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"Reconstruction" of NOLA = "Reconstruction" of Iraq?

"Reconstruction" of NOLA = "Reconstruction" of Iraq?
By Murshed Zaheed
Posted on Fri Sep 09, 2005 at 12:21:08 PM EST

So the "Shaw Group" lands two $100 million contracts for NOLA reconstruction. Apparently this company is client of Allbaugh (according to TPM). The contract is same as controversial Halliburton contract in Iraq (Indefinite Delivery/Indefinite Quantity) whereby company just bills govt as it goes with profit determined as percentage of costs (gives company incentive to increases costs):

BATON ROUGE, La., Sep 08, 2005 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- The Shaw Group Inc. (SGR) today that is has been awarded an Indefinite Delivery/Indefinite Quantity (ID/IQ) contract from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to aid in the recovery and rebuilding efforts. Shaw will provide supervision, equipment, materials, labor, logistics, and all means necessary to provide the Corps of Engineers an immediate response for construction contract capability. The contract will provide construction and related services including program planning, scheduling, design, engineering, transportation, construction management, and quality control. Under this contract, Shaw has received its first task of pumping floodwater from the city of New Orleans out and over the levees. Shaw is using temporary pumps and is repairing and restarting the existing pump stations. The $100 million contract has a base period of one-year, with an additional one-year option. Shaw announced earlier today a $100 million ID/IQ contract award by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to provide support services in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, including housing assistance for displaced residents.

National Guard, the Gulf Coast and the War in Iraq

National Guard, the Gulf Coast and the War in Iraq

by Nancy Lessin and Charley Richardson, Military Families Speak Out
by Nancy Lessin, Military Families Speak Out

"Stay at home and serve your country" was the slogan used to attract men and women into service to their communities and their country in the National Guard. The promise to the men and women of the Guard was also a promise to citizens of the various states that they would have a force available to them in time of emergency.

One weekend a month, two weeks each year, those who signed up to serve in the state militia known as the National Guard trained to protect Country and Constitution and to provide aid in times of local emergencies such as forest fires, floods, hurricanes, blizzards, and civil unrest. National Guard soldiers have specifically been trained to assist in emergencies such as the one that Hurricane Katrina brought to the Gulf Coast on August 28-29, 2005.

A Bitter Anniversary

September 11, 2005
A Bitter Anniversary
There's a ceremony taking place this morning at Ground Zero: a commemoration of the fallen of September 11th. For the families of the victims of the attack on the World Trade Center, the arrival of this day will always be the cause of profound anguish. I wonder, however, if it’s possible that there will come a time for the rest of us, both here in New York and across America, when this day will become less an occasion of grief and anger, and more a day of thoughtful reflection?

So long as Osama Bin Laden and his lieutenants remain free, this day must remind us of our unfinished business. Treachery cannot be allowed to go unpunished. We owe it to our dead to see that justice is done. In a very real sense, by focusing United States' efforts on occupying Iraq, rather than dismantling al Qaeda, President Bush has only exacerbated the pain and suffering of New Yorkers.

Power to the victims of New Orleans

Power to the victims of New Orleans

With the poor gone, developers are planning to gentrify the city
Naomi Klein
Friday September 9, 2005
The Guardian
(Editor's note: Will the rebuilding of New Orleans be handled like the rebuilding of Iraq? If so...then the poor, blacks, and minorities will be fighting the rich and powerful for their natural resources, just like the poor are fighting in Iraq for theirs.)

On September 4, six days after Katrina hit, I saw the first glimmer of hope. "The people of New Orleans will not go quietly into the night, scattering across this country to become homeless in countless other cities while federal relief funds are funnelled into rebuilding casinos, hotels, chemical plants. We will not stand idly by while this disaster is used as an opportunity to replace our homes with newly built mansions and condos in a gentrified New Orleans."

Please take another look at this...

Democratic Underground
Posted by GaYellowDawg

It's not about blame. It's about responsibility. Let us not forget that the first of the inalienable rights listed by the Declaration of Independence is the right to life, and it is the primary responsibility of the American government to safeguard American lives. When American lives are in danger, it is the responsibility of government to act, not to cut cakes, strum guitars, buy a house, attend a baseball game, or cut a swath through Manhattan's finest shops.

While George Bush was eating cake with John McCain, rats were eating American corpses in American cities. While George Bush was strumming a dissonant chord with a country singer, a dissonant, desperate cry for help went unheeded from American voices in American cities. While Dick Cheney was closing on a posh new house, floodwaters were closing in on many more American houses, and, even worse, their owners. While Donald Rumsfeld was enjoying a game in an American baseball stadium, American citizens were dying in an American football stadium. While Condoleeza Rice was delightedly prancing through Manhattan shops in search of shoes, American citizens were desperately sloshing through New Orleans buildings in search of drinkable water. The largest natural disaster in modern American history is no time for absentee government, but that's what we got.

