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And, yes, I DO take it personally: Remembering Baghdad on the bayou and exploding the myth of Bush administration incompetence
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Friday, August 29, 2008

Remembering Baghdad on the bayou and exploding the myth of Bush administration incompetence

even though i've cut WAY back on my blogging, and, yes, even though barack obama officially became the democratic nominee for president in what will be seen as one of the nation's most historical moments, i would be less than true to myself if, on its third anniversary, i didn't honor the national tragedy and monumental disgrace that was hurricane katrina...

first, let's put the lie once and for all to the myth of bush administration "incompetence"...

courtesy of brasscheck tv...

incompetence...? i don't think so...

Mission accomplished Mr. President

In the chaos and trauma that accompanied the levee collapses in New Orleans in 2005, a few basic facts were obscured:

1. Katrina was not a natural disaster. It was an engineering disaster caused by the federally funded U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

2. Far from performing incompetently, the Bush administration and reactionary forces in local government were extremely effective in attaining their aims.


1. The Bush administration did an extremely effective job of withholding vital "life and death" information that levees had not only topped, they had also catastrophically collapsed.


2. FEMA did an extremely effective job of discouraging qualified relief workers from coming to the area, going so far as to turn many back at gunpoint.

They also turned away much needed supplies like water and fuel and sabotaged local communications lines.

3. Thousands of flood victims were very effectively herded and held in concentration-like conditions within the city for many days after the flooding.

4. Though it claimed to be unable to bring food, water, medicine or transportation into the flood zone, Homeland Security did an extremely effective job of quickly hiring and deploying highly paid gun thugs to the region who were employed by companies that had made massive contributions to the Bush campaign.

5. The Bush administration and their friends in the news media did an extremely effective job of painting the victims of the flooding as dangerous and not worthy of being helped.

6. The Bush administration did an extremely effective job of erasing a carefully researched and thought out evacuation plan developed over many years by LSU and replacing it with NOTHING.


7. Post-flood law enforcement did an extremely effective job of illegally seizing fire arms from hundreds of law abiding citizens while allowing criminals to run amok.

Incompetence? Poor planning?

You've got to be kidding....

The Bush administration wanted to destroy the black Democratic voting block in New Orleans - and it did. New Orleans and southern Louisiana, one of the last Democratic hold outs in the South, is Republican now.

It wanted a justification for seizing guns and declaring martial law and succeeded in creating conditions where people would beg for military intervention.

It wanted practice holding large numbers of civilians in concentration camp-like conditions - and it got the opportunity.

It wanted to obscure the fact that instead of using the tax dollars it's collected over the decades to repair and maintain levees, it's used the money to engage in illegal foreign wars.

Mission accomplished on every score.

But they made one miscalculation.

So conditioned were administration planners by their own habitual depravity, it never occurred to them that the rest of the country would object to seeing their fellow citizens suffer so outrageously at the hands of the government.

The good news is the moral instincts of Americans still function well. The bad news is their ability to see what is being done to them in broad daylight is highly impaired.

new orleans today...

from bill quigley at counterpunch via alternet...

Katrina hit New Orleans and the Gulf Coast three years ago this week. The president promised to do whatever it took to rebuild. But the nation is trying to fight wars in several countries and is dealing with economic crisis. The attention of the president wandered away. As a result, this is what New Orleans looks like today.

0. Number of renters in Louisiana who have received financial assistance from the $10 billion federal post-Katrina rebuilding program Road Home Community Development Block Grant -- compared to 116,708 homeowners.

0. Number of apartments currently being built to replace the 963 public housing apartments formerly occupied and now demolished at the St. Bernard Housing Development.

0. Amount of data available to evaluate performance of publicly financed, privately run charter schools in New Orleans in 2005-2006 and 2006-2007 school years.

.008. Percentage of rental homes that were supposed to be repaired and occupied by August 2008 which were actually completed and occupied -- a total of 82 finished out of 10,000 projected.

