FREE hit counter and Internet traffic statistics from
(DV) Whitney: Katrina -- Relocation or Ethnic Cleansing?







Katrina: Relocation or Ethnic Cleansing? 
by Mike Whitney
September 11, 2005

Send this page to a friend! (click here)


FEMA has been entirely reshaped under the Bush Administration. It’s no longer designed to meet the needs of a natural disaster but, rather, to advance the political agenda of the current regime. This is clear by the way that FEMA employees did everything in their power to undermine relief operations for the people stranded by Hurricane Katrina. Their orders simply corresponded with Washington’s intention to put the city under federal control and to forcefully-evacuate the victims to locations around the Southwest.

Most of us have already heard the damning accusations of Aaron Broussard, president of Jefferson Parrish, Louisiana, who said on Meet the Press that FEMA had cut off supplies of water, food and fuel to hurricane victims, as well as, cutting “all of our emergency communications lines.”

Since, Broussard’s nationally broadcast testimonial, there’s been a torrent of charges leveled at FEMA. The National Guard was prevented from attending to the sick and wounded, desperately needed buses were unexplainably returned to Baton Rouge, assistance was rejected from Chicago and other cities, helicopter rescue teams were reprimanded for rescuing people trapped on their roofs, and checkpoints were set up to prevent poor, black people from leaving the city.

Information clearinghouse has put together an impressive list of articles that detail the FEMA obstructions.

* FEMA won't accept Amtrak's help in evacuations
* FEMA turns away experienced firefighters
* FEMA turns back Wal-Mart supply truck
* FEMA prevents Coast Guard from delivering diesel
* FEMA 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

These articles will help to convince the reader that blocking of aid to hurricane victims was not a “failure of leadership” or “bureaucratic bungling” as the media has suggested, but was the intentional policy of the Bush administration. The administration was executing a strategy to annex local police and National Guard and put them under direct federal authority. The plan was temporarily subverted when both the Mayor and the Governor refused to relinquish their power. The White House then threatened to take over regardless, invoking little-known presidential orders that allow sweeping executive powers in a national emergency.

Currently there are executive orders on the books that permit the President to seize all modes of transportation, control the media, take over all energy sources, control all aircraft and airports, relocate entire communities and operate penal and correctional facilities in the event of a national emergency.

Under the provisions of Executive Order 11921, “It also provides that when a state of emergency is declared by the President, Congress cannot review the action for 6 months…..General Frank Salzedo, chief of FEMA’s Civil Security Division said in 1983 conference that he saw FEMA’s role as ‘a new frontier in the protection of individual and governmental leaders from assassination, and from civil and military installations from sabotage and attack, AS WELL AS PREVENTION OF DISSIDENT GROUPS FROM GAINING ACCESS TO US OPINION OR A GLOBAL AUDIENCE IN TIMES OF CRISIS.’” (Friends of

FEMA’s role has changed from one of public assistance in a natural catastrophe to defense of the political establishment and its economic-military power base.

New Orleans represents a fundamental transformation in the way the administration plans to conduct domestic affairs. The democratic model has been abandoned for a top-down managerial style with all the familiar trappings of a dictatorship. The results are plain to see; the city is now under martial law with armored vehicles and 70,000 military personnel on 24-hour patrol. At present, the last occupants of the poorer areas are being forcefully removed from their homes and evacuated while legally-registered firearms are being confiscated by police.

The city remains under strict “shoot to kill” orders aimed at anyone either looting or out-of-doors beyond the 6 o’clock curfew.

Although white, middle-class Americans seem to be in denial over what has taken place in New Orleans, many black Americans seem to fully grasp its meaning. Glenn Ford of The Black Commentator notes that, “Displacement based on race is a form of genocide, as recognized under the Geneva Conventions. Destruction of a people’s culture, by official action, or depraved inaction, is an offense against humanity, under international law.”

Ford recognizes that what transpired in New Orleans is just the latest manifestation of ethnic cleansing papered over by the diversionary braying of the media.

There was no “bureaucratic bungling” or “failure of leadership” in New Orleans. It was a perfectly choreographed strategy to purge the city of poor blacks and to pave the way for lavish reconstruction projects for the wealthy constituents of the Bush administration.

Now, as Glenn Ford says, “the right to return” for the people of New Orleans will be blocked by “facts on the ground” that will preclude any future homecoming.  It’s likely that the measly $2,000 stipend that Bush has offered the relocated residents will be the only reparation they see from Washington.

Mike Whitney lives in Washington state, and can be reached at:

View this feed in your browser

Related Articles

* Cuba and the United States: Two Countries, Two Responses by Dan Bacher
* Once More on the Real Heroes and Sheroes by Larry Bradshaw and Lorrie Beth Slonsky
* Walking With The Ghosts of New Orleans by Lydia Howell
* Bush and Third World America and Manuel Valenzuela
* Imploding the Empire: Metaphors for the Age by Gary Corseri
* George Bush -- The Man With a SNAFU Plan by Sheila Samples
* Emphasizing the “Ass” in Compassionate Conservatism by Ken Sanders
* FEMA Chief Paid $$ Floridians Unaffected by Hurricane for Bush Support by Jason Leopold
* The Green Zone by Patricia Goldsmith
* Lessons From Hell by John Chuckman
* What Do You Mean, It’s “Like” Living in a Third World Country? by Mark Drolette
* The Real Heroes and Sheroes of New Orleans Larry Bradshaw and Lorrie Beth Slonsky
* Bush Must Go by Brandy Baker
* The All-Too American Tragedy of New Orleans by Paul Street
* Rodney King in New Orleans by Mike Whitney
* Katrina: “Bipartisan” Betrayal by toni solo
* The New Orleans Looters Are the Bush Progeny by Mike Whitney
* New Orleans and the System that Destroyed It by Gary Leupp
State of Marriage Took Precedence Over State of Louisiana by Jason Leopold
* Paul Allen's Other Yacht by Paul Rogat Loeb
* Kanye West is My Hero by Justin Felux