The Real Costs of a Culture of Greed

The Real Costs of a Culture of Greed

By Robert Scheer, AlterNet. Posted September 6, 2005.

What the world has witnessed this past week is an image of poverty and social disarray that tears away the affluent mask of the United States.

Instead of the much-celebrated American can-do machine that promises to bring freedom and prosperity to less fortunate people abroad, we have seen a callous official incompetence that puts even Third World rulers to shame. The well-reported litany of mistakes by the Bush administration in failing to prevent and respond to Katrina's destruction grew longer with each hour's grim revelation from the streets of an apocalyptic New Orleans.

Ordeal of a Whistleblower

Ordeal of a Whistleblower

By Evelyn Pringle, AlterNet. Posted September 7, 2005.

With the recent demotion of the woman who dared speak out, the list of lies about Halliburton's no-bid Iraq reconstruction contracts grows even longer.

In October 2004, Bunnatine Greenhouse, a top military official responsible for making sure the Army Corps of Engineers complies with contracting rules, came forward and revealed that top Pentagon officials showed improper favoritism to Halliburton when awarding military contracts.

The allegations made by this official were first reported by Time magazine.



Bush on the Gulf Coast in his role as Slim Witless, the yodeling moron. At least Saddam Hussein didn't play the guitar while he killed his own people.

Iraq 100, Louisiana 8: "The Garden of Eden" vs. "Hell on Earth"

Iraq 100, Louisiana 8: "The Garden of Eden" vs. "Hell on Earth"

Is it possible to actually quantify how screwed up the priorities of the Bush cabal in Washington have been? Usually not. But when it comes to the issue of wetlands -- the natural buffer that could have protected New Orleans against a deadly storm surge liked the one that essentially wiped out the city last week -- the answer is "yes."

In 2004 -- at a time when George W. Bush was running for re-election and presumably courting votes in Louisiana, a potential swing state -- the White House proposed spending a whopping 12 1/3 times as much taxpayer money restoring wetlands in southern Iraq as he planned to spend on the same task in the Mississippi Delta.

Hurricane Katrina-Our Experiences

Hurricane Katrina-Our Experiences

Larry Bradshaw
Lorrie Beth Slonsky

Two days after Hurricane Katrina struck New Orleans, the Walgreen's store at the corner of Royal and Iberville streets remained locked. The dairy display case was clearly visible through the widows. It was now 48 hours without electricity, running water, plumbing. The milk, yogurt, and cheeses were beginning to spoil in the 90-degree heat. The owners and managers had locked up the food, water, pampers, and prescriptions and fled the City. Outside Walgreen's
windows, residents and tourists grew increasingly thirsty and hungry.

If I Screamed It, Would You Hear Me?

If I Screamed It, Would You Hear Me?
From our own Christy Cole:

Not too long ago I wrote an article entitled 'Preaching to the Choir.' in which I discussed the political abandonment of the deep south. When I wrote it, I was blissfully unaware of exactly how right I was. Or how it would bring death so close in plentiful amounts.

As a resident of Louisiana I would like to tell you about what you have lost. I would like you to see it, as I saw it.

New Orleans. Or, as they say if you’re from here, "Nuuuw 'Awwwlins'. So famous, most think her our capital city. Baton Rouge is the capital of Louisiana, but New Orleans was our crown jewel. World wide she was known for her parties, her history, her engineering feats, her defiance of nature itself. And on top of it all was a culture unlike any place on earth. A place where history is beloved and alive.

Waiting for the National Guard...

Milvertha Hendricks, 84, waits in the rain with other flood victims outside the convention center in New Orleans Thursday. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

It's appears only poor black folks and not rich campaign contributors get to wait in the rain while a third of the Louisiana National Guard that might have helped with recovery is stationed in Iraq.

Monument to a Rotten System

Monument to a Rotten System
By Dave Zirin, AlterNet. Posted September 3, 2005.

Governmental hypocrisy is personified painfully in the monument to corporate greed that has rapidly become the earth's most damnable homeless shelter: the Louisiana Superdome.

There is nothing "unnatural" about the disaster of New Orleans. When politicians smirk at global warming, when developers look at our wetlands and dream of mini-malls, when billions are flushed in the name of war and tax cuts, when issues of poverty and racism don't even register in presidential debates, all it takes is wind, albeit 145 mph wind, to expose a sturdy superpower as a house of cards.

