02 September 2005

Disaster Quiz

A city laid waste by an attack of unprecedented scale. Infrastructure completely destroyed. Armed looters, murderers, rapists taking what they want, with little, if any consequences. Snipers, that one might call "extremists," are taking pot-shots at civilians, rescuers, and the military presence that has moved into the city. People are desperately short of water, food, medicine, safe shelter. A state of lawlessness has replaced productive enterprise as the manifestation of personal initiative, and authorities are effectively helpless to stop it, save a "shoot-to-kill" order having gone out to the ground troops. Prior warnings of the consequences of the initial attack went unheeded by an adminstration bent on its right-wing, neo-liberal agenda, its putative leader now left to mouthing platitudes, and espousing an optimism for the future that is as much steeped in hubris as it is in naivety, ignorance and a blind patriotism for a now long lost ideal.

Here's the quiz: Am I referring to Bagdhad or New Orleans?

If you can't tell, consider what has happened throughout Iraq, and imagine the nightmare possibilities for the United States under the current "leadership," such as it is.
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Update: This post at boingboing contrasts civil defense in Cuba with civil reaction in the U.S. with regard to hurricanes: "It's not throwing money at the problem. It's not financial capital, it's social capital. The U.S. in this sense has zero social capital. Dealing with hurricanes in cuba, as compared with how it's done in the U.S., is similar to the differences in how they deal with medicine. It's not reactive; it's proactive. They act as early as possible."

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