While TV news presenters keeps asking why the government took so long to save the victims of Hurricane Katrina, evidence is beginning to emerge that US officials may have delberately prevented attempts to rescue thousands of people in affected cities. US troops and FEMA personnel were only deployed in substantial numbers today, a whole week after the disaster struck.
BBC News has learned that FEMA officials deliberately prevented major convoys of heavy lorries carrying water, food, medicine, and other supplies essential for the survival of victims, from reaching towns and cities suffering in the aftermath Hurricane Katrina. After 9/11 Bush put FEMA under the control of his new "Homeland Security" department. When the first FEMA lorries began to arrive today, BBC reporters said "this is the first time we've seen this sign," pointing to the "FEMA" signs displayed on white A4 cards in the windscreens of the lorries:
"This lorry driver loaded his truck on Monday but his bosses prevented him from coming here to these people until today." (BBC News 24, Sat, 3 Sep 05, 12:41 GMT.)
The "emergency spending" bill announced yesterday by Bush is worth only $10.5 billion. US officials are proudly boasting the US economy is "safe" from the effects of Katrina. In other words, they could afford to spend much more than they are.
This means the US regime is spending more on Iraq every two months than it is on saving millions of its own people in their most desparate hour need after the greatest natural disaster in US history. To further put US aid for Katrina into perspective, Israel recently asked the US for $14 billion extra in aid to bail-out their failing economy, and after 9/11 US airline corporations were given $15 billion in aid subsidies to keep them running. Most of Katrina's victims are so poor that they will never in their lives have the luxury of affording to book a seat on an airline to go on holiday.
On Monday, the day after the hurricane destroyed most of the Gulf coast, the President of the USA was played golf. On Tuesday, Bush was playing guitar at a political fundraiser or "pep rally" for wealthy white people. Meanwhile, the US Vice-President refused outright to cut-short his luxurious summer vacation.
If we are to have a truly objective debate about what went wrong, we must consider every possibility, including the theory that right-wing, wealthy white men, in the US regime could have used this disaster as an opportunity to facilitate some ethnic cleansing and clear away a swathe of the poor, Black underclass whose very existance undermines the myth of freedom, democracy, prosperity, and the American dream. It would not be the first time in history that a government has taken action of this type. Ethnic cleansing in the USA today may seem impossible, even unthinkable, but let us not forget that only recently the US regime presided over military action that killed hundreds of thousands of civilians in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Like it or not, racism is as widespread as ever in modern America, and the sad truth is many Americans would not lose any sleep about fencing-off a few thousand "niggers" and letting them die. That is what has happened here and now in modern America in the poor, ugly shanty towns of the deep south.
Experts and politicians all knew this would happen:-
CNN, "Expert: Katrina could unleash disaster", 29 August 2005.
The Guardian, "US cities snub Bush and sign up to Kyoto", 17 May 2005.
Ray Nagin, the mayor of low-lying New Orleans and a Democrat, told the New York Times that he joined the coalition because a projected rise in sea levels "threatens the very existence of New Orleans".
BBC News, "New Orleans crisis shames Americans", 3 September 2005.
BBC News, "Bush boosts Katrina rescue force", 3 September 2005.
An extra 17,000 troops are being sent into the area of the southern US devastated by Hurricane Katrina.
President George W Bush said he had ordered in 7,000 front-line troops, and the Pentagon later announced it was deploying 10,000 National Guardsmen.
USA Today, "Congress rushes $10.5 billion initial package of Katrina aid", 4 August 2005.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Lawmakers promised Friday that a $10.5 billion measure funding immediate rescue and relief efforts for victims of Hurricane Katrina would be but the first step toward a comprehensive response by Congress to the catastrophe.
The bill advanced amid widespread complaints among members of Congress that the government's rescue effort has been inadequate. Lawmakers also promised oversight hearings into flawed disaster plans and the government's slower-than-hoped response.
BBC News, "Iraq war 'costlier than Vietnam'", 31 August 2005.
The report put costs in Iraq at $500m (£278m) a month more than in Vietnam, adjusted for inflation.
The report by the Institute for Policy Studies (IPS) and Foreign Policy in Focus (FPIF), called The Iraq Quagmire, calculates the cost of current military operations in Iraq at $5.6bn (£3.1bn) every month.
CNN, "How much will war cost?", 19 March 2003.
The tab for invading, occupying and rebuilding Iraq could be hundreds of billions of dollars.
As a measure of just how wide the range of possible costs is, the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, another nonpartisan think tank, said in February that war could cost between $18 billion and $85 billion, that five years of post-war occupation could cost between $25 billion and $105 billion, and that humanitarian and other relief efforts could cost between $84 billion and $498 billion.
The report, authored in part by James R. Schlesinger, defense secretary under Presidents Nixon and Ford, and Thomas R. Pickering, ambassador to the United Nations under the first President Bush, estimated that post-war rebuilding -- including reconstruction, humanitarian aid and the deployment of a minimum of 75,000 troops -- could cost $20 billion per year for "several" years.
BBC News, "Israel asks US for more money", 25 November 2007.
Top Israeli officials have gone to Washington DC to ask for special financial aid, to help the country deal with the vicious economic downturn triggered by two years of Palestinian uprising.
In a statement from the Prime Minister's office, the Israeli government said its director, Dov Weisglass, and Finance Ministry Director-General Ohad Marani had held a "detailed discussion of the request" with US National Security Adviser Condoleeza Rice.
Israel is not saying how much money it is looking for, but the domestic media speculate that it could be as much as $14bn, of which $4bn would be military aid and $10bn loan guarantees.
BBC News, "Airlines receive $15bn aid boost", 23 September 2001.
BBC News, "US economy 'safe' from hurricane", 3 September 2005.
The financial impact of Hurricane Katrina may not be as bad as first feared, US officials have said.
Treasury Secretary John Snow said he had discussed the disaster with Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan.
"The Insider" mailing list article, 03 September 2005.
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