New Orleans, another facet of American civilization

The People’s Daily Online

The disaster brought by Hurricane Katrina is perhaps unprecedented in the American history. Some people associated it with the tsunami happened last yearend in the Indian Ocean and called it “a tsunami of America”; others were reminded of the terror attacks New York suffered four years ago, and called it a “natural disaster version of 9/11”.
Doubtlessly, the losses caused by Katrina are huge. But many experts asked whether the tragedy is a pure “natural disaster”, since in some places of southern America, especially in New Orleans city, many people took the opportunity to loot.
On the fourth day after the hurricane, reports came out about looting, gunfire, rape and baby stealing. The whole city was plunged into archery (sic), without electricity, drinking water or food, and some places even saw expositions. Rescuers were attacked by a sniper when pulling out patients from a hospital; bodies lay about on the street and gangsters, axe and steel tube in hand, took away all medicines of a hospital
Facing such a severe situation, President Bush announced in a broadcast speech on September 2 that 7,000 active-duty army men will be sent to affected areas to keep order on top of the 4,000 troops already arrived. America seems fighting a city war at home. New Orleans has become Baghdad.
On the afternoon of September 2, 300 National Guards members from Arkansas arrived at the city, with shoot-to-kill orders.
People have reason to feel disgusting: when Indonesia was hit by tsunami last year, everybody lent a helping hand and nobody looted. But now this happened in the United States, showing people another side of this “civilized country”.
In fact, it revealed fragility of the American society, as well as despair and disorder in a state of anarchy. Katrina swept away not only people’s homes, but their dignity. Just as German weekly Der Spiegel pointed out, the scene of carnage in hurricane-affected areas, which can only been seen in some backward African countries in the past, disgraced the United States before the entire world.
People also remembered the classical work, “Gone with the Wind”, for the hurricane only added to the ugliness instead of sweeping it away.
For the Bush administration, “unexpected” perhaps can be a lame excuse, but it can never explain away the government negligence of duty. As a matter of fact, ever since the “September 11”, the Congress had cut anti-flood allocation to Louisiana, which later became a main reason for slow rescue work this time. Some congressmen reveled on September 3 that since taking office in 2001, Bush has been axing funds against natural disasters year after year.
In the face of the hurricane, Americans accepted the challenge but failed to beat it off. This is really a shame on the United States.
Copyright The People’s Daily Online

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *