Left.ru __________________________________________________________________________


Dave Silver

November 2005

The war has come home to America. Blackwater USA , the principal mercenary force organized by the Pentagon to fight in Iraq, patrols the streets of New Orleans. (NO) As Marxist scholar James Petras aptly notes that victims are turned into vandals as the National Guard, police and mercenaries are ordered to shoot to kill looters. Blacks and immigrants “loot” food” while whites “find food.”

African –Americans, immigrants and poor whites become “the enemy” not desperate survivors.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) are the real looters, oppressors and exploiters. Those same Transnationals, Halliburton and Bechtel who were given massive construction contracts to rebuild Iraq are now offered millions to do the same in the devastated region of NO and Mississippi. The military are busy protecting property while Bush offers slave wages to those seeking jobs.

While the military patrols the streets (that are above water) protecting property, FEMA destroys communication lines, and refuses to allow food, water and medicines into the city. The embedded media, within one week transformed “the Bush team from incompetent and ignorant leaders to decisive and caring officials.”

As Carolyn Baker of Global Research asks who or what is FEMA? The origins of FEMA goes back to Reagan time of the 1980’s and orchestrated by Ollie North of Iran-Contra fame. It was called Rex 84 or Readiness Exercise 1984. It was a plan by the Feds to “accommodate” the detention of large numbers of American citizens during times of “emergency.” Rex 84 set in motion an undisclosed number of concentration camps throughout the country for internment of “dissidents” or others deemed potentially harmful to the state. Baker also notes the fact that especially since 9-11, FEMA has done very little about disaster relief and very much on “population management.”

Repression and militarization were the main conditions for survival and humanitarian aid. NO became Fallujah, as the victims viewed the military as occupiers not rescuers, who were preventing them from crossing a bridge to safer grounds and obtaining the necessities to survive.

Capitalist greed has increased global warming which affects the oceans and tidal waves. It is no exaggeration to say that capitalism will literally kill for profit in a variety of ways such as for oil or other valuable resources or the high cost of medications. The Army Corps of Engineers did not complete construction of the levees to withstand a level 4 hurricane or put in place state of the art structures and technology as they have for instance in the Netherlands after their coast was devastated a few decades ago. Nor did the federal, state or local governments take appropriate measures for minimizing loss of life and homes even though they knew within a few days when Katrina would arrive. On the other hand in September 2004, when Ivan, a level 4 hurricane struck Socialist Cuba, over one million people were successfully evacuated with no loss of life.

All the people who were forced from their cities and towns must be provided the means, including decent new housing to return if they wish to do so. Katrina should not become an excuse for permanent displacement and gentrification. We must demand the same Right of Return for over a million Palestinians driven from their land if they wish to do so. Just as in Fallujah, in Occupied Palestine and as we did in Vietnam, U.S. imperialism and its client state of Israel have to establish de facto martial law and destroy the land of the “enemy” in order to save it. This policy was confirmed by the London Guardian that published statements by a group of soldiers of the Israeli Defense Forces confirming a military policy of inflicting indiscriminate murder and reprisals on Palestinian people. This group which is called Shtika Shvorim or Breaking the Silence deserves our Solidarity.

Money for human needs, not war. Bring the troops home now!


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