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If We Understand New Orleans; we understand the Bush strategy

Mike Whitney


September 13, 2005

New Orleans provides us with a reliable template for judging what the Bush administration will do in the event of a massive "casualty-producing" terrorist attack. However depressing, this is useful information.

Special military units will be deployed to the affected areas to patrol the streets in heavily-armored vehicles; conducting house-to-house searches according to their own discretion.
The cities will be placed under martial law; invoking shoot to kill orders for anyone either looting or out of doors after the designated curfew.
Heavily-armed mercenaries and paramilitaries will be used on various assignments that require secrecy or additional security. We assume they will be used to protect dignitaries, perform harsh and illegal interrogations, intimidate dissidents, and subvert efforts by the media to provide accurate information from the region.

A massive media campaign will be mounted to create a narrative of an "involved and compassionate government" providing security to their people in times of crisis.

Is this a fair description of what is taking place in New Orleans?

There's little doubt that the Bush administration capitalized on the hurricane to activate its strategy to militarize the city. There's ample evidence that they had extensive knowledge of the magnitude of the disaster, and yet, chose to do nothing. In fact, for more than 3 days they prevented food, water or medicine from entering the stricken city. Here are just a few of the headlines that illustrate this point, although there are numerous others:

``FEMA won't accept Amtrak's help in evacuations.''
``FEMA turns away experienced firefighters.''
``FEMA turns back Wal-Mart supply trucks.''
``FEMA prevents Coast Guard from delivering diesel fuel.''
``Homeland Security won't let Red Cross deliver food.''
``FEMA bars morticians from entering New Orleans.''
``FEMA blocks 500-boat citizen flotilla from delivering aid.''
``FEMA fails to utilize Navy ship with 600-bed hospital on board.''
``FEMA to Chicago: Send just one truck.''
``FEMA turns away generators.''
``FEMA first responders urged not to respond.''

The administration's criminal negligence in the deaths of hundreds if not thousands of New Orleans occupants is not in doubt, nor is their predictable response in countering the bad press. Michael Brown said it best when he noted that he wanted "to convey a positive image of disaster operations to government officials, community organizers, and the general public." Brown's "positive image" of the catastrophe has been left to the usual Bush media-operatives, who have deftly shifted the national dialogue away from "criminal negligence" to the more benign-sounding "government unresponsiveness" or "failure of leadership." Neither of these have anything to do with the facts as we now understand them. Many of the people who died in the disaster were murdered by their government just as surely as if Bush had personally held their heads under water himself.
Now, the city is a fully-militarized war-zone no different than Baghdad or Kabul. Already, reports are coming in of doors being kicked down by armed soldiers and terrified residents being shunted off to special detention camps in hand cuffs.
We should not expect a different scenario when America's major cities come under terrorist attack sometime in the not-to-distant future.

A great deal has been written about the ethnic-cleansing operation of New Orleans poor and black, that has paved the way for America's flagship corporations to set up shop in the Big Easy.

What more can I add to the volumes that have been transcribed about this global project? Americans have been warned that they would be treated no differently than anyone else, and that the masters of new world order claim no regional loyalties. New Orleans merely adds an exclamation point to what everyone should already know.

It should be instructive to die-hard supporters of the commander-in-chief that the military deployment was accompanied by orders for all residents to "surrender all legally-registered firearms" to the authorities. I can only imagine the fidgeting at the next NRA meeting when the membership conducts an open forum on the governments' plan to disarm the nation in the event of a terrorist attack. I am reminded of George Washington's sage advice:

"A free people ought not only to be armed and disciplined but they should have sufficient arms and ammunition to maintain independence from any who might attempt to abuse them, which would include their own government".

Or, Thomas Jefferson:

"The constitutions of most of our states assert that all power is inherent in the people. That it is their right and duty to be at all times, armed."

That, of course, was before the reign of George 2 and the hasty rescinding of the Bill of Rights. Did gun-lovers really believe they would be spared Bush's terrible swift sword?

The "disarming" of America is a similar ruse to the WMD-scare that was used to invade Iraq. The New American Century is predicated on the belief that only the overlords will have weapons. A careful comparison of Haiti to Iraq provides an interesting contrast in the benefits of self-defense.

The deployment of mercenaries to the region should be of particular concern to Americans. Currently, more than 40,000 National Guardsman from Louisiana and Mississippi are serving in Iraq. It would have been quite simple to return them to their home states to meet the needs of the tragedy. Instead, the Bush administration chose to use exorbitantly-paid mercenaries.

Why? Is it because pacification on a large scale cannot be accomplished without a well-paid, elite-corps of corporate-warriors who are free to carry out orders with complete impunity? Are mercenaries imperative for neutralizing resistance, or is there another motive; perhaps, covert or illegal operations directed against American citizens that require additional secrecy?
In any event, paid killers should never be used on American soil.

New Orleans is looking more and more like a dress rehearsal for an ambitious cross-country strategy. It is unlikely that any plan for militarizing the country will evolve at a "snail's pace" of one city at a time. The administration would have to take advantage of massive "casualty-producing" events occurring in many strategically important cities at the same time. (Coordinated terrorist attacks?) This would provide the necessary cover for the same scenario we see presently unfolding in New Orleans.

It's worth thinking about.

Courtesy and Copyright ę Mike Whitney

:: Article nr. 15688 sent on 13-sep-2005 20:42 ECT


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