The Looting of America – A National Tragedy
by Randall Rolph, Nashua, Iowa
aftermath of the catastrophic hurricane that has inflicted great harm
on the people of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama, the nation is
seeing and realizing the reality of what has happened to our country.
As we witness the looting of stores in New Orleans, mostly for food,
medicine, water, and clothing, the looting not
being discussed is the looting that occurred years ago – the looting of
the treasury by the Bush administration and the Republican-controlled
and the Republicans depleted the surplus left by President Clinton, as
well as cut funding to essential services while providing billions of
dollars in tax relief to the wealthy, the reality of their policies are
being played out before our eyes.
American taxpayers spend billions of dollars to rebuild Iraq, Bush
can't find the time or the means to provide water to those suffering in
New Orleans. While Republicans like Congressman Tom Latham of Iowa
regurgitate, “Stay the course in Iraq for as long as it takes,”
Republican House Leader Dennis Hastert of Illinois expresses doubt on
spending money to rebuild New Orleans.
to some Republican talking points, one is left with the impression it's
the fault of those suffering for not leaving. Their fault because they
have no car or transportation? Money for a bus ride; money for a hotel
out of the danger zone? Family to take them in?
truth is, their fault was believing that our government was going to
respond to the impending threat by sending the National Guard and
transportation to get them out. Oh, that's right. There is no Guard…
It's in Iraq!
Further, much in the manner of 9/11, Bush responds to the facts of his failures with lies.
During his interview with Diane Sawyer on Good Morning America on
Thursday, September 1st, George Bush stated, “I don't think anybody
anticipated the breach of the levees.”
2001, the Army Corps of Engineers has requested $496 million dollars to
upgrade and fortify the levees, floodgates, and pumps that hold back
the waters around New Orleans. Bush budgeted only $166 million.
on the aftermath of a hurricane hitting New Orleans and the impact of
levees in current conditions breaching have been circulating for years.
Bush ignored these reports just as he had done with the PDB
(pResidential Daily Briefing) in August, 2001. [The PDB suggested planes
might be flown into buildings and Bush dismissed such a possibility
until 9/11.] Adding insult to our collective injury in the current
situation is Bush's further failure by allowing days to pass before
happening to our country, what has happened to our nation is shameful.
It's a national tragedy that goes beyond Hurricane Katrina. And to
paraphrase Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfield, “Our national crisis is
managed by the 'president' we got, not the 'president' we want.”
This essay was written for Blog for Iowa by Randall Rolph of Nashua, Iowa.