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Baghdad on the Bayou: Final Report on Deception and Diaspora in New Orleans

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"The old river in its broad reach rested unruffled at the decline of day, after ages of good service done to the race that peopled its banks, spread out in the tranquil dignity of a waterway leading to the uttermost ends of the earth."
--Joseph Conrad

The citizens of New Orleans, southern Louisiana, and the greater Gulf Coast were sold down a river of lies as surely as Marlow faced the heart of darkness in deepest Africa when he boarded a steamer on the Congo River. By the time a hurricane named Katrina came along, the lies were so immense that all of America found it impossible that anyone could concoct deceptions of such magnitude. The lies were Orwellian in scope and degree—political leaders told deliberate lies and actually came to believe the lies for a time, ignoring or burying the facts until the facts cried out for resurrection—along with the dead piled against the levees or swept out to sea. Human empathy, respect, responsibility, and knowledge of what was seen and unseen were abandoned along with all reason. The doctrines of depopulation and disaster capitalism murdered morality in the halls of power and commerce—doctrines were built upon the twin pillars of political expedience and deception and finally cloaked in tenets of the Constitution. The lies recruited fear, fear morphed the Mississippi River into an enemy, and humanity became the victim.

Political expedience favored wealth and commerce, and deception ginned up anguish--anguish that craved a fairy tale ending because tragedy demands explanation and resolution.

Today, row upon row of fake, pink, plywood miniature houses dot the scarred, flooded, moldy landscape of what was once a neighborhood in the lower Ninth Ward of New Orleans. Promises of $150,000 homes, courtesy of Hollywood celebrities, are sprinkled across the devastated plat like so much fairy dust. Humanity claps its collective hands, hoping the fairy will appear and the dead will rise from the sepulchers of Acadia and from the bulldozer tracks that buried bone and mummified flesh. Humanity invented the fairy tale because reality is too heartbreaking, the truth too hard to bear, and without the happy ending people cannot sleep through the dark night.

The lies were told because the end always justifies the means in Machiavellian schemes. Katrina, the accident wrought by Mother Nature, provided the motive and opportunity to implement a doctrine of depopulation that was born in the paranoia of the Cold War’s Bilderberg Group, the Reagan White House under Henry Kissinger, and Iran-Contra. The dogma was carefully nurtured by Donald Rumsfeld in the form of weapons of mass destruction and bio-agents locked in the vaults at institutions of higher learning. The social fabric and culture of New Orleans has been ripped apart and the old knitters of black wool who guard the portal to the heart of darkness can no longer hear the salutation, “Morituri te salutant…I who am about to die, salute you.”

The poor and dispossessed citizens of New Orleans saluted their elected leaders and waited for help that did not come in time. Others knew no one would come so they waited for death while they huddled with their children in attics and on rooftops. One woman told OpEd News that her sister simply gave up and gathered her children around her waiting for the wind and water and God to take them.[1] Luckily, a relative with a car was able to do more than FEMA and all the forces of local and federal government could or would accomplish to get them out in time.

The vast majority of Americans believe that the tragedy that unfolded along the Gulf Coast in August 2005 was shaped by a combination of a natural disaster and government incompetence. There are two other factors that are not being considered: one is the consequence of FEMA becoming an organization which contracted with paramilitary organizations to engage in depopulation as early as 1985, and the other, current multi-national corporate and military emphasis on depopulation politics.

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Leaders Knew People Would Die

The winds of Hurricane Katrina came ashore in Mississippi at Bay St. Louis, Waveland, and Pass Christian— three beach towns that became ground zero for homes and infrastructure that were literally wiped off the map—and the floodwaters drowned New Orleans on August 29, 2005.

On the third day after the flood, the BBC News featured President George Bush in an interview originally televised on ABC. "I fully understand people wanting things to have happened yesterday. I mean I understand the anxiety of people on the ground... So there is frustration but I want people to know there's a lot of help coming," Bush mumbled.

According to the BBC report, Bush said the operation being mounted was one of the “biggest in US history” and, inevitably, required time to get under way.

"I don't think anyone anticipated the breach of the levees,” he said, on ABC’s Good Morning America show, with his characteristic blink and nod. "[2]

One day later, on September 3, 2005, Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff echoed the president and gushed that hurricane Katrina was "breathtaking in its surprise.” Chertoff almost hailed Katrina, calling it “That 'perfect storm' of a combination of catastrophes exceeding the foresight of the planners, and maybe anybody's foresight.... "

The fact is that homeland security officials have still not been able to explain why Chertoff waited some 36 hours to declare a national emergency and/or direct any manner of federal response. On Aug. 27, the National Hurricane Center predicted that Katrina would strike the Gulf Coast with catastrophic force in 48 hours.

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Georgianne Nienaber is an investigative environmental and political writer. She lives in rural northern Minnesota and South Florida. Her articles have appeared in The Society of Professional Journalists' Online Quill Magazine, the Huffington (more...)

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