When we desperately need more troops in Iraq, they won't send enough. When we desperately need troops in New Orleans, they won't

THE TROOPS: James Taranto is doing his usual best to defend anything the Bush administration does and points out that the deployment in Iraq is not a reason for the lack of troops to restore order in new Orleans. He cites a NRO article that makes this point:
Take the Army for example. There are 1,012,000 soldiers on active duty, in the Reserves, or in the National Guard. Of them, 261,000 are deployed overseas in 120 countries. Iraq accounts for 103,000 soldiers, or 10.2 percent of the Army.

That’s all? Yes, 10.2 percent. That datum is significant in itself, a good one to keep handy the next time someone talks about how our forces are stretched too thin, our troops are at the breaking point, and so forth. If you add in Afghanistan (15,000) and the support troops in Kuwait (10,000) you still only have 12.6 percent.

So where are the rest?

George Fails again or still

(Editor's note: This article was original submitted as a post to

George Fails again or still
Submitted by Susan Carr (not verified) on Sat, 2005-09-03 15:33.

When I was growing up this was a term my dad used all the time when I could have prevented problems. Mr. Bush has never learned that lesson not only about Katrina and its aftermath, but about all the budget cuts of services for Americans that can come back and haunt us later. That money is being used to fight a losing war and or is put into a Homeland Security Department that still doesn’t offer the protections it should for our citizens. Whether in the Iraq War or in a home crisis Bush is graded

Air Force to Send 300 Airmen to Gulf Coast

Air Force to Send 300 Airmen to Gulf Coast
By JIM KRANE, Associated Press Writer
51 minutes ago

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates - The U.S. Air Force will send 300 airmen home from Iraq and Afghanistan to help their families cope with emergencies on an air base devastated by Hurricane Katrina in Biloxi, Miss., a spokesman said Saturday.

The airmen, all based at Keesler Air Force Base, will begin flying home over the next two weeks, said Air Force Capt. David Small, spokesman for U.S. Central Command Air Forces in Qatar.

The group includes airmen who were scheduled to rotate home in September and others whose deployments will be cut short.

Halliburton-- the company who lost taxpayers money in Iraq while making a huge personal profit-- gets contract in New Orleans

Sept. 1, 2005, 8:30PM

Halliburton hired for storm cleanup
The Navy has hired Houston-based Halliburton Co. to restore electric power, repair roofs and remove debris at three naval facilities in Mississippi damaged by Hurricane Katrina.

Halliburton subsidiary KBR will also perform damage assessments at other naval installations in New Orleans as soon as it is safe to do so.

KBR was assigned the work under a "construction capabilities" contract awarded in 2004 after a competitive bidding process. The company is not involved in the Army Corps of Engineers' effort to repair New Orleans' levees.

World stunned as US struggles with Katrina


World stunned as US struggles with Katrina
By Andrew Gray
2 hours, 1 minute ago

LONDON (Reuters) - The world has watched amazed as the planet's only superpower struggles with the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, with some saying the chaos has exposed flaws and deep divisions in American society.

World leaders and ordinary citizens have expressed sympathy with the people of the southern United States whose lives were devastated by the hurricane and the flooding that followed.

But many have also been shocked by the images of disorder beamed around the world -- looters roaming the debris-strewn streets and thousands of people gathered in New Orleans waiting for the authorities to provide food, water and other aid.

A Can't-Do Government

A Can't-Do Government
Published: September 2, 2005

Before 9/11 the Federal Emergency Management Agency listed the three most likely catastrophic disasters facing America: a terrorist attack on New York, a major earthquake in San Francisco and a hurricane strike on New Orleans. "The New Orleans hurricane scenario," The Houston Chronicle wrote in December 2001, "may be the deadliest of all." It described a potential catastrophe very much like the one now happening.
So why were New Orleans and the nation so unprepared? After 9/11, hard questions were deferred in the name of national unity, then buried under a thick coat of whitewash. This time, we need accountability.

Appalling Language Can Be Subtle

I was horrified to come across two photos on yahoo's site--one of a black man described as a "looter" and another of two white people described as having "found" bread and soda.

Go here to see the photos:


It is such language that reveals why we are still, 140 years after the Civil War, such a racist and divided country.

How can we possibly heal the rifts after such unconscious and appalling attitudes are revealed?

Planning, Response Are Faulted


Planning, Response Are Faulted

By Josh White and Peter Whoriskey
Washington Post Staff Writers
Friday, September 2, 2005; Page A01

Tens of thousands of people remain stranded on the streets of New Orleans in desperate conditions because officials failed to plan for a serious levee breach and the federal response to Hurricane Katrina was slow, according to disaster experts and Louisiana government officials.

