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“If It Keeps On Raining…"

Left Turn Editors
Date Published: 
November 01, 2005

While Karl Rove and the Bush Administration scrambled to contain their most recent ‘PR problem,’ sending in armed guardsmen and scheduling a series of press conferences, out in the flooded cities, everyday people were struggling to come to their neighbor’s rescue. It should come as no surprise that the formula for bringing ‘order’ to New Orleans is the same as bringing ‘peace and stability’ to the Middle East: send in the troops and award the reconstruction contracts to the ol’ crew at Halliburton!

People are waking up.

In Texas, weeks before Katrina hit, the Bush Administration was losing another battle as Cindy Sheehan and a growing number of military families were forcing the US media to cover the story they have so far intentionally avoided: the disaster in Iraq. Nearly 2,000 US soldiers have now died along with tens of thousands of Iraqi civilians. Hundreds of thousands now prepare to demonstrate this coming weekend in Washington DC.

The Bush Administration talks a good game about ‘security in the post-9-11 world’, but seems to provide very little of it. It is important for us to be able to re-frame this conversation. Whether it is the illegal invasion and subsequent occupation of Iraq, the continued support of the Israeli occupation of Palestine, or the de-funding and de-industrializing of urban centers like New Orleans, none of these policies make us any safer.

The government’s response to the flooding of predominantly poor and working-class Black neighborhoods was not just ‘inadequate,’ it was criminal. Perhaps instead of rallying once again to ‘hold our elected leaders accountable,’ and sending money into corrupt institutions like the Red Cross, we can try and focus on supporting those grassroots activists traveling down south to help and assist other community-based organizations and radicals who, like many of the friendly neighbors in New Orleans, provide for each other what the State has never been able to: real security.

…The levee’s going to break”