A Weekend To Ponder

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Last weekend marked the fourth anniversary of that terrible day in US history known by three digits. 911 was the day when America’s vulnerability was laid bare.

What most viewed as a tragedy, Bush’s team saw as an opportunity. From that moment on, the inept, self-serving, Bush administration would hide behind the skirts of the “war on terror” while it fulfilled its agenda of empire. Bush’s pursuit of empire has destroyed American civil liberties, security, and international reputation. September 11, 2001 was the front Bush needed to squander thousands of lives and trillions of dollars.

Now, in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, criticism has been hurled at Bush’s failure to handle yet another foreseeable disaster. Once again the black eye of American shame is on display

This past weekend marks another anniversary. Exactly one year ago, on September 12, Hurricane Ivan pounded the little island of Grand Cayman for two days. Ivan was only a category four hurricane by a mere two mph in wind speed. But, for all practical purposes, Ivan and the storm which just rocked New Orleans were essentially the same strength.

With a maximum height of 61 feet above sea level, Grand Cayman may have suffered as much as 80 percent submersion during the 2004 storm. Most homes were severely damaged, some were destroyed. All power and fresh water were out for weeks. British military guardsmen had to be dispatched to maintain order.

Compared to New Orleans, Grand Cayman Island was lucky. Of course, not only has Grand Cayman the advantage of being above sea level, but also George W. Bush does not run Grand Cayman. Vital to the comparison is the fact that, Grand Cayman was aware of the risks from hurricanes and had made preparations.

Even so, practice is always a pop quiz for theory; and, regardless of careful planning, Grand Cayman was caught off guard as Ivan’s impact was much more severe than imagined. As a British Colony, the Cayman Islands were blessed by a caring and responsive British Government. Ships loaded with supplies and aid were on the scene the next day. Clearly, Her Majesty’s Government could see hurricane Ivan’s potential danger and had acted wisely. In addition, many of the private enterprises on the island initiated relief operations.

One year after hurricane Ivan, Hurricane Katrina has destroyed New Orleans. The world is shocked by the Bush administration’s callous lack of response to Katrina. The world continues to be horrified by Bush’s lack of empathy and buck passing. What is Bush doing that will help the impoverished, displaced residents of New Orleans or help rebuild New Orleans itself? Three personal visits and the added bonus of Dick Cheney and Condoleezza Rice won’t do the trick.

Americans have been conned. Bush’s police state will not make Americans safer from natural disasters, let alone terrorists. The biggest enemy facing the United States is its own government. Fearful Americans have sold their civil liberties for the mirage of security. Americans have sacrificed their future to the greedy maw of a self-serving government hooked on power.

Four years ago, on September 11, America had the sympathy of much of the world. Today, America is reviled as a rogue state. America is more feared by the world than Bush’s u201CAxis of Evilu201D. America has become The Evil Empire. Clearly, the Bush Administration couldn’t care less about the world or the American citizens it pretends to be protecting.

u201CWe have met the enemy and he is us.u201D ~ Walt Kelly

Edited by Elizabeth Gyllensvard

Tom Chartier [send him mail] played lead guitar in legendary Los Angeles punk band The Rotters for 26 years until their final appearance in January of 2004. He has lived in Tokyo, Japan as well as Los Angeles working in the entertainment industry. He is the primary caregiver of his ten-year-old son and currently resides on Grand Cayman Island in the Caribbean.

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