bring the National Guard and the money home now






I cry for New Orleans.

And I don't want to see another photo with a caption screaming about folks "looting," when they are in the midst of an unprecedented disaster where there is no food, no water and no help. Only people with real resources could have afforded to leave before the hurricane hit: For the many who stayed, everything they ever had was in their homes. They could expect no protection, and almost certainly no insurance compensation.

[UPDATE: I've just learned that in fact many people who were mobile and who wanted to leave just couldn't, as there was no public transportation. Our blindered media doesn't point out that since this is America if you didn't have a car you didn't get out. The Greyhound station was closed before the hurricane hit, and of course there are no trains. Similarly, there's also no media discussion of how the sick and the aged were expected to leave.]

Also, I hesitate to dignify their status by even mentioning the network, but this morning FOX "NEWS" includes a discussion asking seriously whether this city and these stricken people should get any disaster funds from the federal government. I guess they should all have known better and chosen to live in a less vulnerable area, say . . . Florida(?), where there's always government disaster relief available. Not heard explicitly, but perhaps implied here, and certainly to be found along the long, rough road ahead, is the voice of racism - and even that of the hellish "Christian" Right: Colored folk don't deserve the help, and for its sins this entire great, irreplaceable city itself should go the way of Sodom and Gomorrah.

We must save these people and this city, and of course we must do what we can to reduce the impact of the next storm. Just for starters, we should have the National Guard and skilled Army and Navy engineers here now, when and where they could make a difference.

The enemy is here, not in Iraq.

[images, in descending order (all via YAHOO! Photo) by Chris Graythen for Getty Images, Rick Wilking for Reuters, James Nielsen for AFP, Bill Haber for AP Photos, and Rick Wilking for Reuters]

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Published on August 31, 2005 11:18 AM.

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