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OP/ED: Lessons From Katrina

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posted on Sep, 4 2005 @ 09:44 PM
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What America is seeing today, in the wake of Katrina, is the kind of contempt for human life that the US Administration has shown to non-US civilians throughout the world.
 


It is important that several groups be addressed in this thread, as an opportunity has presented itself for us, as a global community, to potentially oust the men who would see us suffer for money in their pockets. These people know who they are, and chances are you do too. Whether you criticize them or not is up to you.

No-one will be safe in this thread. Things need to be said, and by saying them I hope to spread at least a little sense of understanding to the various Forgotten of the world.

My first address is aimed to the people of the Middle East

Long you have seen the West, and in particular the USA, as your sworn enemy, and perhaps more importantly, as an oppressor. It is entirely true that great injustices have been done, such as the Israeli situation, and the current war in Iraq. However, you must think carefully about what the events in New Orleans have shown you.

It was too easy, and indeed, unforgivable, for people in the Middle East to wildly celebrate the events of the 11th of September 2001. Many civilians died leaving devastated families behind. The base difference, I should remind you, between a guerrilla and a terrorist is the guerrilla's aim to fight an opposing army, not unarmed civilians. So now we have dealt with the celebrating of innocent death let us look at the view you have been treated to, courtesy of the Bush Administration.

The Neoconservatives have once again showed to us non-Americans their complete lack of caring as they stamp all over the poor and the marginalised. The difference is this time around is that the victims of their contempt are the very people who they depend on for their power; US civilians.

See their arrogance. See as they spit in the faces of their own people. If this has shown you anything it is that even the American people are not safe. The bottom line is that the victims are civilians. Just like in Iraq. Just like in Palestine. The fact that the damage was done by Mother Nature is irrelevant, as the opportunity to at least avoid some of the immense suffering now seen in New Orleans was allowed to pass.

With this in mind, I am asking you to take a step back, and rather than see the entire US as your enemy, to take the time and distinguish between the US people and the Bush Administration. It is critical that you do. Did the people of New Orleans harm the people of the Middle East directly? No, but the US Government has.

Refrain from celebrating the deaths of these people. They are civilians, just like you. They don't ask for the suffering, yet it has been loaded onto them.

The second part of this is for the European Union

The USA has begun the new millennium as a rival to the EU, rather than the traditional view of them being our greatest ally.

Trade wars, and a Franco-German alliance hell bent on building a European superstate, which, incidentally, many of us Europeans do not want, or at least not in your vision of Europe, have caused many on both sides to feel a rivalry that is altogether unnecessary, especially in the face of a growing economic challenge from Asia.

True, some states in the EU, the UK most noticeably, have a greater bond with the US, but at one time we were all allies. Yet now, it is actually quite conceivable to imagine that several members of the unelected EU hierarchy are watching the events in New Orleans with a smug, though obviously hidden, sense of satisfaction.

Now the US has asked us for help. We must help.

Why? Well, not because of debts owed from sixty years ago, and certainly not because some of our European leaders are at the beck and call of President Bush, but because we would be helping fellow humans. And despite the massive gulf in understanding created by Bush and his friends, we are still allies. Friends help friends.

While it is certain many European nations will be aiding the Americans through this disaster, we must ignore the voices that whisper in our midst that say they deserve it, and other such garbage. Yes the US has found it self on less than the moral high ground of late, with Iraq for example, but you must realise two things: one we are not talking about a retaliation from a military power here, but Mother Nature, and secondly, the people responsible for many of the points of malcontent throughout the post millennium world are not the civilians of the devastated regions, but rather the criminals in the White House who, it should be noted, have shown little regard for those suffering in their own country.

So, I must ask you to aid these people. They don't deserve this, and it would be a crime should our nations not send aid.

Thirdly, to the people of the United States of America

This is your wake up call. I have spoken to quite a few Americans who wonder at the animosity shown to them by people outside your borders. A lack of understanding on both sides of various arguments has led to apathy on a grandiose scale, allowing corruption to flourish.