Though experts had long predicted that the city -- which sits below sea level and is surrounded by water -- would face unprecedented devastation after an immense hurricane, they said problems were worsened by a late evacuation order and insufficient emergency shelter for as many as 100,000 people.


2 September 2005

From Ryan Parry, Us Correspondent, Inside The New Orleans Superdome
BRITISH students told yesterday how they stepped out of the horror of Hurricane Katrina into the hell of their Superdome "shelter".

A place of refuge became a terrifying trap, where knives and guns, crack cocaine use, threats of violence and racial abuse were rife.

Jamie Trout, 22, who kept a record of his four days there, said: "It was like something out of Lord of the Flies - one minute everything is calm and civil, the next it descends into chaos."

'Casual to the point of careless' - Bush under fire for slow reaction

By Andrew Gumbel
Published: 02 September 2005

President Bush faced not only the fallout of Hurricane Katrina but also an intense political storm yesterday as relief experts, government officials and newspaper editorials criticised everything from his administration's disaster preparedness policies to the manner in which he made his public entry into the growing crisis on the Gulf coast.

The New York Times said of a speech he made on Tuesday: "Nothing about the President's demeanour yesterday - which seemed casual to the point of carelessness - suggested that he understood the depth of the current crisis."

FEMA Directing Donations To Rev. Pat Robertson


FEMA Directing Donations To Rev.
Pat Robertson
09/01/05 02:45 PM Eastern

FEMA was called today and the Robertson listing is old. According to the person, it will be gone by tomorrow. FEMA is, no doubt, underfunded, like every other service agency in this government.

FEMA Urges Americans to Donate to Pat Robertson Organization

Incredibly enough, the Federal Emergency Management Agency is listing Pat Robertson's organization Operation Blessing as one of its top three groups to which Americans should send cash to assist the victims of Hurricane Katrina.

Robertson has previously used Operation Blessings plane's and resources to ferry equipment to his diamond mining corporation in Africa.

FEMA's actions were first pointed out by the website Sploid.

Police: Miss. Man Kills Sister Over Bag Of Ice

Police: Miss. Man Kills Sister Over Bag Of Ice

POSTED: 12:14 am EDT September 1, 2005
UPDATED: 5:53 am EDT September 1, 2005

HATTIESBURG, Miss. -- Police in Hattiesburg, Miss., said a man fatally shot his sister in the head over a bag of ice.

Authorities say 35-year-old Antonio Page shot his sister with a handgun on a street corner Tuesday night.

Police Chief David Wynn said the woman's name was not available.

Wynn said tempers are short, but he can't understand why a member of someone's family could take that step.

The shooting is being treated like a homicide, Wynn said.

New Orleans in Anarchy With Fights, Rapes

New Orleans in Anarchy With Fights, Rapes

By ALLEN G. BREED, Associated Press Writer
18 minutes ago

NEW ORLEANS - New Orleans descended into anarchy Thursday, as corpses lay abandoned in street medians, fights and fires broke out and storm survivors battled for seats on the buses that would carry them away from the chaos. The tired and hungry seethed, saying they had been forsaken.

"I'm not sure I'm going to get out of here alive," said Canadian tourist Larry Mitzel, who handed a reporter his business card in case he goes missing. "I'm scared of riots. I'm scared of the locals. We might get caught in the crossfire."

Congress Sending $10.5B in Relief Aid

Congress Sending $10.5B in Relief Aid


By DAVID ESPO, AP Special Correspondent
10 minutes ago

WASHINGTON - Congress rushed to provide a $10.5 billion down payment in relief aid for Gulf Coast victims of Hurricane Katrina on Thursday as President Bush ordered new action to minimize disruptions in the nation's energy supplies.

"Don't buy gas if you don't need it," he urged consumers already hit by sharply rising prices.

Amid lawlessness in flooded, chaotic New Orleans, Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff announced plans to deploy 1,400 additional National Guard personnel each day for the next several days.

New Orleans mayor issues 'desperate SOS'


New Orleans mayor issues 'desperate SOS'
Violence disrupts evacuation, rescue efforts

Thursday, September 1, 2005 Posted: 2223 GMT (0623 HKT)

Crowds of New Orleans residents try to get on buses at an evacuation staging area on Interstate 10.

The mayor of New Orleans issued a "desperate SOS" Thursday as violence disrupted efforts to rescue people still trapped in the flooded city and evacuate thousands of displaced residents living amid corpses and human waste.

Residents expressed growing frustration with the disorder evident on the streets, raising questions about the coordination and timeliness of relief efforts.

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