Highlights

 
Quotable
Peace is not the absence of war; it is a virtue; a state of mind; a disposition for benevolence; confidence; and justice.
Spinoza
Original Blog US Casualties Contact Donate

 
September 5, 2005

What's Next, Mr. War President?


by Paul Craig Roberts

The raison d'etre of the Bush administration is war in the Middle East in order to protect America from terrorism and to ensure America's oil supply. On both counts the Bush administration has failed catastrophically.

Bush's single-minded focus on the "war against terrorism" has compounded a natural disaster and turned it into the greatest calamity in American history. The U.S. has lost its largest and most strategic port and thousands of lives, and 80 percent of one of America's most historic cities is under water.

If terrorists had achieved this result, it would rank as the greatest terrorist success in history.

Prior to 9/11, the Federal Emergency Management Agency warned that New Orleans was a disaster waiting to happen. Congress authorized the Southeast Louisiana Urban Flood Control Project (SELA) in order to protect the strategic port, the refineries, and the large population.

However, after 2003 the flow of funds to SELA were diverted to the war in Iraq. During 2004 and 2005 the New Orleans Times-Picayune published nine articles citing New Orleans' loss of hurricane protection to the war in Iraq.

Every expert and newspapers as distant as Texas saw the New Orleans catastrophe coming. But President Bush and his insane government preferred war in Iraq to protecting Americans at home.

Bush's war left the Corps of Engineers only 20 percent of the funding to protect New Orleans from flooding from Lake Pontchartrain. On June 18, 2004, the Corps' project manager, Al Naomi, told the Times-Picayune: "[T]he levees are sinking. If we don't get the money to raise them, we can't stay ahead of the settlement."

Despite the dire warnings delivered by the 2004 hurricane season, the Bush administration made deep budget cuts for flood control and hurricane funding for New Orleans. The U.S. Senate, alarmed at the Bush administration's insanity, was planning to restore the funding for 2006. But now it is too late. Many multiples of the funding that would have saved the city now have to be spent to rescue it.

Not content with leaving New Orleans unprotected, it took the Bush administration five days to get the remnants of the National Guard not serving in Iraq, along with desperately needed food and water, to devastated New Orleans. This is the slowest emergency response by the U.S. government in modern times. By the time the Bush administration could organize any resources for New Orleans, many more people had died and the city was in total chaos.

Despite the most dismal performance on record, Bush's Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff said on Thursday that the Bush administration has done a "magnificent job."

The on-the-scene mayor of New Orleans sees it differently: "They're feeding the people a line of bull, and they are spinning and people are dying."

"They're thinking small man, and this is a major, major deal."

It is a major deal, one that will affect Americans far beyond New Orleans. According to reports, 25 percent of our oil and gasoline comes through the New Orleans port and refineries, all out of commission. Needed goods cannot be imported, and exports will plummet, worsening an already disastrous deficit in the balance of trade.

The increased cost of gasoline will soak up consumers' disposable incomes, with dire effects on consumer spending. U.S. economic growth will be siphoned off into higher energy costs. American lives far from New Orleans will be adversely affected.

The destruction of New Orleans is the responsibility of the most incompetent government in American history and perhaps in all history. Americans are rapidly learning that they were deceived by the superpower hubris. The powerful U.S. military cannot successfully occupy Baghdad or control the road to the airport – and this against an insurgency based in only 20 percent of the Iraqi population. Bush's pointless war has left Washington so pressed for money that the federal government abandoned New Orleans to catastrophe.

The Bush administration is damned by its gross incompetence. Bush has squandered the lives and health of thousands of people. He has run through hundreds of billions of borrowed dollars. He has lost America's reputation and its allies. With barbaric torture and the destruction of our civil liberty, he has stripped America of its inherent goodness and morality. And now Bush has lost America's largest port and 25 percent of its oil supply. Why? Because Bush started a gratuitous war egged on by a claque of crazy neoconservatives who have sacrificed America's interests to their insane agenda.

The neoconservatives have brought these disasters to all Americans, Democrat and Republican alike. Now they must he held accountable. Bush and his neoconservatives are guilty of criminal negligence and must be prosecuted.

What will it take for Americans to reestablish accountability in their government? Bush has gotten away with lies and an illegal war of aggression, with outing CIA agents, with war crimes against Iraqi civilians, with the horrors of the Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo torture centers, and now with the destruction of New Orleans.

What disaster will next spring from Bush's incompetence?


comments on this article?
 
