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New Orleans v. Iraq


Guess where the U.S. is frantically building health clinics and flood-control structures.

As a dozen Americans were killed in the past two days in Baghdad, the U.S. military “surge” south and north — in Diyala (the province between Baghdad and Iran) — gets more intense. The Washington Post reports this morning:

In Baqubah, north of Baghdad, Americans are fighting in city streets to detain insurgents and destroy their bomb-making facilities. In Arab Jubour, south of the capital, they are moving amid dense palm groves and along dusty canal roads in a grinding door-to-door search that began Saturday.

What about the other surge, the one that swamped New Orleans in 2005 and left an already struggling city with poor health care and even feebler flood protection?

Before Hurricane Katrina hit, in case you’ve forgotten, the Bush regime diverted Corps of Engineers work to Iraq, instead of finishing levees in New Orleans.

Now the Corps is reporting that current levees won’t protect the city from another big flood. But the Corps is busy building new health clinics and flood-control structures in Iraq.

Some of the new health clinics are, wouldn’t you know, in Diyala province, where we’re fighting rebels and causing even more destruction.

The Corps has been spreading the word. In a breathless April 20 press release, complete with color photography and titled “Electricity, Medical, Water Projects Enrich Diyala Province,” flack LuAnne Fantasia (you can’t make it up) wrote about the 170 infrastructure projects in Diyala. I’d say the Corps doesn’t have 170 infrastructure projects in New Orleans.

Just as well that we’re building new health clinics in Iraq, because we’ve already bombed hospitals.

At least in New Orleans, our government didn’t bomb hospitals but — like massive old Charity — allowed them to die a slow death from neglect.

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