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911 IN NEW ORLEANS


By Paul Rogat Loeb

We're told the 911 attacks changed everything for America--that they ushered
us in to a new and more dangerous world, where we could no longer afford old
illusions. If we take its full lessons, the disaster of Hurricane Katrina
challenges us even more profoundly.

If the comparison seems overstated, the death tolls from Katrina may well
exceed the number of those lost at the World Trade Center and Pentagon. The
projected cost of rebuilding New Orleans and its surroundings is now
projected at $25 billion and may even approach the $40 billion paid out by
insurance companies worldwide related to the 911 attacks. And while New York
City beyond the Twin Towers remained intact, a refuge to flee to and base
from which to assemble emergency resources, New Orleans is a sea of
desolation, a wet and desperate landscape with no place to hide. New York
City and the national economy rebounded relatively quickly from the attacks.
The New Orleans projections are far grimmer.

911, we were told, required Americans to place unprecedented trust in their
president and his advisors, and to scrap longstanding rules of international
law and domestic liberties. It justified a preemptive war against Iraq and
Bush's reelection, despite all his failures. Of course it might never have
occurred if the US hadn't supported bin Laden to begin with, or if our
policies hadn't so embittered the Islamic world that a small number of men
were willing to murder 3,000 innocent people. But we'd all agree the attacks
had a profound global impact.

So what are the lessons of New Orleans? We may call hurricanes acts of God,
but Katrina was a level 1 storm, the lowest, until blistering temperatures
in the Gulf of Mexico supercharged it to level 5. The storm's virulence was
related to global climate warming just as surely as the recent forest fires
that ravaged Southern California, floods that covered much of Bangladesh,
and European heat waves that killed 35,000 people two summers ago.
Ironically, Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour played a key role, as an
energy lobbyist, in convincing the Bush administration to break its campaign
promise to support limits on the carbon dioxide emissions that fuel global
warming.

This disaster was fueled by more than global climate change. Engineers and
software writers talk of "common mode failures," where one mistake magnifies
another and the cumulative impact is greater than all the separate parts.
The New Orleans levees might never have been breached had the Bush
administration not reversed Clinton administration policies prohibiting
development of coastal wetlands that once buffered the impact of storms. The
levees might have been buttressed and repaired had the administration
responded to a 2001 FEMA study warning that a hurricane striking New Orleans
was one of the three most likely disasters in the U.S. But instead of
honoring the Army Corps of Engineers' request to strengthen and renovate
levees and pumping stations, the Bush administration cut the flood control
budget of the New Orleans Corps of Engineers by $71 million, 44 percent of
its budget. They needed the money for the Iraq war and to give $130 billion
a year of tax cuts to a tiny group of wealthy Americans.

Finally, this catastrophe built on the slow-burn disaster that's been
hitting America's poorest communities for decades. The wealthy and
comfortable could evacuate New Orleans and did, though their lives were
severely disrupted. But in one of the nation's poorest cities, vast numbers
of citizens had nowhere to go, no transportation or money with which to
leave, and no friends or relatives with extra space to house them. They are
the people left desperately trying to get out, while the helicopters and
resources of a third of the Louisiana National Guard are deployed in Iraq.
And they will be the ones most damaged and most forgotten when the
floodwaters eventually recede.

We're told we had to change in the wake of 911 or face future terrorist
attacks. I suspect there will still be more attacks on American soil,
following London and Madrid, and that our Iraqi invasion makes this far more
likely. But it's also probable that unless we change, New Orleans will not
be the last of America's great cities to collapse in desperation and ruin.
Immediate relief efforts are critical, but we also need to address root
crises: global warming, runaway development, deterioration of critical
infrastructure, and a malign neglect that leaves more and more Americans
poor and desperate.

A year ago, the world's second largest reinsurance company, Swiss Re, warned
that the economic costs of climate-related disasters threatened to reach
$150 billion a year within ten years. We're already seeing storms of
exceptional virulence accompanying the heating of our oceans by a single
degree. What will be the level of destruction as global temperatures
continue to increase?

