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Barbara Lee Blames War for Slow Response to Katrina

t r u t h o u t | Press Release

Friday 02 September 2005

Oakland, CA - In a statement issued Friday September 2nd, Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-Oakland) lambasted the Administration's slow response and lack of action to help the Gulf Coast communities destroyed by Hurricane Katrina.

"The slow response to the needs of the people in the areas hit hardest by Hurricane Katrina is inexcusable. We had several days advance notice that the Hurricane was coming, but where was the preparedness? Why weren't the hospitals, schools, and seniors evacuated immediately? Is this is an example of the Administration's idea of homeland security? If so, we are in trouble.
"If ever anyone doubted that there were two Americas, this disaster has made this division clear. The victims have largely been poor and black. The devastation from Hurricane Katrina only underscores the disastrous consequences of the Administration's failure to take even the most basic steps to alleviate poverty in the United States. The Administration can not ignore this reality.

"Furthermore, has the Administration shortchanged homeland preparedness, in favor of funding a misguided war in Iraq and tax cuts for the wealthy? What other critical services, such as funding for levees, have been cut from the budget to fund this war? Now is the time for Congress to aggressively pursue oversight hearings. We need answers.

"I have been in close contact with the congressional members from the states affected by Hurricane Katrina and have heard from the American Red Cross. We all agree that it is time for our country to work together and help those who have so little and have lost so much.

"I call on President Bush and FEMA Director Michael Brown to follow through on their promises and deploy immediate emergency aid. Furthermore, I challenge the President to address this national catastrophe with the same resolve as he did in leading America into the war in Iraq.

"I am working with private citizens, business leaders and places of worship within my district as well as fellow congressional members to deliver immediate assistance to the victims of Hurricane Katrina. For example, I am working with the California State University, the University of California, the Peralta Colleges, and local universities to find space for displaced students.

"On Wednesday, September 7, 2005 at the Ronald V. Dellums Federal Building at 1301 Clay Street in Downtown Oakland, from 8am-8pm, we will be collecting supplies and accepting donations for the relief."


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Here is a member of congress with a heart, a head, and a conscience. A truly dedicated and effective public servant. Now when are we going to see some action from her silent colleagues?


I'm sending a donation but it occurs to me that we spend 5 billion dollars a month in Iraq. Instead of Bush asking for folks to send cash, he could give 300,000 survivors a check for $16,000.00 instead of making war this month.

So why did it take a superpower with a gigantic military machine so long to get any kind of basic aid to the (mostly black and poor) people trapped in New Orleans...

The answer has to be that the neocons were attempting to provoke a total breakdown of law and order in the city. Possibly even to start a low level race war.

To take one example, I had heard repeatedly on the coverage from the mainstream propaganda channels that the security forces could not go near the superdome / convention center because of the danger presented from huge gangs of armed thugs.

However, after much waiting and watching, I finally saw on CNN an interview with a man who said that those inside had stood up to the armed men, told them they were not helping and asked them to leave, which they did!

So here we have unarmed civilians managing to deal with the 'problem' by simply asking them to go.

It does not sound like these armed men were in the frenzy of bloodlust we were led to believe.

So I am forced to conclude that the authorities were deliberately standing off in an effort to provoke a complete breakdown. The excuses used are not convincing - like so many neocon lies they do not stand up to scrutiny.

Feeding the fire in order to provoke a breakdown in order which can be portrayed as the fault of one segment of society (the black community) is the oldest trick in the book, divide and conquer.

It will also deeply polarise opinion across the US and bring out the beast in men's hearts.

We would all be so busy arguing amongst ourselves we would be diverted from our current keen focus on the criminals administration, the 911 lies and the disaster the holocaust in Iraq.

And then in the most brazen bit of managed theatre I have ever seen (excluding 911), just as Fuhrer Bush turns up so do all the aid trucks and soldiers,

What an amazing coincidence!

The neocons waited for as long as they could, even allowing George to take some heat, hoping things would descend into chaos.

This willingness to see George damaged is a sign that he is surely coming to the end of his usefulness, an asset that has now clearly become liability. (I would not be surprised if soon he was somehow 'replaced').

If a breakdown had been achieved the neocons would have sat back and listened to their right wingnuts point the finger and say it all was the natural result of a corrupt black community fed on the welfare state. This would have provoked a furious reaction from the far left and split the middle ground.

When it became clear that hoped for total breakdown in order was not going to happen they were belatedly forced to play the rescuing angel card. It must have been close though as they really waited as long as they could.

Also what were all those helicopters doing parked in hanger just so Bush could look like a big shot when giving his press conference!

Surely those helicopters should have been white hot and outside ferrying aid and rescuing people!?.

How the hell can they be parked and gleaming (obviouslly well washed and polished) as a fucking prop for that son of a bitch. It still shocks me to the core that the mainstream propaganda channels can let that slide by without comment.

Lastly Bill Clinton lining up behind Bush II with Bush I tells me all I ever needed to know about that sell-out bastard.

Clinton has so much blood on his hands (from his infanticide of 500,000 children in Iraq during the embargo of 1990's) that I suppose it comes as no surprise to see him stand shoulder to shoulder with another mass murderer.

What really makes me scratch my head is how FEMA (or our entire gov't) has refused....REFUSED (!!!!) aid from Canada, Germany...and just this morning I heard on the radio (Air America, of course) that the Mayor of Chicago offered to send 400 people with aid as well, and FEMA DECLINED!?!?!

Sorry, but that seems really horrible. Why WOULDN'T you say YES to the aid? Is he that stupid, or is this truly by design?

Truly, such a horrible occurrance. If this in ANY way turns out to be political payback to "pesky democrats", I will be SO LIVID! And I would expect our entire country to be so horrified that we ourselves "Frog march" the whole lot of them to the public square!

I'm outta here>>> I'm gonna go to the copy center and make me a kazillion "Impeach Bush" copies . See ya!

... including countries like Holland and China with considerable expertise and experience in handling below-water-level situations and flood disasters. But Bush, at least in the initial stages, said that no such outside help was needed or wanted. It appears that Condi Rice (who woulda thunk it) got him to change his mind. Read more here and here.

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