The apparent lack of caring this apathy shows to the world has conveyed the image that you just don't care. And maybe some or even most of you don't. But now you are seeing your leader's true colours and many of you don't like it very much. You are now seeing the kind of things we outside of the US see on a regular basis from the Bush Administration. You now have an idea as to why people are furious with the gangsters that occupy the White House.

But the key question is: what will you do about this situation you find yourself in? You have seen the betrayal. You have seen how They have filled your Government with their people, some of whom are not even intelligent enough, or competent enough to hold office, least of all in a superpower.

And isn't it amazing how, in a superpower, it can take almost a week to begin rescue efforts? What if it had not been a natural disaster, but a bioweapon, or radiation bomb instead? The results would have been even worse than now.

The world is watching, America. We were stunned when you voted Bush in a second time, and though he is unable to go for that third term we are aware he is but one small piece in a larger puzzle. You have an opportunity to shun the uncaring, un-American, corporately corrupt Neoconservatives. I am not even going to say you owe it to us to get rid of them, but rather, you owe it to yourselves. A country once admired throughout the world is now the most hated, the most feared, or the most misunderstood, depending on the person asked.

Of course this is not a blanket statement, as indeed many of you know what you are dealing with. Many Americans are, in fact, fearful of what the Neoconservatives are doing, and rightly so. But it is almost certain that there are some people in the US that have been stunned by this shattering glimpse of the real US Administration.

Their only weapon is your apathy to their actions. If you feel injustice, speak out. You must stand up to them or they will carry on as before and more innocents will suffer, be it at the hands of their actions or their negligence.

As a footnote, an address must be made to the race orientated groups now attempting to capitalize on the situation in the US. This is not about black or white, this is about those at the top having little care for the fates of the poor. Do not use this as an opportunity to further your militant causes.




posted on Sep, 4 2005 @ 10:12 PM
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Daystar.....your POV is remarkable in its NON PARTISAN sweeping statements of TRUTH............
This is one of the most WORTHY threads I have seen in a while.
Good job Daystar! And this is coming from an American Woman who is backing you up and clapping and waving a white flag.



posted on Sep, 4 2005 @ 10:20 PM
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I find it rather sad that the poster says:


...As a footnote, an address must be made to the race orientated groups now attempting to capitalize on the situation in the US. This is not about black or white, this is about those at the top having little care for the fates of the poor. Do not use this as an opportunity to further your militant causes....


...While using the same cheap-shot technique to make his political comments about the United States on the back of the storm. Regardless of one's views of the way the powers-that-be have handled the flooding, to my mind, this is the height of hypocrisy.



posted on Sep, 4 2005 @ 10:29 PM
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Daystar,

My compliments to you my friend. You have put into words what I could not. For too long it's been too Easy for those internationally to blame americans as a group for the bad behavior of our administration. For those domestically, maybe our british friend daystar's comment should be a wake up call. The rest of the world is asking themselves why are the american people letting this happen?

Are we going to roll over and continue to let our reputation be sullied our poor and hurting be ignored and our tax dollars be wasted? Or are we going to show some of that spine america used to be faithful for and fight? This should be a galvanizing incident, put your voices and feet to work. Make calls write letters hell march into your congressmans office if you can. We need to let them know THIS IS NOT ACCEPTABLE and that we as a people will not tolerate this happening again. they need to remember they hold office at our sufferance not vice versa.

In no way am I encouraging any sort of violence, far from it. Any single person that takes an incident like this and uses it as an excuse for more bad behavior is worse than those who allowed it to get this bad. Remember every man hour you make them waste dealling with your behavior could divert the precious and finite resources needed to save lives.



posted on Sep, 5 2005 @ 02:15 AM
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As a civilian that grew up in the southeastern US I heard all my life about hurricanes and that we could be expected to be without food, water or the basic necessities of life unless we provided for our own after a major hurricane. I've also heard that all coastal areas subject to storm surge should be evacuated or the sudden storm surge or wall of water up to or even higher than 26 ft will kill you immediately. I suppose if you haven't grown up knowing this, you might be angry at your government for not providing immediate services to everyone after a big disaster. Therefore I am not surprised at the fact that everyone did not get food and water immediately after the storm was over.

