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DIDGE - The View From Down Under

An Aussie’s ridgy-didge view of world affairs and popular culture.

Friday, September 02, 2005

United States of Anarchy

New Orleans has been plunged into an apocalyptic nightmare, where murder and rape are rife and the dead lay in the streets. The living are not receiving adequate help and they are naturally getting anxious and distressed. Thousands of people have been trapped in the city for several days without clean water or food. Residents have had to steal water, food and other essential supplies from stores ravaged by Hurricane Katrina. New Orleans, once a vibrant southern city has now been turned on its head. It is now a third world city in the richest nation of earth.

Thousands more troops have been sent to the city to try to regain order. Looters have taken to the streets, stealing anything they can carry, including crucial medicines.

The people of New Orleans have reacted angrily over the Bush Administration’s slow response to the aftermath. A man standing in ankle-deep water asked: “where is George Bush?” People surrounding the man laughed disdainfully in agreement. Other residents have used television as a means to express their frustrations and fears. A large group of people are shown chanting, “We want help! We want help! We want help!” A woman, who is a diabetic, screams that she doesn’t want to die like this. She then faints. Thankfully someone in the crowd has medication and the woman is revived. But no one knows how long she can be kept alive.

Thousands are feared dead. Many more have been made homeless. The people have no idea what to do. They have no where to go, crime is rife all around them and they have no food or water. A sense of insanity has taken over the city. Many rapes and shootings have been reported as New Orleans further descends into utter chaos. Amid the floodwaters run fuel, human sewage, rubbish and dead bodies.

Many residents distress has turned to anger over the government’s slow action. Once again the Bush Administration is slow to cope with a national tragedy. The response has been called a national disgrace by the New Orleans Chief of Emergency, Terry Ebbert. Bush will tour ravaged areas but as per usual will avoid areas where there are residents critical of him and the way the crisis has been handled.

The images are distressing and horrific. I can only imagine the pure hell that the surviving residents must be going through. Let’s hope competent decisions can be made by the authorities and order can be restored and food, water and medicine can reach those trapped in the city.

BBC: New Orleans rocked by huge blasts
" People were raped in the Superdome. People were killed in there. We had multiple riots" - New
Orleans police officer

Mayor issues SOS as chaos tightens its grip

· Violence hinders evacuation of New Orleans · Bush under fire for slow response: The mayor of New Orleans issued "a desperate SOS" as the effort to evacuate thousands of people was hindered by mob violence and gunfire. The appeal came as angry crowds clashed with police, and the city's police chief warned that storm victims were being raped and beaten on the streets.

AP: Chaos Spreads Despite Government Promises
An explosion jolted New Orleans residents awake early Friday, illuminating
the pre-dawn sky with red and orange flames over the city where corpses rotted along flooded sidewalks and bands of armed thugs thwarted fitful rescue efforts. City officials were seething with anger about what they called a slow federal response following the devastation left by Hurricane Katrina.
"They don't have a clue what's going on down there," said Mayor Ray Nagin. "Excuse my French — everybody in America — but I am pissed."

American Red Cross


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