* The Devastating Impact of Hurricane George by Mike Whitney
* “Transformation”: How Rumsfeld Smashed the National Guard by Mike Whitney

* The Perfect Storm by Chris Floyd
* Waiting for the Outside World by Mike Ferner
* They Are Dying at This Moment by Brandy Baker
* Zero Tolerance: Bush Gets Tough as New Orleans Suffers by Jack Random
* Global Warming & Widespread Blackouts, Just as Deadly as Terrorism by Jason Leopold
* The National Guard Belongs in New Orleans and Biloxi, Not Baghdad by Norman Solomon

Other Articles by Mike Whitney

* Jose Padilla and the Death of Personal Liberty  
* Rodney King in New Orleans
* Rehnquist Paved the Way for the Imperial Presidency
* The New Orleans Looters Are the Bush Progeny
* The Devastating Impact of Hurricane George
* “Transformation”: How Rumsfeld Smashed the National Guard

* The Lords of War
* Robertson’s Fatwah: “A Whole Lotta Smitin’ Goin’ On”
* Turning Cindy Sheehan’s Victory Into Defeat 
* “My Son Died for Nothing”
* "Shoot to Kill": Tony Blair’s First Trophy
* Greenspan’s Role in the Housing Bubble
* Failing in Iraq
* Revving Up World War III
* Pretty Hot in Crawford, Pretty Hot in Hell
* Straight-Shootin’ George Galloway
* “Operation Community Shield”: Comrade Chertoff’s Preemptive Crackdown
* Kristallnacht: What Happens When the Public Says Nothing? 
* Burying Blair: Post-Mortem for the British PM
* “Withdrawal” from Iraq?: Forget About It

* The Globalization of State Terror
* Tom Friedman: Fabricating the Roots of Terror
* Doomsday: The Final Months of the “Housing Bubble”
* John Roberts and the National Security State
* Guantanamo: the Calculus of Human Misery
* Did Greenspan Know About the London Bombings Two Days Before?
* Another Casualty in Rumsfeld’s Information War
* Genesis of an American Gestapo
* Bush's Orgy of Carnage
* Goodbye to Sandra Day O’ Connor . . . and Good Riddance
* The Rumsfeld Solution: “Liberating Iraq, One Journalist at a Time”
* Show Your Independence on the 4th -- Burn a Flag
* "Up in Smoke": Bush Flops in Prime Time
* More Rumsfeld Lies About Insurgent Meetings
* Incinerating Iraqis: The Napalm Cover-Up
* Guantanamo: The New-World Icon
* The Bush Radio Address: More Delusional Blather While Iraq Bleeds
* The Friedman Solution: Reinstate the Draft
* Body Slamming the 4th Amendment
* Operation Desperation: Rumsfeld’s Baghdad Fiasco
* The EU Constitution: Don’t Believe the BS
* Protecting the Plutocrats
* What Was Laura Bush Doing at the Al Aqsa Mosque?
* Free Jose Padilla!
* Alberto Gonzales’ Kristallnacht: Purges for a Safer America
* Tom Friedman: The Imperial Chronicler
* Gods, Gays, and George Bernard Shaw
* A Tentative Strategy for Ending the War
* The Specter of Violence in America

* Free Speech in the Crosshairs
* Why America Needs to be Defeated in Iraq
* More Madness at the Bush News Conference
* Ratzinger’s Plan to Hide the Pedophiles
* Let’s Let Atheists Back into Politics
* Pope Ratzinger: More “Pie-in-the-Sky” for the Struggling Masses
* The Purveyors of Violence: The NY Times in Falluja
* Screw You, Paul Volker!
* Pope TV and the New World Media
* The Economic Tsunami: Sooner Than You Think
* Destroy Abu Ghraib!
* Terri Schiavo and the Battered Judiciary
* Railroading Moussaoui
* The Wolfowitz Appointment: A Red Flag for the Coming Wars
* “Economic Meltdown” -- Sorry, but We’re Toast
* John Bolton and the Road to Tehran
* Clearing the Way for the American Police State

* Challenging the Language of Violence
* Jose Padilla and the 10 Commandments
* Crushing the UN for a Stronger America
* Europe to Bush: “Hands Off Iran”?
* The Incredible Shrinking Dollar
* Assassinating Al-Hariri Fits Washington’s Plan
* Washington’s Plan to Foment Civil War in Iraq
* Condi’s Euro-Tour
* Folksy Tom Friedman and New Age Imperialism
* Government Without Consent
* The Desperate State of the Union
* Iraq’s Election Fiasco
* Boarding Up the “Window of Opportunity”
* KGB Chieftain Finds Home at Homeland Security
* Bush’s Grand Plan: Incite Civil War
* Pink Slips at CBS