By Jena Ardell
By Jon Campbell
By Alan Scherstuhl
By Tessa Stuart
By Roy Edroso
By Jon Campbell
By Albert Samaha
By Zachary D. Roberts
WASHINGTON, D.C.What is going on in the United States? Why won't Bush take decisive action in the Hurricane Katrina disaster and send in the military? He has control of the world's mightiest military machinethousands of planes, trucks, boats, expertly trained men and women. Where are these people? How can the National Guard be so close to providing help, as the public is told, yet still there are people dying on the sidewalks of a major city?
Where has the Congress been? Why has it taken so long to call an emergency session? Why can't the federal government act?
Look back at Bush as the crisis gathered: He sits on his ranch. Over and over, his government issues dire warnings of the hurricane that is coming. The mayor of New Orleans starts the evacuation. Bush sits there, still on vacation. The storm strikes. Still he sits there. Then he acts. What does he do? He extends a helping hand to the oil industry, releasing some oil from the reserves and cutting pollution control. But the price of gas rises to even higher levels. The industry need more profits. Only in America can an industrial giant get away with saying there's a shortage when they're swimming in surplus. And Bush? For him, it's one more payoff to his campaign contributors.
And the people of New Orleans? They sit on the baking rooftops and sidewalks. No water. No food. No help.
Then Bush acts again. He is decisive. On Wednesday, he gets in his plane and fliesflies real low, okay?over the devastation. And then he goes to Washington and, as the papers say, "mobilizes" the rescue effort. He says: "It is so devastating that it is hard to describe it. Nine-eleven was a manmade attack. This was a natural disaster.
"New Orleans is more devastated than New York and just physically devastated as is the coast of Mississippi, so we've got a lot of work to do and we'll get it done."
How would he know? Bush was sitting in a bunker under a cornfield on 9-11 while New York organized its own rescue.
He would not go to New York on that day. And now the best he can do is look out the window of his plane at the hurricane. His government says he'd like to visitmaybe even tomorrowbut the White House wants to make sure the president doesn't impede the rescue effort.
So he sits in the White House while the people he governs, the people of the South, die in the heat because they can't get a glass of water in the wealthiest country of the world. No wonder there are looters.
The president mocks us all.