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The Perfect Storm and the Feral City

From TomDispatch

I officially closed down for the Labor Day Weekend, but the Bush administration's response to Katrina was simply too much for me. So I've written today a summary piece, especially emphasizing the way in which Iraq has proved a grim coming attraction for Katrina's aftermath: "At the Front of Nowhere at All: The Perfect Storm and the Feral City."

New Orleans is, of course, the "feral city" that thirty years of sci fi movies and post-apocalyptic novels (think: Escape from New York) have brought to our consciousness. It is clearly a defining event of our moment, possibly our lives, and it has swept up all Bush policies -- every way in which they have tried to "starve the beast" -- into a perfect toxic storm.

I hope you'll attend to this piece -- it covers aspects of the present situation that, at this moment, no one is touching on, including: the obvious but largely unmentioned fact that we're only halfway through the present Xtreme hurricane season; the links of the present crisis to climate change and global warming; and the one great difference from our Iraqi experience (also largely uncommented upon) -- that this time our reporters were not embedded with the troops, but preceded them into the area and saw reality for themselves, not through an administration spun scrim.

In addition, I urge you to look back at the prophetic piece Tomdispatch published in September 2004 (after Hurricane Ivan) by Mike Davis, "Poor, Black, and Left Behind."

It has been quoted this week in the mainstream press as if it had been written for Katrina. It will take your breath away.

Finally, on Tuesday, environmental writer Bill McKibben will be doing a must-read piece for Tomdispatch on the post-Katrina world and global warming. The first Tomdispatch Interview -- with Howard Zinn -- is now postponed till Thursday.


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