September 2, 2005
Take a step back for a minute, then take a deep breath, because what we
are seeing now is the beginning of the end of America's darkest hour; the
end of the Bush Administration.
Bush will never survive this disaster; the tectonic political-plates
have shifted too dramatically; the failure too colossal.
Nearly overnight the familiar voices that sang his praises from every
media pulpit in America have either been silenced or turned against him.
It is truly extraordinary; and a tad suspicious.
The friendly cheerleaders are bailing-out across the spectrum; NBC, CBS,
MSNBC and even the "bullish" FOX News have all descended on their prey like
feral dogs on a wounded squirrel.
Suddenly the callousness and rustic hauteur of our esteemed leader, the
"Fly-over" President, seems to be wearing-thin on leaders and pundits alike.
They smell blood in the water and they are preparing to do what they do
best; dismember the flailing carcass with gnashing, razor-like teeth.
But, why the abrupt change?
Can anyone remember a time when the government has failed as miserably as
it has with Hurricane Katrina?
While tens of thousands of desperate Americans are hunkered down in 90
degree heat without food or water, President Imposter is circling at 30
thousand feet blowing kisses to his drowning people below.
Bush has become a Texas Louis 15, completely detached in his
bubble-world echoing the shallow bromides of his ideological predecessor,
"Apres moi, le deluge".
His first response to the storm was to suspend the EPA's clean air
restrictions on the profitable oil industry and to promise government aid
for offshore drilling facilities.
No surprises there.
The second part of the administration's strategy was to work up an
elaborate public relations charade that involved trotting out every
waffle-bottomed bureaucrat in Washington in front of the TV cameras to make
Meanwhile, nothing has been done to relieve the desperation of victims
in New Orleans who are suffering through America's greatest natural
In fact, that appears to be the strategy; do nothing!
Many of the reports that are being filed mention that National Guard
installations are set up just blocks away from the Superdome and the
Convention Center; the epicenter of the human tragedy, and yet, the Guard is
doing nothing to meet the needs of the people inside.
Many people are asking if it is because they are predominantly black
Certainly as we see the footage of poor, black people dragging across the
city, 3 days without food and water and no busses in sight; we have to
wonder if there is a racial element involved.
Rather than address the dire needs of the stranded people, Bush has
approved "shoot to kill" orders for looters.
So, now its "open season" on starving people scavenging through the
ruins of the city looking for sustenance for their family?
Bush is set on repeating the same mistakes he made in Falluja and Baghdad
when angry townspeople were mowed-down during peaceful protests.
Look how that turned out.
Is that what Bush wants; a revolution?
What possible purpose does it serve to take 1500 Guardsman off their
duties of treating the wounded and feeding the hungry, and making them
patrol the streets to round up petty-thieves?
And why has Bush approved the deploying of snipers to the tops of New
Orleans buildings instead of health-care workers to its overcrowded
"I think there should be zero tolerance for people breaking the law
during an emergency such as this," Bush boomed on ABC's Good Morning
Bush's "law and order" approach to the tragedy is consistent with his
utter inability to grasp the pain of the average victim of this colossal
disaster. As always, he simply parrots the inane bromides about private
property that underscore the Republican ideological world-view.
Bush is a firm believer that looting should limited to the class of
carpet-baggers and war criminals to which he belongs. He has no problem with
the "no-bid" contracts and war-profiteering that has plagued Iraqi debacle
from day-one. The $9 billion of pilfered Iraqi oil revenue never even drew a
raised eyebrow from our benighted leader, but the notion that that
corruption might be extended democratically to everyone regardless of class.
That's the REAL crime as Bush sees it.
The vast looting and destruction in New Orleans is an object lesson to
the ruling class and one that ultimately benefits antiwar activists and
civil libertarians. The people in power need to grasp the ephemeral
character of society; there's nothing permanent about it. Order is a
transitory phenomenon that papers-over the primordial swamp of human rage,
desire and barbarity. When we peel back the outer layer of society, we see
those same dark forces at work; a cauldron of competing emotions and shadowy
cravings. Those forces are now in play on the streets of New Orleans, along
with the even more elemental drive to survive.
What bothers men like Bush is the prospect that everyone may partake in
the same nihilistic-revelry that he and his confreres have enjoyed for so
long. It is the anarchy of unrestrained greed that puts a shiver in his
spine; the selfishness that infects every man's heart. And, yet, this is
the true face of present-day America; a lawless, twisted waif unleashing
waves of terror across the globe; feeding the burgeoning coffers of its
Why not uncork the bottle and let everyone take part in the festivities?
As the poet Yates said,
"The blood-dimmed tide is loosed
And everywhere the celebration of innocence is drowned".
What's good for Bush is good for everyone. Isn't this what we see
unfolding in New Orleans?
The roving gangs of looters are like a giant mirror hung in front of
the White House reflecting the anarchic soul that lies within; Guantanamo,
Abu Ghraib, Falluja; this is the Bush legacy. And, now, it is America's,
America has become like Rimbaud's dissolute drifter in "A Season in
Hell" who boasts:
"I stretched myself out in the mud,
I dried myself in the air of crime,
And I played some fine tricks on madness."
Bush can't have it both ways. He cannot destroy the law and then
pretend it still exists for the poor and helpless.
The looters in New Orleans are the offspring of the Bush political
ethos; a no-holds-barred culture of violence, thievery and impunity.
If we cannot have a society based on justice and mercy, than let's tear
it down and start over.
Courtesy and Copyright © Mike Whitney