Monday, September 05, 2005

Welcome to Camp America

My buddy, Bob Daktari (no, its probably not his real name) has a blog now. Bob has a keen mind and a wicked sense of humour so add it to your must-view list.

As I was in December / January, I’m completely devastated by the events in the Gulf states of the USA. Human suffering on this scale makes most of us feel helpless, fragile, and insignificant. Yes, we can give, we can sympathise but in reality, as with any immeasurable tragedies like this, there is little most of us can do. Sadly, those in a position to help here have, as we all know, dropped the ball well and truly. There is no excuse for what wasn’t done but I’m resigned to the fact that the US public will give Bush and his cronies a pass on this eventually. I guess, like much of the planet, I really don’t have much faith in the United States anymore, as a nation, to do the right thing or make a reasoned judgement based on the evidence available. I saw some idiot saying on CNN that things were gonna be ok because he’d seen the compassion in Bush’s eyes. Maybe he would think a little differently if he knew that the “compassion” was simply a photo op by a President more concerned with saving his political arse, any way you look at it, than thousands of poor people.

This is the same man who, a day earlier said:

"'The good news is - and it's hard for some to see it now - that out of this chaos is going to come a fantastic Gulf Coast, like it was before. Out of the rubbles of Trent Lott's house -- he's lost his entire house - there's going to be a fantastic house. And I'm looking forward to sitting on the porch"
I actually think CNN has performed pretty well on this and from where I’m sitting has somewhat redeemed its complicit performance over recent years with its blazing criticism of the obvious incompetence of the GOP appointees involved. Apart from the weather talking-head who said yesterday that the weather was good for a holiday weekend getaway…or Ralitsa Vassileva, or whatever her name is, on CNN International interviewing the head of the UN relief agency which performed with such distinction during the Asian disaster earlier this year, demanding to know how much cash the United Nations was going to give to the US. I would imagine that anyone hired for a news reader's job on a channel like CNN would, whether they liked the organisation or not, at least understand what it actually is. Best we surmise CNN couldn’t get anyone better for the job and make the obvious assumption that this woman is a moron and move on…

The Tsunami of course was a massive human disaster but the global ramifications of Katrina go far beyond that human tragedy, as it largely hurt the poor and, as far as the west is concerned, uncounted. The US economy has been teetering for so long now that this could push it, if not over the edge, towards it. But as New Orleans shows, the plight of the have-nots is not Bush’s concern, beyond their roles as fodder for his corporate sponsors and military, and never has been. The question concerning him more must be the relationship of this disaster to his family’s dynastic ambitions.

It must be an unwelcome and annoying hiccup….

And based on past performance, I wonder how much of the tens of billions of reconstruction and supply dollars are going to go Halliburton’s way… talking of which, the world is still asking “where is Dick Cheney”?

I’m not sure if it’s the right time to be saying things like this, but when is?


Anonymous said...

hey simon,
have a look at this...

interesting background on FEMA, run by a guy who got fired from his last job, heading the Arabian Horse Association.

Simon said...

for a swathe of links..its fucking appalling and the US media is generally in the throes already of rolling over.