I am reading curious reports of FEMA or possibly some groups blocking aid or assistance to those affected. That is something I am really wondering about now. As a civilian, I have already had the message drummed into me that we have to fend for ourselves after a major disaster. Maybe I don't know enough details of what is going on in Louisiana but I'm not blaming the president for what I believe is left to the states to operate (that is evacuation plans and assistance not counting FEMA). I was wondering for instance when the hurricane approached why Louisiana only had two lanes to evacuate people when the other two were deserted for the most part. This made me think Louisiana evacuation plans were not up to par with other states here in the southeastern US. I am also confused about who is ultimately in charge after a disaster whether it is the local mayor, the state governor, or the director of FEMA. I don't know and if we are having turf wars that may be part of the problem along with an apparent lack of massive and quick mobilization. my two cents



posted on Sep, 5 2005 @ 02:52 AM
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I always appreciate a slap in the face when I am down..
So does the US..
thank you very much..



posted on Sep, 5 2005 @ 03:20 AM
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What we are actually seeing is another thread from another member trying to further his/her own political agenda while disregarding what has been happening in NO.

The government did send help as fast as possible I believe, but that help was being recieved with bullets by the criminals in NO.

30,000 troops have been mobilized from 40 states, that's no small task and one that takes time, not like some people claim that mobilizing all these resources only takes 24 hours to do....


I already presented evidence in another post that people in other parts of the affected areas have not recieved any kind of help at all, but they are not killing each other, they are not raping young girls or threatening to rape other women, and they are not looting each other.

All the bad news, of the worse that humans can do to each other, are coming from New Orleans alone. I am not racist at all, I don't care if a criminal is white, black, hispanic, or whatever race or culture he/she comes from.

If anyone has shown any disregards towards human life are those criminals that are right now still running rampant in the streets of New Orleans, shooting at police officers, shooting at first aid responders and civilians alike, looting, raping and killing at will.

This is an op/ed, but it's bias it's obviously reaking all over.


[edit on 5-9-2005 by Muaddib]



posted on Sep, 5 2005 @ 05:54 AM
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In response to the last few posts,

Bias is not something that doesn't fit your world view.

within 48 hours of the tsunami there were planes dropping MRE's bottled water etc to the victims of that terrible tragedy. Plainly in comparison there was a SERIOUS breakdown in whatever coordination we normally have comparativelly when it comes to hurricane katrina. And yes I acknowledge there were failings on EVERY LEVEL from civvie to mayor to our ever incompetent director of FEMA. However to slap an international hand reaching out to bridge the gap of understanding is the height of arrogance and rationalization on the part of your own government. It is never fun to acknowledge we have failed as a nation, and granted the citizens of NO haven't made it easy to help them at times, but the fact remains that this NEVER SHOULD HAVE HAPPENED. Please don't turn down a gesture of understanding out of misplaced nationalism or pride.



posted on Sep, 5 2005 @ 06:09 AM
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I appreciate assistance.
I do not however, appreciate a biased lesson in world opinion or politics..
It just never ends..WE have people 1000's of miles away telling us how we should have reacted..Long distance Moday morning quarterbacking, is not appreciated..

I'll take a bottle of water, without the strings of "I told you so" attached.