The development patterns that destroyed Louisiana wetlands are being
repeated throughout America, with the support of an administration intent on
removing all limits on private economic activity. The aging levees are part
of a deteriorating national infrastructure that will take billions of
dollars to address. The poverty that leaves people helpless to respond to
disasters of whatever kind continues to grow, accelerated by government
policies that transfer resources away from the poorest.

911 may have indeed changed our world forever, though I think we've drawn
the wrong lessons. We now have a chance to heed those of New Orleans and
Katrina, with consequences potentially far worse if we don't. It's up to us
how we respond to the power of this warning.

Paul Rogat Loeb is the author of The Impossible Will Take a Little While: A
Citizen's Guide to Hope in a Time of Fear, named the #3 political book of
fall 2004 by the History Channel and the American Book Association, and of
Soul of a Citizen: Living With Conviction in a Cynical Time. See
www.paulloeb.org

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With his latest display of inhumanity and murderous dereliction of duty, W. Bush has really shown his true colors. His inexplicable slow response to a long expected major hurricane in the New Orleans region is due to nothing more than cold calculated hatred of poor and minority citizens who don't pay the customary 100K tribute! It has recently come to the attention of many that Bush lied about Iraq. The great irony here is that this has to be one of the most effective con games ever perpetrated on a nation of supposedly rational individuals. I mean, you rig a terrorist attack to make people think some Arabs attacked them. The people then mistakenly want revenge on Arabs who in reality did them no harm. Then you just unilaterally hijack the military on a fool's errand in Iraq to help out your Zionist buddies, not that they need any help but they sleep alot better knowing we are fighting for them in Iraq. Our poor bamboozled countrymen are like scratching their heads trying to see the sense in all this. Bush is out there "catapulting the propaganda" and all. Like a wind-up zombie he repeats: "Finish the Mission", "Noble Cause" etc.

The interesting thing is a lot these same people who are still buying the 9/11 official story, accept the Downing Street Memos proving that Dubya lied to get us into the Zionist war in Iraq. This is very interesting, but I can't see how one can believe this, and not put two and two together to see that Bush was complicit in 9/11 as well? The evidence is now available that irrefutably nails the Feds under Dubya, to the 9/11 attacks! Those of you who accept Dubya lied to get us into Iraq, should have no trouble grasping that Dubya also lied to us about what occurred on 911! With that said, whose the dumbest? A bumbling Dubya, or rest of us, who for some inexpicable reason, continue to allow this guy to get away with all these murderous lies?

Intrestingly enough,sir, you are correct in your assessment that people will except fully, that the bush administration cooked the intelengence books to deceive congress, and the rest of us to get the necessary support...Another concept im able to convince certain individual's is that seizing the last major global oil reserve was the primary objective, and not the spreading of freedom and democracy.(footnote-you know what i hate most? that hokey statement Bush use to make reguarding the terrorist bogey men"they hate our freedomes")(i've emailed the white house three times asking "Georgie, have you ever been in a cock pit? do you like to watch gladiator movies?)im sorry

Anyhow, i been trying to pursuade readers in here that by spending time in 911busters, (painfull deceptions,the end of surburbia, dr griffin, but especially my hero mike ruppert, the guru of investigation into the entire matter, the perfect collaspe of the towers and bld-7, all of it is compelling indeed. it is sufficient in my oppinion, to meet the standard of "preliminary substantial showing" required in being granted evidentury hearings in criminal proceding's. the evidence in 911 busters is that strong, in my oppinion. thats not to say they could meet the ultimate burden of proof to have this evidence decided upon to be granted a real investigation, a 2nd investigation. what i mean to say is, if those in the Bush administration were indited for conspiracy to commit treasonious acts relitive to the events of 911, the question would be, what evidence would they, could they submit within pretrial disclosure? in their defense? and subsequently, could the combined evidence disclosed in 911 busters previl? thats what i'de like to see. this evidence tried by a jury! against any defending evidence the guilty parties may submit in their defense.

but when ever i try to present this evidence or direct someone into 911busters, they, alot of times respond with the conspiract theorist nut bull shit and frankly, im getting a little tired of it. how bout you?**humphrey*

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