There are catch phrases used by the right when they want to avoid being called on something they deserve to be called on. The most transparent, is "playing politics. " We heard this before of course. When people rightly questioned the massive miscalculations associated with the prosecution of the Iraq War, Bush and his apologists screamed, stop playing politics! For a nation so bitterly divided for so long, it is a shame that it finally took a national catastrophe to unite us. Hurricane Katrina has become the lighting rod for a nation that is collectively saying, no more.
No more lies. No more photo ops. No more backslapping. In the wake of the worst natural disaster in our history, we see the fruits of the failed Iraq War and the casualness and apathy this administration has had for five years now. The priorities of this administration have never been the American people, never. You can make an argument that the super-rich have been a priority, but not anyone else. When anyone has the temerity to question how we got into this mess, the Bush apologists are back with their mantra, "stop playing politics. " Bush himself said this in response to a Diane Sawyer question the other night. The question was about the accusations of mismanagement of the efforts to help the stranded residents of the south. Faced with the realities that there is no answer good enough other than to admit an error, Bush did what he always does, he lied. He responded that people should not be playing politics with this situation.
Nonsense. Be aware America, when you hear this you can rest assured that the truth has just been spoken and they have no answer for it. Asking why it is taking six days to see virtually no progress is not playing politics. Asking why people have been herded like animals into areas where now they are not allowed to leave for six days, is not playing politics. Asking why so many have to sit amongst dead bodies for six days without food, water, or medicine is not playing politics. It is humanity America. Where is our conscience?
Wondering how this could have been better if the president had not continued his vacation while people were dying is not playing politics. Wondering why the president shorted the funding by over 50 million for the strengthening of the levees which gave way is not playing politics. Wondering if the rescue efforts could have been better if the National Guard for Louisiana was actually in Louisiana, instead of fighting a needless war based on lies, is not playing politics. Can you just imagine the outrage from the GOP if the president was Clinton or any other democrat? Their outrage would be justified, but when it deals with their guy, they want to put their heads in the sands and pretend that in the 21st century the best we can do is sit around for six days while our citizens die.
When you see some of the usual Bush apologists moved to tears and actually criticize the pathetic efforts, you know the devastation is real. When Fox reporters are crying holding up sick babies and asking why, you know the damage is real. How many buses do we have in this country that none have been dispatched to rescue these people? How many helicopters do we have that are not dropping food and water to these people?
What do you hear from the shrillest on the right? I have heard them criticize the people for not evacuating. Never mind that they are mostly poor, without cars or the money needed to buy gasoline. I have heard them pontificate that looters should be shot, yes shot. You have got to be kidding me.
I have believed for a long time that a lot of people on the right sincerely believed what they believed, and were simply mistaken. Unfortunately, this disaster has brought out the true colors of all Americans. There are those of us who know that asking someone to be held accountable for this is simply the right thing to do. Then there are the apologists, who will stop at nothing to deflect any criticism from this administration. George Bush was at a photo op receiving a guitar from a country singer when people were dying in New Orleans and somehow, people choose to defend that.
There is nothing humane in the response from this administration. There is certainly nothing Christian. Instead, it has been used by Bush to hand out yet another contract to Halliburton and to funnel donations to Pat Robertson. It has been six days now and Bush has not been able to get food or water to our dying Americans, but he has had the time to award contracts to his buddies. Priorities America, priorities. There was Bush with Diana Sawyer telling Americans to send, CASH. Don 't send food, clothing, or medicine. Send cash. No buses, no helicopters, no help. Is this the best we can do? Is there anyone else who feels like I do, which is that I know I can do a better job of organizing the relief efforts?
The man who ran on Christian values and morals has now been proved to be completely devoid of them. We knew the category 5 hurricane was heading for New Orleans. To save 50 million dollars, Bush decided to have the city only be able to sustain a category 2 hurricane. You see the money was needed somewhere else, Iraq. Now the Iraq War has come home to roost for this nation and our brothers and sisters are dying in a city that is 85% underwater while the president does nothing. This president chose his priorities. Iraq was more important than the citizenry of this country. Do not sell me any more Downing Street lies about terrorism and 911. Do not tell me about how we have enough Guardsmen. Over 45% of the people fighting in Iraq are from the Guard. Does anyone really think this is still a good idea?
Hurricane Katrina was a natural disaster. The aftermath however, which has proven to be far worse than the storm itself, rests squarely on the shoulders of the man who waited days to even respond to the nation. We have seen vacuous press conferences and photo ops with no substance. Meanwhile, our fellow Americans are dying. They are being held in a rapidly decompensating situation. Water brings disease. Disease will bring more death. If we call a spade a spade, it appears that this president simply does not care. Hurricane Katrina spawned the Bush Storm and that is doing far more damage with hope appearing bleak.
That is not playing politics. That is the damn truth. If you choose to defend this, at this point, you have nothing left of your soul to sell.
Anthony Wade, a contributing writer to opednews.com, is dedicated to educating the populace to the lies and abuses of the government. He is a 37-year-old independent writer from New York with political commentary articles seen on multiple websites. A Christian progressive and professional Rehabilitation Counselor working with the poor and disabled, Mr. Wade believes that you can have faith and hold elected officials accountable for lies and excess. Anthony Wade 's Archive: http://www.opednews.com/archiveswadeanthony.htm Email Anthony: email@example.com