For ten days the TV stations all over the world shown us the »African America«, scenes from the mots powerful nation in the world. Apocalyptic
movies of Hollywood have been playing here in real life. President Bush has taken four days to realize the real magnitude of the disaster and start
the enormous aparatus of national defence, created for fighting terrorism and natural disasters – but it failed miserably. Americans now have this
nighmare feeling that their own goverment does not care about them and does not protect them as it should. Press was speaking about the "humiliated
nation". New Orleans is actually destroyed, that it is not known yet if this heaven of easy southern lifestyle and almost unreal coexistence of
white, black and latin folks.
Nature Strikes – Man Helps
In crisis situations like this one, it is always revealed how a society works and functions within. Often reasons for such crisis situation are:
disasters. Most of the disaster are made of the natural factor and the human factor. In this case of hurricane Katrina the natural factor was the
severe cat 4 storm that blasted its way through the coastal cities. New Orleans is built in an area where such hurricanes are not very often in a
basin between the still water lakes and the ocean in a lot of places the city is under the sea level. That is a very risky place to live in, typical
for all the people of this world and not just the American south. The embankments that defended the city were really too weak for severe hurricanes.
Experts have been warning about a possible disaster in this area, but the US government always silenced them. And the hurricane was predicted and the
mandatory evacuation was ordered, but which in America means: “Save Yourself!”. The rich minority has fled the city and left the poor majority of
the city: people without cars, sick people, old – but mostly Black people. There was not help dedicated for them. For America the New Orleans
disaster is the second biggest shock since 9-11, when Bush was already a president. But in the terror attack on the WTC, Bush with the help of major
Giuliani acted very quickly and swiftly, so that the entire country praised the president and extremely increased his popularity; we could say that
the attack has really made Bush a president. But in a long term the reaction after the 9-11 and the entire War on Terrorism is a failure: Bush used
fear and blind patriotism and has jumped in the Iraqi Adventure, with no end in sight. Terrorism, the so-called reason for the invasion of Iraq, has
actually increased since 9-11 and America has lost a great deal of international prestige.
Poor are not Included
This "Selective Rescue” has been programmed and predicted, says American historian and urbanist Mike
. New Orleans was evacuated a year ago when Hurricane Ivan was attacking the American coast. And at that time the poor, sick and the black
people have stayed in the city. Which shows this kind of reaction is typical for the US authorities. Federal and local authorities are not paying
enough attention to the Big cities and are systematicly ignoring them and are not investing in the for generations and not modernizing the social and
other infrastructure. That’s because the powerful and the rich have moved away from the big cities to the suburbs and smaller towns and villages, in
the cities the poor and the weak remained. The process of migration has started under Nixon, who has decreased funds for big cities. In Davis’s
opinion American politics works like this: they don’t solve problems, but put police between them and the social problematics. It’s a moral
dilemma. The poor people will be on their own when it comes to natural disasters and climate changes. The decision, that these people are not worth
saving, was made a long time ago. If this can happen in USA can happen anywhere in the world in the same apocalyptical manner. Our existence depends
on the monolith infrastructure. The social network can simply collapse in a few days of complete confusion. Katrina is in its magnitude a unique
example of the American social darwinistic system. The real question now is what consequences the Katrina aftermath brings. The after shock of these
worse American natural disaster yet, has very distinct social effects and can in the near future happen again. These effects could easily spread to
politics, economy, foreign affairs, energy, environment issues etc.
Waiting for Roosevelt
No matter what Bush does to correct the errors of his administration now, he will still take care of the interests of the small but powerful
capitalistic group, and will continue to enforce the system which only increases the social differences and puts the rich on first and untouchable
place. But Katrina could be a sign for a new, democratic president with a social feeling. The disintegration of the Roosevelt social state is going on
for several decades and has under the Bush administration increased a lot. But sooner or later the reverse process will start, but for that U-turn
sometimes a push is needed. New York Times has commented the disaster in New Orleans as a "disintegration of a civilized society”. Maybe Katrina
will work as the catalizer for the US foreign policy regarding Iraq. The influence of the hardcore neo-conservatives, which have added the most to the
American intervention, has decreased. And Iraq is still a heavy violent state, without any real control or security, with a possible civil war in the
near future – despite the presence of US military forces.
It is widely discussed that the global warming effect is one of the factors for such fierce and heavy hurricanes and tropical storms lately. But
Bush’s America does not want to sign the Kyoto agreement against the global warming. International and external pressures keep mounting on president
Bush, to change his policy for the environment and with events such as Katrina he will have to become more sensitive to this kind of topics, after all
we are all in the same boat! But things get complicated here. American environmental policy is strongly connected to the energy crisis and the events
happening on the oil market – both in tight relation with US foreign politics. America today is very sensitive to the oil price booms then before.
Katrina has shown that the US are completely dependants on foreign oil sources, but which are located in the highly unstable Middle East. The era of
cheap oil is over and with every disruption in the oil supply (Katrina has reduced American oil production by 25%) the World gets pretty nervous. But
against all odds, America is still the number one oil consumer in the entire World. Cheap gasoline is basicly a god given right in USA and every
president of the United States must take care of that right! To protect and liberate other foreign oil sources is one of the most important reasons
for American interventionalism and for Pax Americana – Imperial foreign politics. A president that would want to break up this tight net of energy,
ecology, inner and foreign politics would have to a totally different from the current US president Bush.
It's Smart to Help
Katrina is a Warning for the USA. America is under attack – this time from mother nature and the selfish government. Not only the fragile South is
in danger, but also all the other main cities, especially the earthquake sensitive area of California. Here another deadly combination of natural and
human disaster can occur in near future. Davis thinks that what happened in New Orleans is just a bitter sign for what is about to happen in all other
major cities across America in crisis situations, like the Avian Flu for example.
Adopted and Translated from an Article in Newspaper Delo by Janko Lorenci