Mary Pitt: The Good News
The Good News
by Mary Pitt
Our President is complaining because our media is not reporting the "good news" from Iraq, the order that has been established, the school that has been opened, the fact that there is now power and water some of the time in most places. Well, after three months, there is no power, water or schools in New Orleans, USA! The people there are still homeless, their children still lost to them, and the homes still lying in rubble with dead bodies in some of them.
The only reason we have to worry about "re-building" Iraq is because we are the ones that blew it all to hell. They call it the "potter's barn rule", "If you break it, you buy it." We are obligated to "fix" Iraq because we broke it. Why did we break it? Because, or so we were led to believe, because our Fearless Leader believed it necessary, that Iraq was a threat to us. Now we know that they were not but they are now! Now they resent being occupied by our troops and they are blowing up their own facilities faster than our "independent contractors" can rebuild them.
Of course, that is hardly difficult. Those same contractors who obtained the no-bid contracts to rebuild Iraq were also given no-bid contracts to rebuild New Orleans. Nobody is destroying their work there; they just aren't doing it! While 50,000 displaced persons are scattered all over the country, many still searching for lost family members, while others still do not know if their relatives or their neighbors are alive or dead. Thousands of trailer houses that were ordered for temporary housing for residents there have failed to materialize while illegal immigrants are being paid insufficient wages to clean up the rubble. If the factories that were supposed to make the trailers were held to their contract, and if they were allowed to deiliver those trailers that are completed, the residents themselves would have the rubble cleared and be ready to go back to work, rebuilding their own city. In the meantime, the trailers are sinking into the mud in Arkansas while their prospective occupants remain homeless.
Those parts of this once-great city that were not so severly damaged are open for business and getting on with their lives, but the lower sections sit and rot with little or no effort to re-populate them. The ninety-day moratorium on the mortgages of the home owners has expired and they are threatened with foreclosure on their property. They cannot make these payments because they cannot go home and get back to work to earn the money. They will lose what remains of their years-long sacrifice and investment because the services which were bought and paid for were not performed! Of course, if they were allowed to go back, there would be no jobs there. All the clean-up and reconstruction that is being done is by out-of-state contractors rather than by local businesses who would employ the residents. Soon the property that once contained the homes of hard-working people will be prime real estate for sale for high-dollar hotels and casinos while the people who were displaced still must rely on food stamps for their existence.
Billions and billions of dollars are being appropriated for "defense" as we construct permanent military facilities in Iraq and in other nations around the Black Sea. This can only reflect the intent of the administration to stay in the Middle East in force indefinitely. Just as we allowed the looting and destruction of the historical sites in Baghdad, the birthplace of civilization, we have allowed the loss of a great historical city in our own nation and it is obvious that this adminstration has no more intent to restore it than to withdraw from The War of Choice in Iraq.
Now it is suggested that FEMA simply confiscate, (pardon me, "condemn by eminent domain"), the property, force the former residents to relocate to other areas, and create a "planned community" on higher ground while the lower levels of the once-proud Crescent City will be turned into a "nature preserve". The theory is that this will restore the delta to something similar to the condition it was in before all the "improvements" in the Mississippi that the bureaucrats felt necessary to accomodate the river commerce and the oil industry. Some years ago, it was suggested that the best method of preserving the delta would be to cut a navigation channel from the bend of the river directly south, allowing the "lazy Miss'ipp" to return to her old habits and thus preserve the delta, but Congress declined to appropriate the money needed to accomplish this. Of course, we all know the value of hindsight.
It seems that we have not learned that, when people meddle with the wisdom of Mother Nature, it will be the people who will suffer. The people of New Orleans are now paying dearly for the mistakes of government exigencies. The blithering, dithering and ripping off of the American taxpayers has continued until now, four months before the onset of the next hurricane season, nothing has been done to rebuild the once fabulous city and return her citizens to their homes where they belong.
While Iraq erupts into the (predictable) civil war, we learn of the White House plans to turn over control of our ports to a firm owned by the United Arab Emirates, including the Port of New Orleans! A bit of research would tell us that the UAE is a nation that provided much of the funding for Al Qaida, that is the central transfer point for sales of munitions and arms throughout the Middle East and Asia, as well as being deeply involved in the sex-slave trade. The fact that they have been good friends and business buddies of the Bush family and friends is supposed to be sufficient reason for us to trust them with the security of our nation? Even the Republicans are having problems in swallowing that one!
Shore makes one proud to be a 'Murkan, don't it?