I would have thought that it would be obvious especially with my politics that I am certainly not one to leave those dispossessed, disenfranchised and distraught without assistance. There is no question that there needs to be a huge clean-up operation in the southern US, what remains for debate is who should pick up the tab and what emphasis it should have.

How much money has been spent on sending troops down to the area who have, up to now, had the remit to do nothing more than stopping looting and further damage to property? Could this money not have already been used to help people rather than protecting the assets of the rich, who incidently do not appear to have had any problems evacuating themselves.

Why is it that in a major city, below sea level, one within an area that is a notorious hurricane zone, that the defences against flood and storm are woefully inadequate and their is no emergency plan in place. It appears that the flood defences were ones according to the post 1927 plan. If you look at London for example there is an elaborate Thames Barrier designed because there was the potential threat of flood problems as there had been precedent in past centuries.

ISomething I detest is the method the mainstream media employ when there is such an event in the US. It would appear that no other country’s disaster is anything close to that of the US. If you take September 11th which was a singular very large terrorist event but with the actual media coverage since then and the fallout for countries like Afghanistan and Iraq you might think that no terrorist acts had ever taken place before. [Speaking of which, was such a concerted campaign mounted against America’s right-wing following the Oklohoma city bombings?]

If you look at the news on all the major stations and press now how many stories are about world news and how many dominated by the news of the hurricane from every conceivable angle, we receive constant updates when very little is actually changing. This is to the detriment of things that are going on around the world from ‘less newsworthy’ countries.

After all how many people are still thinking of the 200 detainees in Guantanamo Bay who have recently gone on hunger strike? In fact how many people remember the incarcerated in Guantanamo Bay at all, their plight is certainly no longer headline news. How much money is being spent on their incarceration, not to mention those still at Baghram or assorted jails in Iraq. What if this money were instead spent on the dispossessed in the southern US?

How many people are aware of the cholera epidemic in West Africa, Guinea-Bissau being the worst hit country, with 9,047 infections and 172 deaths reported between June and August further outbreaks have already been reported in Mauritania, Guinea, Senegal, Burkina Faso, Mali, Ivory Coast and Niger with a likelihood that it will spread shortly to Nigeria, Cameroon and Chad. More than 500 people have died already and tens of thousands of other cases have been reported.

How many people are aware that Encephelitis (a mosquito-bourne brain disease) has killed 140 in Nepal, 400 in Uttar Pradesh in India with 800 reported cases overall.
What about news about the continuing threat of worldwide epidemic of Bird Flu? Or AIDS, TB etc. etc. etc.

How many are aware of the fact that the Palestinian Authority’s assets have been frozen in the US after the PA failed to compensate relatives of a Jewish couple shot dead by Hamas militants in 1996, Hamas and the PA were prosecuted under a US law allowing trials to be brought against groups responsible for killing US citizens. Interesting that the same courtesy is not extended to the many Palestinian families whose relatives have been killed by Israeli forces in attacks against ‘suspected’ Hamas targets. Perhaps someone should try Henry Kissinger under this law after all the thousands of US servicemen who have been sent to their death as a result of his foreign policy involvement in Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos etc. Of course bearing in mind Kissinger is a US citizen he won’t be subject to these rules will he, since no-one can prosecute an American.

I wouldn’t mind so much if the news we were receiving was genuinely about the people most affected but it includes the scantest information about them in a very sensationalist fashion and does nothing to further their cause. From what I have seen, heard and read so far the media is not asking and pressing serious questions as to why this disaster has been so catastrophically manhandled by the US administration. When one thinks about the implications for the rest of the world you might think this information would in fact be of some relevance to the rest of us.

The decline of an empire always starts somewhere, little chips eroding the power and perception. I’d like to think this has severely weakened the incumbant administration from within (after all it is not as if those of us outside needed any further evidence of its universal incompetence) and perhaps this could spell the beginning of the end. I won’t hold my breath but we all have to hope for something.

Song Of The Day ~ Feeder – Dove Grey Sands

Original Comments:

rocky made this comment,
OF COURSE no other disaster is as bad as a US one!! plus, we’ve always known that the value of a life depends on race, color, and nationality. that said though, same thing with london, isn’t it? we watched 5 days of almost exclusive coverage of bombings that claimed 55 lives, which in all fairness, is not a large number compared to the daily death toll in most third world or war stricken countries. then there was that bombing in the resort in egypt – the headlines in most news websites were: x amount dead including one british family and a whole new page on the british family, names, ages, crying relatives.
i can’t blame media though, because they’re a BUSINESS…they have to talk about what sells. you have the tabloid who survive, in fact thrive due to their stories on celebs. sensationalism is the name of the game…

truly, we are the root of the problem. we grow immune and desensitized…africa is old news, and so is iraq. i haven’t read a word about afghanistan in the papers for months and really couldn’t care less anymore.

if we DID care or demanded it, perhaps we could change / affect what was being fed to us via our screens.

comment added :: 5th September 2005, 14:41 GMT+01
rocky made this comment,
oh and by the way, i just read an article in a local newspaper that is relevant – did you know that over a thousand shiite iraqis died on a bridge, on the 1st of sept? the article said that most iraqis were extremely angry about their tragedy being overlooked completely, especially by the neighbouring arab states that are too busy sending money to USA, to ingratiate themselves to the most powerful nation (or perhaps just to ensure that they do not face its wrath next time bush decides to come up with fictional WMD’s).
related links: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/41996 18.stm). http://www.7days.ae/regional-news/what-ab out-us-.html http://raedinthemiddle.blogspot.com/2 005/09/katrina-vs-al-aemmah.html

comment added :: 5th September 2005, 14:42 GMT+01
Haddock made this comment,
The bridge story was covered by German TV news, but not too heavily. Personally I think the decline of the USA empire has started, albeit in small way. More of the so call first world are getting pissed off with its attitude to the rest of the world, and slowly so are more of it’s own citizens.
-Redbaron responds – Good to hear from you Haddock, and I hope you’re right, it is time the US empire declined, I think practically all of the developing world recognise that it is the US that will keep them subjugated and therefore there is no love lost in that sector either. What comes next who knows but one cannot keep the US as is just for fear of what might come after it.-

comment added :: 5th September 2005, 16:10 GMT+01 :: http://greenhaddock.myblogsite.com/
jamal made this comment,
I totally agree with what you are saying. When USA cries, the worlds media holds its breath. It was a tradegy, but even more sickening that the many other disasters worldwide were totally ignored. USA is the country that has the resources to heal itself whereas the others do not. USA gets the coverage though!
You are right though.. we both came up with totally different examples to evidence the very same idea!

comment added :: 6th September 2005, 01:25 GMT+01 :: http://opinionated.blogsome.com/