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04. Sep 2005

Katrina, Katrina, Katrina ...

Nu er vi forhåbentlig snart ved at komme til vejs ende med dækningen af den katastrofale situation efter orkanen i Louisiana.

Indtil da, lidt mere metablogging. Således Interdictor:
The city is starting to feel more secure now. Much larger military and Homeland Security presence and many fewer civilians left. Of course with this added security comes additional dangers like hyper-suspicious, armed authorities. If you watch the cam or walk the streets, you see that almost every civilian is approached, evaluated for threat potential, then either patted down or left alone. The disconcerting thing is that these authorities always have their guns at the ready and look like they're enjoying intimidating the people. Two of us have already had guns aimed at us by police -- Brian by the Federal Cops guarding the Boggs Federal building while we were waiting for the resupply, and me when we were delivering the router to City Hall.
Her er en øjenvidneskildring fra en mand, der lige er flygtet fra New Orleans:
If anyone wants to examine the attitude of federal and state officials towards the victims of hurricane Katrina, I advise you to visit one of the refugee camps.

In the refugee camp I just left, on the I-10 freeway near Causeway, thousands of people (at least 90% black and poor) stood and squatted in mud and trash behind metal barricades, under an unforgiving sun, with heavily armed soldiers standing guard over them. When a bus would come through, it would stop at a random spot, state police would open a gap in one of the barricades, and people would rush for the bus, with no information given about where the bus was going. Once inside (we were told) evacuees would be told where the bus was taking them - Baton Rouge, Houston, Arkansas, Dallas, or other locations. I was told that if you boarded a bus bound for Arkansas (for example), even people with family and a place to stay in Baton Rouge would not be allowed to get out of the bus as it passed through Baton Rouge.
Her en beretning fra Astrodome i Houston, hvor tusinder af flygtninge fra Louisiana i dag er indkvarteret:
we walked to the dome and asked arund about where to take these clothes only to be told by cops that they were not accepting donations. I thought that to be BULLSHIT. The administrators and politicians kept saying they did not need anything that they had enough of food and clothes, but anytime the eporters managed to talk to any volunteers or doctors or red cross people, all they could say was "we need EVERYTHING" and "whoever is telling you that there are adequate or suficient supplies of ANYTHING, from food to manpower, is delusional." so I found a red cross worker and asked and she said if we took it into the dome someone would definitely use it. so we walked down the east ramp, into the saddest, most surreal scene I have ever witnessed in my life. we found a volunteerr who took the clothes we brought and told us how much they were appreciated and we went over and signed up to volunteer. First of all, the Red Cross is the ONLY organization doing anything remotely organized. they have NO federal help. NO national guards, NO military personnel, Nothing at all. they are stretched to the limit in every possble way.the federal government is screwing these people over. it was chaos, but a slightly controlled chaos, and while it was inded heart wrenching to see those people, the babies, the SMELL (not B.O. It was the smell of sewage from these people's clothes. the ones who had not yet gotten to the showers weer weatring the same clothes they have had on for 4 days.) the sight of the babies, the little children, the elderly...
My rage and indignation is aimed squarely at our retard monkey president and his fallacious supposed homeland security organization, who have bungled this from the get go, whether due to complete ineptitude, or willful ignorance, it is a horror that we should never let those fucking greedheads live down.
Læseren må drage sine egne konklusioner. Go read.

En skarp analyse fra Paul Krugman i New York Times:
Before 9/11 the Federal Emergency Management Agency listed the three most likely catastrophic disasters facing America: a terrorist attack on New York, a major earthquake in San Francisco and a hurricane strike on New Orleans. "The New Orleans hurricane scenario," The Houston Chronicle wrote in December 2001, "may be the deadliest of all." It described a potential catastrophe very much like the one now happening.

So why were New Orleans and the nation so unprepared? After 9/11, hard questions were deferred in the name of national unity, then buried under a thick coat of whitewash. This time, we need accountability.

First question: Why have aid and security taken so long to arrive? Katrina hit five days ago - and it was already clear by last Friday that Katrina could do immense damage along the Gulf Coast. Yet the response you'd expect from an advanced country never happened. Thousands of Americans are dead or dying, not because they refused to evacuate, but because they were too poor or too sick to get out without help - and help wasn't provided.
At a fundamental level, I'd argue, our current leaders just aren't serious about some of the essential functions of government. They like waging war, but they don't like providing security, rescuing those in need or spending on preventive measures. And they never, ever ask for shared sacrifice.

Yesterday Mr. Bush made an utterly fantastic claim: that nobody expected the breach of the levees. In fact, there had been repeated warnings about exactly that risk.

So America, once famous for its can-do attitude, now has a can't-do government that makes excuses instead of doing its job. And while it makes those excuses, Americans are dying.
Hele affæren giver meget af den samme dårlige smag i munden, som jeg havde for mere end to år siden, under den amerikanske invasion - jfr. f.eks. den totale og uforståelige passivitet overfor plyndringen af Baghdad.

I dag forekommer det hele pludselig meget lettere at forstå: De, som træffer beslutningerne, vil ikke blot blæse på den irakiske befolknings ve og vel - de vil blæse på den amerikanske befolknings ve og vel. Så hvad andet har vi nogensinde kunnet forvente?

Eller, som det opsummeres på BBC Online:
At the end of an unforgettable week, one broadcaster on Friday bitterly encapsulated the sense of burning shame and anger that many American citizens are feeling.

The only difference between the chaos of New Orleans and a Third World disaster operation, he said, was that a foreign dictator would have responded better.
Go read.