In a sordid slime, harmonious Greed was born in yonder ditch,
With a longing in his bosom--and for others' goods an itch.
As Christ died to make men holy, let men die to make us rich --
Our god is marching on.
-- Mark Twain
recently watching George Bush's carefully orchestrated performance from New
Orleans' French Quarter a week late and a billion dollars short, I was struck by
the confused desperation in his eyes, and I was overcome with sympathy. Not at
the spectacle of an out-of-touch derelict engineer racing to catch the
presidential train as it careened crazily out of the station, but for the
vulnerable and abandoned Americans whose very survival depends upon his empty
platitudes and promises.
multiple photo-op visits to the hurricane-ravaged Gulf area -- including one
released of him with his nose pressed to the window on his initial "flyover"
visit -- he's been ludicrously stage-managed -- soaring nonsensical speeches,
floodlights, cathedrals shimmering in the background, hugging female black
victims brought to him for a camera shot, jouncing around in the back of a
truck, rigidly sandwiched between a mayor and a governor and refusing to speak
to either...This is Karl Rove's idea of a "hands-on" kind of guy, sleeves rolled
up, hard at work. Bush doing his job. Protecting the American people. 'Cause
that's, like, you know, his job. Protecting the American people. Did I mention
his sleeves were rolled up?
That does it. No more flowery prose. No more screaming
into the wind for Americans to wake up before it's too late. No more succumbing
to an attack of the vapors while daubing my eyes with a scented handkerchief and
plaintively wailing, "when is enough -- enough?" The reality is the panting war
profiteers who control Bush will never have enough. Their greed is ravenous,
insatiable; it devours everything in its path. They have no intention of giving
up the power and profits for which they have worked so hard -- waited so long --
to achieve. Not now. Not ever. They plan to take it with them when they go. The
war machine Dwight Eisenhower warned us about is cranked up and running, but it
is not freedom they're spreading. It is fascism.
The reality is they are well on their way to attaining a
rigid, one-party international dictatorship; a New World Order wherein the world
and all its wealth and resources belong to a chosen few -- them. If their plan
works, the vulgar lumpen, the underclass, the "people", will crumple under a
cruel nationalism, blatant racism and heartless militarism. Like Thomas
Jefferson warned -- if left unchecked, the greed of private banks and
corporations will ultimately "deprive the people of their property until their
children will wake up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered."
The miserly response to Katrina should serve as a wake-up
call to those Americans who can still think. Fascism is on the march and, when
this administration threw down the gauntlet in New Orleans, it declared open war
on this nation's poorer citizens, most of whom were Black.
White Americans swallowed the spin that FEMA's disaster
brigades, widely heralded for their immediate response to even a spring shower
blowing over the Florida coast, suddenly became so incompetent when Katrina hit
Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama, they couldn't even figure out how to use the
telephone or deliver a bag of ice.
Black Americans know better.
The reality is that FEMA worked perfectly -- a planned
exercise of bureaucratic incompetence in order to expand Bush's powers to
declare martial law in the next disaster. It was a well-oiled machine that
thwarted every attempt to get help to those who were too old, too ill or too
poor to leave. Looking back at FEMA's success in orchestrating "Operation Ethnic
Cleansing," I have to agree with Bush -- Brownie did, indeed, do a heckuva job.
FEMA refused the addition of hundreds of assistance
personnel and dozens of vehicles, as well as food and water offered by Chicago's
Mayor Daley. It also refused to let the Red Cross deliver food; in fact told the
agency to leave and not come back. Renita Hosler, Red Cross spokesperson, said
they were "at the table every single day" asking for access, but were kept out
by the uniformed military.
FEMA refused to use the facilities of the USS Bataan, a
600-bed hospital ship that just happened to be in the Gulf of Mexico when
Katrina made landfall. The USS Bataan is an 844-foot ship, complete with
helicopters, doctors, hospital beds, food and water. It has the capacity to make
its own water -- up to 100,000 gallons a day -- but this service was also
refused. Another state-of-the-art mobile hospital from the University of North
Carolina -- a convoy that included two 53-foot trailers, 100 surgeons and
paramedics, food, water and medicines -- was forced to park in a gravel lot 70
miles north of New Orleans. They were marooned there for several days,
frustrated by news that people were dying and that disease was becoming more
widespread because of contaminated water.
Vice President Dick Cheney directed officials at the
Southern Pines Electric Power Association, not once but twice, to restore
gasoline and diesel fuel pipelines before restoring much needed power to rural
hospitals. Amtrak's offer to help evacuate the sick and elderly from hospitals
and the detention center was rebuffed, and three trailer trucks loaded with
water from WalMart were turned away. Aaron Broussard, president of Jefferson
Parish, south of New Orleans, told Tim Russert on "Meet the Press" that FEMA
officials also prevented the Coast Guard from delivering 1,000 gallons of diesel
fuel, and they cut the parish's emergency communications line, which was
restored, but Broussard said the Parish sheriff was forced to post armed guards
to protect it from FEMA.