 
Archives

  • Who Remembers 'Guns and Butter'?
    2/18/2009

  • If Only US Law Applied to the US Government
    12/8/2008

  • Washington Arrogance Has Fomented a Muslim Revolution
    12/5/2008

  • The Cost of Hegemony Is Beyond Reach
    12/2/2008

  • This Time, the World Is Not Buying It
    8/16/2008

  • Do You Feel Safe Now? Proud?
    8/7/2008

  • Are You Ready to Face the Facts About Israel?
    7/25/2008

  • One Million Terrorists?
    7/18/2008

  • Only Little War Criminals Get Punished
    7/17/2008

  • We, the Salt of the Earth,
    Take Precedence
    7/2/2008

  • John Yoo, Totalitarian
    6/20/2008

  • The Conservative Movement: From Failure to Threat
    5/19/2008

  • Lies of Aggression
    5/16/2008

  • What the Iraq War Is About
    4/23/2008

  • American Hegemony Is Not Guaranteed
    4/14/2008

  • Petraeus Testimony May Signal Iran Attack
    4/7/2008

  • Protecting America – From the President
    2/22/2008

  • Paying Insurgents Not to Fight
    2/19/2008

  • What Do We Stand For?
    2/18/2008

  • Bush Calls on France for Help
    2/12/2008

  • American Liberty Teetering on Edge of Abyss
    1/28/2008

  • The West's Orwellian Monopoly on Morality
    1/24/2008

  • Bringing Death and Destruction to Muslims
    1/17/2008

  • We Are All Prisoners Now
    12/27/2007

  • No Liberty Without
    Habeas Corpus
    12/12/2007

  • Kerry Complicit in
    Bush's Crimes
    9/19/2007

  • Who Are The Fanatics?
    9/6/2007

  • The War Criminal in the Living Room
    8/31/2007

  • More War on the Horizon
    8/24/2007

  • Padilla Jury Opens Pandora's Box
    8/20/2007

  • US Israel Policy Harms Both Countries
    8/16/2007

  • US Hegemony Spawns Russian-Chinese Military Alliance
    8/9/2007

  • A Free Press or a
    Ministry of Truth?
    7/17/2007

  • A Reform to Restore the People's Power
    7/13/2007

  • Beyond Recklessness
    7/3/2007

  • The Neocon Threat to World Peace and American Freedom
    6/12/2007

  • If You Think Bush Is Evil Now, Wait Until He Nukes Iran
    6/6/2007

  • How Can Bush Free Iraq When He Brings Tyranny to America?
    5/26/2007

  • Will the GOP Destroy Itself Before It Destroys America?
    5/23/2007

  • One War Criminal Down, A Fistful to Go
    5/11/2007

  • The War Goes Ever On
    4/24/2007

  • Creating a Market for Security
    4/12/2007

  • Crime Blotter:
    1600 Pennsylvania Ave.
    3/19/2007

  • The Confession Backfired
    3/17/2007

  • The Last Days of Constitutional Rule?
    3/16/2007

  • How Much More Harm Can Bush Do?
    3/7/2007

  • Americans Have Lost Their Country
    3/1/2007

  • Criminals Control the Executive Branch
    2/10/2007

  • The Crime of the Century
    1/31/2007

  • Bush Is About to Attack Iran
    1/27/2007

  • The Empire Turns Its
    Guns on the Citizenry
    1/24/2007

  • The 'Surge' Is A Red Herring
    1/12/2007

  • Jimmy Carter Speaks Truth to Propaganda
    1/11/2007

  • Distracting Congress from the Real War Plan: Iran
    1/10/2007

  • The Surge: Political Cover or Escalation?
    1/9/2007

  • Is Bush's War Winding Down or Heating Up?
    1/8/2007

  • US Hypocrisy Reaches
    All-Time High
    1/4/2007

  • Keane/Kagan Plan Means More Bloodshed
    1/3/2007

  • The Disrespect for Truth has Brought a New Dark Age
    12/29/2006

  • Is James Baker a Match
    for AIPAC?
    12/14/2006

  • Catastrophe Still Awaits
    12/7/2006

  • Bush Is No Conservative
    12/5/2006

  • Is President Bush Sane?
    12/2/2006

  • Bush's Only Real Victory
    11/22/2006

  • Are Democrats Turning A Blind Eye to Civil Liberty?
    11/14/2006
  • More Archives

    Paul Craig Roberts wrote the Kemp-Roth bill and was assistant secretary of the Treasury in the Reagan administration. He was associate editor of the Wall Street Journal editorial page and contributing editor of National Review. He is author or co-author of eight books, including The Supply-Side Revolution (Harvard University Press). He has held numerous academic appointments, including the William E. Simon chair in political economy, Center for Strategic and International Studies, Georgetown University, and senior research fellow, Hoover Institution, Stanford University. He has contributed to numerous scholarly journals and testified before Congress on 30 occasions. He has been awarded the U.S. Treasury's Meritorious Service Award and the French Legion of Honor. He was a reviewer for the Journal of Political Economy under editor Robert Mundell.

    Reproduction of material from any original Antiwar.com pages
    without written permission is strictly prohibited.
    Copyright 2017 Antiwar.com