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Remembering: Katrina at Four

Remembering: Katrina at Four
by C. L. Cook
Last year, I published accounts of the dread storm I published while it occurred over those two terrible weeks in 2005. Doubtless there will be thousands of articles posted today on Hurricane Katrina's fourth anniversary.
I haven't added new insight here, (though Jeremy Scahill and others have uncovered remarkably negligent State criminality and abuse of powers) but James Ridgeway's piece at Mother Jones is particularly cogent.
Consider this a capsule of a sort, marking a moment in history as emblematic of our times as the 9/11 attacks, and meant as a cautionary to those in the future that would use disaster to forward fascist ambitions.
I dedicate it to the dead black "looters," shot down by drunken crackers, left to die on bridges, dumped dead into ditches, and chucked into the rising sea. And, to the survivors cast to the winds by the fervent desire for racial purity in Louisiana. 
Katrina at Three
by C. L. Cook
August 29, 2008
Hard to believe three years are passed since the biggest natural disaster in living memory struck Louisiana and the Gulf Coast. Harder yet to believe is the Bush administration's complete evasion of responsibility for the criminal abrogation of its sworn duty to protect the citizenry both before and after Hurricane Katrina made landfall August 29th, 2005.
I recall spending a week's vacation time watching slack-jawed the calamity that was allowed to happen. I wrote feverishly, in real-time, as one incredible "failure" followed another, and the people, primarily poor and black, were abandoned to the rising waters. That is, when they were not being hunted and shot down like dangerous zoo escapees.

    Below is the collection of articles I wrote, and others I collected and published in that fateful week.
Katrina: A Two-Week Timeline

PEJ News
- C. L. Cook - Today, ominous developments in the aftermath of the disaster wreaked on the Mississipi delta region continue. Press lockdowns, military occupation, and disturbing stories about the fate of those evacuated the city are being widely reported, on the net. Below, a timeline of Katrina from first landfall in Florida to the present produced by PEJ News.

Florida Smote by 'Stealth' Storm
August 26, 2005

PEJ News - C. L. Cook - In a record year of tropical storm warnings, many in southern Florida took the approaching tropical storm Katrina casually. But, what came ashore, killing several people and wreaking havoc with the state's power grid, was no mild blow.

New Orleans Sinking? Mammoth Katrina Spurs Evacuations
August 28, 2005

PEJ News - C. L. Cook - The storm Floridians discounted as minor last week has spent the weekend gathering strength over the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico. Hurricane Katrina has now ballooned to an unprecedentedly large and powerful Catagory 5, with sustained wind speeds nearing 280 kph, and gusts topping 300kph.

SuperDome Lockdown: Katrina's Prisoners
August 30, 2005

PEJ News - C. L. Cook - New Orleans' least fortunate, those too poor or infirm to flee Monday's killer hurricane, taking refuge in the city's Superdome football stadium today find themselves prisoners in a fast deteriorating situation.

[breaking 2:06pm pdt- Louisiana Governor announces an evacuation of one of New Orleans' emergency shelters due to rising water caused by the failure of a second levee protecting the city. Water too is accumulating in the biggest area of refuge, the SuperDome: Says situation "untenable" and the entire city must be evacuated as levee waters rise. And the rains have begun again.]

New Orleans Funeral March a Funeral for America?
August 30, 2005

PEJ News - C. L. Cook - It is a total disaster. The slow death of New Orleans, though defying worst case scenarios that have furrowed the brows of experts for years, is nevertheless a fait accompli. The failure of two vital levee guardians of the sub-sea level city means one of America's cultural icons, and arguably most important commerce ports is, as Louisiana Governor, Kathleen Babineaux Blanco says, "untenable." As analogue, the demise of the Big Easy mirrors the disaster that is George W. Bush's America.

Orleans Down the Drain, But Who's to Blame?
August 31, 2005
Media Channel - Danny Schechter - "You didn't hafta have been there in the past two days to be stung by what happened. Anyone who walked the streets or partied in NO, or watched Angel Heart (the movie), or walked the dusty roads along the Gulf saw an America that won't ever be again..." - Da'ud X Mohammad, New Orleans refugee

From Baghdad to Biloxi: Bringing Home the Guard
August 31, 2005

WarMadeEasy - Norman Solomon - The catastrophic hurricane was an act of God. But the U.S. war effort in Iraq is a continuing act of the president. And now, that effort is hampering the capacity of the National Guard to save lives at home.

Pointing Fingers in the Wake of the Flood
August 31, 2005

PEJ News - C. L. Cook - While the waters still rise in New Orleans and the monumental task of evacuating the entire city and environs begins, already accusing fingers are pointing directly to the White House and George W. Bush.

The "Disaster" President
August 31, 2005

thiscantbehappening - Dave Lindorff - The destruction of New Orleans--a catastrophe far worse than anything Osama Bin Laden could hope to wreak, considering the number of deaths, the closing down of a major U.S. port city for months, the destruction of an urban environment that will take years to repair, and the devastating disruption of one-fourth of the nation's oil production, which is likely to initiate a national recession--gives final proof of the stupidity and criminality of the Bush Administration's invasion of Iraq and of the bankruptcy of the Democratic so-called oppositon.

Fallujah, Louisiana
September 1, 2005

PEJ News - C. L. Cook - Night is falling again in New Orleans, and reports aired by CNN paint a desperate picture. Without water, power, and hope for immediate rescue, the people stranded in the city face another night of thirst, hunger, deprivation, and now, reportedly, marauding armed gangs, and at least one insane sniper.

The Battle of New Orleans

September 1, 2005

Media Channel - Danny Schechter - Goaded perhaps by looped television footage of "looting" amongst the ruins of New Orleans, overwhelmingly displaying non-white participation, police and military spokespersons say "law and order" will take precedence to rescue missions as evacuation efforts continue in the stricken city. {lex} 

"The Name of This Hurricane is Global Warming"
September 1, 2005

Democracy Now! - Shortly after he took office, the President reneged on his campaign promise to cut emissions from power plants. He then ordered the EPA to remove all references to the damages of global warming from its website. Vice President Cheney came out with his energy plan calling for 1,900 new power plants, most of them coal. This is the fast track to climate hell. And, of course, the President withdrew us from the Kyoto Protocol, so he is really going in the opposite direction from the rest of the world, and he really is following the dictates of the fossil fuel lobby. There's no question about it.

The Big "O": Abandoning New Orleans
September 2, 2005

Media Channel - Danny Schechter - DAY 5: No more water; the fire this time. Explosions rock and illuminate the darkness of New Orleans -- some from exploding gas lines and some from gunfire. Another night in a wet and dangerous town that is quickly coming to resemble a war zone in the Third World. It is a place filled with angry and hungry people, people who have felt abandoned and been abandoned for a long time-- even as help is said to be finally on the way.

The Hurricane and Bush?s Criminal Negligence
Sepetember 2, 2005

IAC - September 1, 2005--With every hour that passes, we see and hear new stories of the horror and devastation in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. What makes these images more shocking is the realization that much of the death and destruction could have been prevented. Almost all of the death and destruction arising from the hurricane is the direct result of criminal neglect by the Bush Administration. This crisis was predicted in numerous reports and news articles and little, if anything, was done.

International Action Center

September 2, 2005

PEJ News - C. L. Cook - It seems now to many, the "Plan" worked out by the myriad minions working at the Department of Homeland Security for disaster relief in America can most charitably be described as benign neglect. Much as the Bush administration has starved the very agencies that could and would have averted the current disaster in New Orleans, the reaction of the multi-billion dollar entities created in the wake of 9/11 instructs all citizens: "In case of disaster: You are on your own!"

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