Friday :: Sep 2, 2005

And the Band Played On

by Marie

Watching the disaster that started with Katrina unfold over the past few days, I have been filled with a rage. A rage that makes it difficult for me to think. Leaves me inarticulate and unable to express it in more than a simple sentence or two. A rage that encompasses every aspect of our government, every elected official and a large swatch of my fellow citizens.

Hundreds of thousands of people have lost everything. And what Katrina didn’t destroy, the sheer incompetence, neglect and indifference of this country will. Either in body or spirit. People are dying while Condi Rice shops for a new wardrobe. Congress remains on holiday. GWB talks about destroying Social Security and attends a birthday party for McCain. The communication systems among first responders failed just as they did on 9/11 – four years and billions of dollars later and we can’t even get this one right for one of only three identified locations that were at the highest risk for a disaster. See Krugman Thirteen years after Andrew struck and FEMA is no more, and maybe less, effective than it was back then.

Governor Blanco blames the failure of her administration on the victims of Katrina. Tell us Ms. Blanco, if we’re all supposed to take care of ourselves, why do we need government and people like you in it that we pay for? I don’t know anything about disaster preparedness or disaster relief, but even I could see three two days ago that the people in the Superdome needed to be evacuated immediately. Could see that a few helicopters were wholly inadequate to the task of rescuing the people. Could see that these people needed beds, food and comfort. And not in other warehouses.

Americans that view this disaster only through their own personal well being by complaining about the rise in gas prices are disgusting. What did they expect when they elected two “oilmen” to the WH, not once but twice? Or maybe in addition to being greedy and self-centered, they are plain stupid.

I didn’t feel rage from 9/11. I saw the events of that day as a message to this country. One that we needed to heed. We didn’t. I mostly stifled my objections to invading Afghanistan, because why bother when 90% of the country wants to run off on a fool’s errand. I was angry with those Democrats that voted for the IWR. Voted to invade Iraq – and regardless of all their excuses, that is exactly what they voted for. I was very angry about Abu Ghraib and angrier still with those in Congress that responded to it with something less than the complete outrage it demanded. Angry that the troops weren’t properly equipped and angry that GWB was using the National Guard in Iraq because he’s too chicken-shit to tell this country that the military didn’t have the resources to man the invasion and occupation. I’ve been angry a lot since the SCOTUS selected GWB.

Yet, it never reached the level of rage I now feel. A rage against institutions and government and the officials in them that I recall experiencing only once before. It is just like what I felt reading every page of Randy Shilts “And the Band Played On.” How another minority group was allowed to become sick and die. Institutionalized homophobia and racism play out so easily in this country. An entire city was being flooded and all some people could talk about is that there were looters and shooters. Well, duh, what do people think happens when a city is under siege and normal life ceases to function? There will be looters. In the coming days, we’ll see just how many of those reports about shooters prove to be true or verified. I’m guessing not many if any. It was just one more convenient excuse for delaying the help that wasn’t really on the way.

When we are dependent on operations that are as slow to respond and as efficient as seen here, we should all give up any illusions that our federal government can protect us from anything. We’ve allowed it to become a pork-filled barrel of offal. It serves only to employ the political elites of both Parties, assuming that we can still consider the Democratic Party as an entity separate from the Republican Party which got a little harder today as Clinton provided cover for Shrub for the worst POTUS failure since – oh, forget it, everything GWB has done or not done in the past four years have been abject failures.

The majority in this country has moved on from GWB. The problem is that nothing has surfaced to date for them to move on to. We’re stranded in the desert. Hungry and thirsty. That’s why we have little difficulty understanding the pain of those stranded by Katrina and are deaf to all the platitudes, excuses and finger-pointing spewing out of the mouths of GWB, Barbour, Blanco, Chertoff etc. We have yet to hear from a single Democratic spokesperson that is screaming for this country to do the right thing and save these people. If one of them had honest leadership skills, he or she would have been on the frontlines with a bullhorn on Monday or Tuesday at the latest. The silence from the Democratic Party is deafening. This does not bode well for the majority in this country to become organized into an opposition force to the GOP. Thus, like the people trapped in the New Orleans Convention Center, I rage with little hope that effective change will arrive in time.

Marie :: 1:07 AM :: Comments (60) :: TrackBack (1) :: Digg It!