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01. Sep 2005

Direkte fra New Orleans

På bloggen The Interdictor kan man følge direkte med i begivenhederne i New Orleans, som de ser ud fra et højhus, hvor bloggeren har søgt tilflugt.

Et par smagsprøver:
New Orleans Police Department Status: The situation for the NOPD is critical. This is firsthand information I have from an NOPD officer we're giving shelter to. Their command and control infrastructure is shot. They have limited to no communication whatsoever. He didn't even know the city was under martial law until we told him! His precinct (5th Precinct) is under water! UNDER WATER -- every vehicle under water. They had to commander moving trucks like Ryder and UHaul to get around. The coroner's office is shut down so bodies are being covered in leaves at best or left where they lie at worst.

They don't even know their own rules of engagement. He says the force is impotent right now. They have no idea what's going on, no coordination, virtually no comms, etc. the National Guard is gonna air drop a radio system for them with 200 radios? They are getting very little direction.
Looting: The police are looting. This has been confirmed by several independent sources. Some of the looting might be "legitimate" in as much as that word has any meaning in this context. They have broken into ATMs and safes: confirmed. We have eyewitnesses to this. They have taken dozens of SUVs from dealerships ostensibly for official use. They have also looted gun stores and pawn shops for all the small arms, supposedly to prevent "criminals" from doing so. But who knows their true intentions. We have an inside source in the NOPD who says that command and control is in chaos. He reports that command lapses more than 24 hours between check-ins, and that most of the force are "like deer in the headlights." NOPD already had a reputation for corruption, but I am telling you now that the people we've been talking to say they are not recognizing the NOPD as a legitimate authority anymore, since cops have been seen looting in Walmarts and forcing people out of stores so they could back up SUVs and loot them. Don't shoot the messenger....

Personal: Securing a 27 floor high rise with no elevator support is not fun. I am totally worn out. I am gonna chill for an hour, eat dinner, then perform maintenance. But never fear, Outpost Crystal and Team SOTI have knuckled down and will never quit. Never. We are prepared to go all the way to see this thing through.
Samtidig forlyder det, at alle indbyggere, der ikke selv havde mulighed for at transportere sig væk fra katastrofeområdet (fordi de ikke har en bil) ganske enkelt blev ignoreret, som vi læser i dette indlæg på Boing Boing:
The poorest 20% (you can argue with the number -- 10%? 18%? no one knows) of the city was left behind to drown. This was the plan. Forget the sanctimonious bullshit about the bullheaded people who wouldn't leave. The evacuation plan was strictly laissez-faire. It depended on privately owned vehicles, and on having ready cash to fund an evacuation. The planners knew full well that the poor, who in new orleans are overwhelmingly black, wouldn't be able to get out. The resources -- meaning, the political will -- weren't there to get them out.
Mere herom hos Reuters, som fortæller, at Anger rises among Mississippi's poor after Katrina.

Men i det mindste har George Bush da endelig besluttet at afslutte sin ferie. Mange mener, det var på tide, når nu han ikke har tænkt sig at gøre den permanent!

En typisk vurdering af hans "indsats" kan findes i en artikel i dagens Guardian, som ellers mest handler om den verden, der ellers er gået tabt i denne sydens kulturelle perle:
The performance of George Bush during this past week has been outrageous. Almost as unbelievable as Katrina itself is the fact that the leader of the free world has been outshone by the elected leaders of a region renowned for governmental ineptitude. Louisiana's anguished governor, Kathleen Babineaux Blanco, climbed into a helicopter at the first possible moment to survey what may become the worst weather-related disaster in American history. She might even have been able to stop the looting in New Orleans if the 141st Field Artillery of the Louisiana Army National Guard had not been in Iraq for the past 11 months.
Men det er måske meget godt, at det endelig kommer så tydeligt frem, så alle kan se det: Bush og konsorter vil ikke alene blæse på den irakiske befolkning, de vil blæse på den amerikanske befolkning, på alle andre end sig selv og den lille klike af rigmænd og erhvervsinteresser, de favoriserer. Bare synd, at erkendelsen skal gå så hårdt ud over mennesker i nød:
The church-going cultural populism of George Bush has given the United States an administration that worries about the house of Saud and the welfare of oil companies while the poor drown in their attics and their sons and daughters die on foreign deserts.