I liken it to those Thanksgiving dinners sponsored by churches, given to the needy, after, and ONLY after, they sit and listen to 2 hours of "Jesus will save your soul". ( I was part of one of these once)

Right now Mashed potatoes and gravy will save american souls..
We'll chat later..about our mistakes..



posted on Sep, 5 2005 @ 06:24 AM
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my plea was personal my friend, not only am I an american myself, but I have given blood and every spare dollar I can beg steal or borrow to the red cross, and have two friends still unaccounted for. Rest assured it is very personal and hits very close to home for me. I ferverently wish that I could in my heart say that noone is to blame for this heart rending tragedy. But from the mayor to FEMA to Bush to those shooting at rescue helos it seems those willing to contribute to tragedy are a mass compared to those wanting nothing more than to see another drop of blood shed.
I bear noone ill will, far from it in fact. Did you see me calling for blood of those who made it worse? No you saw me calling for accountabillity and basic human decency, and the assurance of no repeats of this MASSIVE tragedy again. As a citizen of the richest nation on earth is that so much to ask?



posted on Sep, 5 2005 @ 06:54 AM
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Originally posted by Muaddib
What we are actually seeing is another thread from another member trying to further his/her own political agenda while disregarding what has been happening in NO.


Thats just outrageous. If it wasn't so sad I would actually laugh at that comment. What agenda do you feel I have? Do you feel I am anti American?

What we have here is an example of what I mentioned: the lack of understanding. You chose not to read what I actually said and instead try to make me out as an anti American European who is interested only in gloating, though in my post I urge people not to gloat, and instead to have sympathy, and to give aid if they can.

Would you rather we didnt? Would you rather we took the view of "Oh well, they are the richest nation etc... Let them sort their troubles out with no help"? If your answer is yes, then you live in a very, very small world.

Yes, I came down hard on the US Administration. And deservedly so, and not just in my view, but in many of your American brothers' views.



This is an op/ed, but it's bias it's obviously reaking all over.


Well Muaddib, I have to ask you as to in what way you feel I am biased? I think, as TRG pointed out, that I went to great lengths not to be in any way.

Things needed to be said. and while I have recieved much support from some ATS members of from the US, the inability of a few who have posted here to actually read and understand what I am saying is, quite frankly, staggering.

While this kind of lashing out was not unexpected, it is still saddening to see. As Sugarlump pointed out, this is a hand of friendship, yet you decide to shun it? What does that mean?

As for your ridiculous comments, spacedoubt, I am lost for words on them. Implying that I said "I told you so" is just proof that you didn't read or perhaps didn't understand my post. Either way, a response like yours was always expected; hasty, stubborn, and almost childish.



posted on Sep, 5 2005 @ 07:08 AM
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Count this American with the ones applauding this post. I keep re-reading it to see how some of you are taking such offense to it. I just don't see it.


I also don't see how anyone at this point can even think help got there as soon as possible, or say that the lawlessness is what stalled them. The situation escalated due to help taking too long.

I can't buy either, that we are meant to fend for ourselves in a disastor of this proportion. To an extent yes. Five days? Absolutely NOT! If this be the case, then I want my money back on FEMA funding at the very least. The only real point of a government is to provide when it is beyond the capability of the individual. How can you justify people in remote areas of a tsunami with no warning whatsoever having food and water dropped faster than what happened here with a lot more lead time? How?

Bias in this OP/ED? It's not even directed at any one country. It's an open letter to the entire world, yet so far the only people I see reacting to it defensively is some of my fellow Americans. I have to wonder about that too.



posted on Sep, 5 2005 @ 07:29 AM
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Originally posted by Muaddib
What we are actually seeing is another thread from another member trying to further his/her own political agenda while disregarding what has been happening in NO.

