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Bush rules out significant federal aid to hurricane victims
by wsws (reposted)
Wednesday Aug 31st, 2005 10:50 PM
Only hours after reports that the death toll from Hurricane Katrina may number in the thousands, President Bush delivered perfunctory remarks that offered little except condescending sympathy to the victims of the worst natural disaster in American history.
Nothing in his words, facial expression, or body language indicated that Bush either comprehended or was even concerned about the monumental catastrophe that has struck hundreds of thousands of people in one of the United States’ greatest and most historic cities.

Rather, with a smirk on his face, he allowed that “the days seem awfully dark for those affected”—a phrase that could only have been uttered in these terrible circumstances by someone who did not count himself among those unfortunates. This from the President of the United States!

And yet, this was not merely a poor choice of words. For the Bush administration, the tragedy of New Orleans is not particularly important and requires no major effort on the part of the United States.

In a brief nine-minute speech, Bush made no statement committing the federal government to a significant or sustained effort to aid the citizens of New Orleans and other areas that have been shattered by the hurricane.

The president said he had instructed his cabinet “to work closely with state and local officials, as well as with the private sector, to ensure that we’re helping, not hindering, recovery efforts.”

In the course of his brief remarks, he repeated multiple times that the federal government would be working with “local officials.” The government would be “assisting local officials in New Orleans” to evacuate remaining citizens; the Coast Guard was “working alongside local officials, local assets” to conduct search and rescue missions; the National Guard would “assist governors and local officials” with disaster response efforts; the cabinet would “work with local folks, local officials, to develop a comprehensive strategy to rebuild the communities affected.”

The process of recovery, Bush said, would take “years.” This is not a timetable that indicates any exceptional level of urgency.

This language was chosen by Bush’s handlers to convey a definite message: the administration will not allow the disaster to entangle the federal government in significant financial commitments.

Beyond the most immediate and basic rescue efforts, the immense human problems arising from the hurricane will be left largely in the hands of local authorities, who have no access to the tens of billions of dollars required to meet the needs of those affected, particularly in New Orleans.

Read More
§Police unable to aid sick woman
by more Wednesday Aug 31st, 2005 11:28 PM
On the way out of New Orleans, it looked like the dust bowl. You've seen the pictures of the dust bowl, of people piled onto the backs of tracks and moving their lives. That's what is happening here. It's extraordinary to witness.

I truly believe that apart from 9/11 this is one of the most significant events that has ever hit this country. Anybody who tells you this disaster is going to be rectified in a matter of months hasn't seen the situation.

People are carrying their children, trying to get them to safety. A woman coming down to the police, close to hysterics, saying, "My elderly mother is in a building over there, she needs dialysis. She can't get it. She is dying. Can you help me?"

And the police had to say, "There is absolutely nothing we can do. We don't have a precinct house. We don't have communication. There is absolutely nothing we can do for you."

Listed below are the latest comments about this post.
These comments are submitted anonymously by website visitors.
Bush declares Katrina prayer dayBBC (reposted)Thursday Sep 8th, 2005 12:39 PM
If you love the weather so much -- why don't you just move to Iran?? USA! USA!The War on WeatherTuesday Sep 6th, 2005 1:49 PM
Re: Bill CribbsRe:Tuesday Sep 6th, 2005 8:43 AM
Mr.Bill CribbsTuesday Sep 6th, 2005 8:39 AM
gascpThursday Sep 1st, 2005 12:23 PM
Let Bush keep talkingGoodThursday Sep 1st, 2005 4:54 AM
A specificdeanosorThursday Sep 1st, 2005 12:48 AM
Hurricane PoliticsNWWednesday Aug 31st, 2005 11:09 PM

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