didn't try to apologize for the government(s) responsible. Although that has inevitably begun to shift as the spin control comes into play.

[photo: Bush: One of the worst disasters to hit the U.S.] Meanwhile, the U.S. dictatorship is shunting the responsibility to help the survivors onto the charity of the public instead of doing everything it can. This is in stark contrast to the efforts of individuals who still have—unlike the Bush Regime—their humanity, who try to do everything they can to help without fretting over political or bureaucratic implications. Although, sadly, many who are willing to help are being blocked at every turn.

And the long-term implications of this disaster are just as scary (if not scarier).

There have been a number of very expressive pictures coming out, both actual and collaged. I've seen a number of them using the Bush guitar photo-op from a couple days into the disaster.

The extreme expressions of racism, classism and unfathomable inhumanity in the (lack of) response to this disaster (and the creation of the circumstances that contributed to it) is beyond any reasonable comprehension. I will echo the sentiment I heard from someone recently that they wished they believed in Hell so they could believe that the people (ir)responsible would be going there.
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