1. Rank of New Orleans among US cities in percentage of housing vacant or ruined.

1. Rank of New Orleans among US cities in murders per capita for 2006 and 2007.

4. Number of the 13 City of New Orleans Planning Districts that are at the same risk of flooding as they were before Katrina.

10. Number of apartments being rehabbed so far to replace the 896 apartments formerly occupied and now demolished at the Lafitte Housing Development.

11. Percent of families who have returned to live in Lower Ninth Ward.

17. Percentage increase in wages in the hotel and food industry since before Katrina.

20-25. Years that experts estimate it will take to rebuild the City of New Orleans at current pace.

25. Percent fewer hospitals in metro New Orleans than before Katrina.

32. Percent of the city's neighborhoods that have less than half as many households as before Katrina.

36. Percent fewer tons of cargo that move through Port of New Orleans since Katrina.

38. Percent fewer hospital beds in New Orleans since Katrina.

40. Percentage fewer special education students attending publicly funded, privately run charter schools than traditional public schools.

41. Number of publicly funded, privately run public charter schools in New Orleans out of total of 79 public schools in the city.

43. Percentage of child care available in New Orleans compared to before Katrina.

46. Percentage increase in rents in New Orleans since Katrina.

56. Percentage fewer inpatient psychiatric beds compared to before Katrina.

80. Percentage fewer public transportation buses now than pre-Katrina.

81. Percentage of homeowners in New Orleans who received insufficient funds to cover the complete costs to repair their homes.

300. Number of National Guard troops still in City of New Orleans.

1,080. Days National Guard troops have remained in City of New Orleans.

1,250. Number of publicly financed vouchers for children to attend private schools in New Orleans in program's first year.

6,982. Number of families still living in FEMA trailers in metro New Orleans area.

8,000. Fewer publicly assisted rental apartments planned for New Orleans by federal government.

10,000. Houses demolished in New Orleans since Katrina.

12,000. Number of homeless in New Orleans even after camps of people living under the bridges have been resettled -- double the pre-Katrina number.

14,000. Number of displaced families in New Orleans area whose hurricane rental assistance expires in March 2009.

32,000. Number of children who have not returned to public school in New Orleans, leaving the public school population less than half what it was pre-Katrina.

39,000. Number of Louisiana homeowners who have applied for federal assistance in repair and rebuilding who still have not received any money.

45,000. Fewer children enrolled in Medicaid public healthcare in New Orleans than pre-Katrina.

46,000. Fewer African-American voters in New Orleans in 2007 gubernatorial election than in 2003 gubernatorial election.

55,000. Fewer houses receiving mail than before Katrina.

62,000. Fewer people in New Orleans enrolled in Medicaid public healthcare than pre-Katrina.

71,657. Vacant, ruined, unoccupied houses in New Orleans today.

124,000. Fewer people working in metropolitan New Orleans than pre-Katrina.

132,000. Fewer people in New Orleans than before Katrina, according to the City of New Orleans current population estimate of 321,000 in New Orleans.

214,000. Fewer people in New Orleans than before Katrina, according to the US Census Bureau current population estimate of 239,000 in New Orleans.

453,726. Population of New Orleans before Katrina.

320 million. Number of trees destroyed in Louisiana and Mississippi by Katrina.

368 million. Dollar losses of five major metro New Orleans hospitals from Katrina through 2007. In 2008, these hospitals expect another $103 million in losses.

1.9 billion. FEMA dollars scheduled to be available to metro New Orleans for Katrina damages that have not yet been delivered.

2.6 billion. FEMA dollars scheduled to be available to State of Louisiana for Katrina damages that have not yet been delivered.

when the tragedy was unfolding, i was in buenos aires watching cnn international, transfixed and alternately weeping and bellowing in anger at what i was seeing... now, three years later, we still don't have the full story or anything even faintly resembling the truth... i'm not holding my breath...

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