Muaddib has the faith (and blindness) of a true believer. You could present him with proof positive that Bush has been sodomizing alter boys and he would still come to the man's defense. There was no attack on America in this posting, just a simple staement of truths that alot on this site just hate to face...that we are not as invincible as we like to think and nor are we as good and decent either...no human creation is. If you really want to check out what the rest of the world thinks of us and more importantly why, check out the news service watching america and open you minds to the reality that government policy actually does affect peoples lives, ranging from cutting funds to fix levees to backing dictators or invading countries on false premises or allowing oil companies to run rough shod over native populations without recrimination...it all affects us all. my compliments on this posting it is very well written and done.



posted on Sep, 5 2005 @ 07:39 AM
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How the frig can you write an Opinion/Editorial and it NOT be biased, Muaddib? The whole concept of an Op/Ed is to present your take (bias) on a given topic. If that topic clashes with your OWN bias you vote it down, as always.



posted on Sep, 5 2005 @ 07:52 AM
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Originally posted by subz
How the frig can you write an Opinion/Editorial and it NOT be biased, Muaddib? The whole concept of an Op/Ed is to present your take (bias) on a given topic. If that topic clashes with your OWN bias you vote it down, as always.


I would like to know that as well.

In addition, I would like to point out that NO is NOT the only place FEMA has turned back supplies and acted with wreckless disregard for human life when regard for human life is, in fact, their reason for existing. There's some bad boys in NO who caused some problems - not for FEMA by the way, but for the rescuers. Those bad boys are being dealt with right now. FEMA doesn't have this excuse in Jefferson Parrish where they turned away water supplies and diesel fuel and left old people to die over a week's span.

They don't have this excuse in Gulfport (believe I'm getting the right town here), Mississippi where they didn't show up for three days and when they did it was to give a 15 minute speech on the fact they wouldn't be providing services there and everybody needed to get online or on the phone and call for help. By the way, I haven't heard yet if God performed some miracle in Gulfport where all the citizens who didn't even have a change of underwear were able to sprout computers or cell phones with fully charged batteries out their butts. Probably not, because I suspect that would have made national news.

For the life of me I don't understand why people don't "get" what an OP/ED is. You don't have to agree with the opinion given, and you can voice your disagreement, but it looks real stupid to say something shouldn't be an op/ed because it's biased. *
*



posted on Sep, 5 2005 @ 07:58 AM
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this post is right on the money, this disaster has shown that the system here in the US is broken from the top to the bottom, the politicians will hold hearings, cluck their tounges, pat each other on the back, and in the end nothing will be done, again it will be the most vulnerable in our society that have suffered the most.



posted on Sep, 5 2005 @ 08:02 AM
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I for one think this is a good article, nice job day.
This isnt a "slap to the face" while america is down, if anything its part of the "whole reason we fall down".



posted on Sep, 5 2005 @ 08:49 AM
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As an American I don't like the way this whole catastrophe has made me feel about this country. It has confirmed my worst fears and suspicions. No matter what your POV, we have the resources, skills and manpower to airlift supplies and personnel into just about any situation anywhere in the world 24/7/365. It simply wasn't done. No information was provided to the survivors or the rescuers --- helicopters with public address systems letting them know what to do and that help was coming --- and they were left there in the dark with no hope. Hospitals and staff left to fend for themselves for days. How can this possibly be justified? Yes there were gunmen. We have professionally trained military that could have been airlifted into the area within hours and put an end to that rather quickly. The government, it would appear, has other priorities and they don't include the people of this country.



posted on Sep, 5 2005 @ 10:01 AM
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learn from your mistakes make better choices in leaders and people who hold your safety in your best interests.i feel someone else would of done a quicker response.people who work for the people should be tested for safe and human caring ablities.maybe this is what governmets need is an oath of caring.to care and to help.to save and to not harm the very people who paid there wage.there is an upper level need in federal govs to be more matched to there peoples needs.there is a gap and needs more attention and action taken.stop the hiring of lifeless and non caring and maybe then the lesson will be learned.......

[edit on 5-9-2005 by flukemol]

[edit on 5-9-2005 by flukemol]



posted on Dec, 28 2007 @ 07:23 PM
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reply to post by Daystar
 


Muaddib there will always be someone that shouts their mouth of if they dont like what they hear
on topic, maybe very late reply but i guess the US goverment still hasnt learnt from its mistakes and never will



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