Friday, September 02, 2005

The Whole Dome Thing

Bill Clinton says this is not political. I don't believe it, Bush. Not for one moment. Your Dad gets up there in front of the whole nation and blathers on blithely about "the whole dome thing," as though this were some minor irritation to the patrician classes. This escalating disaster is not about some unforeseeable act of nature: it's about the country's lack of preparedness to help its poorest citizens, and about their rage at being abandoned. And that's political. It's a long series of decisions to protect and benefit the wealthy at the expense of the poor. It's the policy of America, and Americans, to protect their pocketbooks at all costs against the dire threat of having to pay taxes. It's about willful ignorance and cynicism amongst politicians like yourself. It's about the neglect of well-documented problems for fear of having to spend money on them.

It's also about wasteful and self-serving expenditure. Four years after 9/11 and how many billions of dollars spent on "Homeland Security," Bush, and you deliver... this. Chaos in a major American city, five long days after disaster struck. Inability to provide food and water to our citizens, let alone medical services and sanitation. Looting, rape, and violence rampant. And likely murder...

So what's with your Homeland Security? Was this not to be the answer to the threat of terrorism? Preparedness? And the New Orleans catastrophe could so easily have been a terrorist attack. A few pounds of explosive, nicely placed, and kaboom: same result. The levees breached. New Orleans flooded. People stranded on rooftops. Hospitals inundated. Communications, transportation systems disabled. Death and destruction. In that case, surely, without the benefit of advance warning, things would have been even worse.

A national disgrace. That's the phrase that keeps echoing around this morning. The rest of the world must be looking on in amazement, to see the unprotected underbelly of American society thus exposed. To see people dying on the streets of a major city for lack of medication. To see Americans behave, in desperation, without the least shred of civility or restraint. Don't tell me this is not the result of policies, Bush. Don't tell me it could not have been foreseen.

And don't foist the blame on previous administrations. Sure, this disaster has been years in the making, and there's blame enough to spread around. But you, Bush, were the one who got the wake-up call on 9/11. You're the one who has spent his time in office lavishing money on your war in Iraq without the slightest call on the American people to sacrifice. You're the one who has been busy cutting taxes for the wealthy, while your people in Congress have been busy cutting essential services--like those needed for the protection of our citizens. You're the one who permitted the pork-barrel spending of Homeland Security funds in states that were not remotely threatened, while prime targets like New Orleans saw their budgets for basic needs cut.

Sorry, Bush, I'm not letting you off the hook today. This is the very disaster you should have been preparing for. This is the very disaster your vaunted Department of Homeland Security should have been ready to avert, or at least respond to. And your response is a disgrace, Bush. A national disgrace.


Alice said...

First the Bush War and now this national disgrace. It is so hard to see people die on your Tv screen and know when the camera is turned off they will not get up and walk away. I live in the red city of Clarksville in the red state of Tennessee and there are only a few of us crying in the wilderness. Thank you for your letters. I read them every day.

bettz said...

Peter, you put my thoughts into words so eloquently. I am so angry and frustrated. But what can we do? I hope this is a wake up call for those peoplewho still care for more than their new BMW's and SUV's.

And thank you so much for your blog. Don't think you don't have readers out here! Carrie

PeterAtLarge said...

Best thanks to Alice and Carrie for taking the time to read and respond. It's words like these that make the work worthwhile. Please let others know about The Bush Diaries--and keep reading! Best of everything, PeterAtLarge

Andy and Charlotte said...

Hi Peter, we've just been watching the news in the UK - It defies belief! Bush appeared and said to the cameras "This is going to need more than one day's attention!" How insulting can someone be!!!
To coin a phrase, is Bush now holed below the water line?
Keep up the good work Peter
Best wishes Andy and Charlotte
Cirencester, England

PeterAtLarge said...

Hey, guys! Great to hear from you. Thanks for posting! And yes, it's unbelievable. But only for those who've had their eyes closed for these past five years! Love, P