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
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
``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,
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
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
It's worth thinking about.
Courtesy and Copyright © Mike Whitney