On its own website, FEMA ordered First Responders not to
respond "unless dispatched" because "self-dispatching volunteer assistance could
significantly complicate the response and recovery effort." To emphasize the
order, FEMA blocked a 500-boat citizen flotilla loaded with aid, and slapped
Germany in the face by turning back a German government plane loaded with 15
tons of food.
All things considered, it looks like FEMA's response to
Katrina was a catastrophic success. The only thing Bush and his racist cohorts
didn't take into account was the universal shock that met his unconcerned
efforts to flush poverty and crime down the toilet -- the outrage at remarks of
Baton Rouge Republican Richard Baker, who chortled that God had finally cleaned
up public housing in New Orleans, and of House Speaker Dennis Hastert, who
suggested we could save money by just bulldozing the area and moving on...
The looting going on in New Orleans is being done by
Halliburton's Kellogg Brown and Root and the Shaw Group, both clients of
lobbyist and former FEMA head Joe Allbaugh, and by Bechtel, whose CEO is on
Bush's Export Council. Bush immediately rescinded the 1931 Davis-Bacon Act which
requires federal contractors to pay workers at least the prevailing wages in the
area. The body snatching is being done by the same
funeral-gate firm that Bush was involved with in Texas -- Kenyon -- a
subsidiary of Service Corporation International (SCI), a scandal-ridden
Texas-based company operated by a friend of the Bush family. Recently, SCI
subsidiaries have been implicated in illegally discarding and desecrating
Hurricane Katrina ripped the mask from the Bush
administration and, for a brief moment, exposed the sheer evil, and the bigotry,
racism and greed that lies just beneath the surface. Those who dared to look
upon the face of Bush's god cannot go home again. They know that the reality
these greedy monsters create for us is one of relentless, non-stop chaos.
Being sucked up into Bush's reality is like stepping out
of the shower, soap in your eyes and, as you fumble for a towel, the phone
jangles. Someone rings the front doorbell while simultaneously beating on the
door -- someone else is pounding on the back door, shouting incoherently. It is
the witching hour and you are home alone. The dog is barking wildly, the cat is
yowling while scratching frantically on the screen. In a panic, you race to the
window, and fall back in shock. The entire landscape is exploding in a massive
fireworks display. You can see shadowy figures moving furtively across your
lawn, and you wonder briefly what they are doing, but they disappear into the
flashing lights and noise.
Because of world opinion and media coverage, we lucked
out on this one, but the next "national emergency" -- possibly a flu pandemic --
could be democracy's last hurrah. Bush is already boasting of using the military
to "quarantine" those affected. And it won't be in our homes -- this isn't the
measles with the school nurse tacking a "quarantined" sign on our front doors.
Last year, Bush authorized preliminary studies for the rapid construction
of a National Detention Center Program, complete with a series of detention
centers, to be added to the existing 600 units now in place. Also, The
Department of Homeland Security is
consulting with an Israeli company, Israeli Prison Systems, Ltd., for the
expedited construction of modular internment camps to be located in rural
areas throughout the continental US and Alaska.
Sound like a conspiracy? I would hope so, because to
survive, we must come to grips with the fact that we are victims of a vast,
insidious conspiracy fueled by the vociferous greed of those who have no
intention of relinquishing their power. Political author Frank Kent once said,
"The evils of government are directly proportional to the tolerance of the
people." We must become a bit more intolerant of those who would control us, or
we will soon be forced to fight for our very lives in the horrid reality of the
New World Order.
is an Oklahoma writer and a former civilian US Army Public Information Officer.
She is a regular contributor for a variety of Internet sites. Contact her at:
firstname.lastname@example.org. © 2005 Sheila Samples
* Martial Law and
the Advent of the Supreme Executive by Mike Whitney
* Complete archive of DV
articles on Hurricane Katrina and its Aftermath
Other Articles by Sheila Samples
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Revolution is NOW
* Are the
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Fantastical World of Studley McMuffin
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* We Are
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* They Were
Young Once, and Fit
Pornographic Celebration of Death
Duper George Bush
Women -- The Roads They Travel
Prints in the Sand
* A Kick in
* Oh Lord,
Ain't it Hard...
* The Last
Man to Concede
* Bring Them
Home . . . Sooner Rather Than Later
* Best Way
to "Support the Troops" is to Bring Them Home
President” de la Mancha
Stinky and the Vulcans
* The Last
Pre-emptive Pie-Hole Policy Not an Option
* Freedom to
Fascism -- A Bumpy Ride
the Fiends Cry "Kill"
* Like Dogs
in the Night
* Blame the
Terrorists Behind That Tree!
Letter to CNN
* I Know
You Are But What Am I?
It's the Questions Stupid!
* Truth and
Freedom, Slip-Sliding Away
the CYA Game
Royko Were Here . . . On Going Nowhere With the 9/11 Commission
* It Takes a