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TTS is right on the money

Reader comment on item: Intimidating the West, from Rushdie to Benedict
in response to reader comment: To Melik: TTS is right on the money

Submitted by Ed Melik (United States), Oct 3, 2006 at 04:50

Mr. Lion Heart,

I'm with you and the brave men like Mr. Daniel Pipes, Robert Spencer, Ali Sina, Ayan Irsi Ali and many others. Everyone of them I admire and respect. My impartial criticism rises above the intolerant, angry and often malice hearted "experts' of Islam.

You say that communism was defeated. Perhaps your information of the former communists is limited to our establishment news media's sources or of those self-proclaimed "Sovietologists" who have shifted their gears from the evil of Communism to the success of capitalistic transformation of the former Soviet and the East Europeans.

I lived in Russia during the communist Russia and I still have businesses in Russia and have a permanent offices that I visit often. Ask a Russian on the streets of Moscow how well we have defeated communism. I lived in Russia with several thousands of Americans who chose to live in Russia during the "good old days" of Russia and saw what you call the "inequalities" and the "suppression" of a totalitarian society then and the capital society of the post-Soviet Russia now.

In "good old Russia" not one individual was unemployed, not one individual was witout a home, without heat, without water, without medical insurance, without the best and most enviable educational system, without public transportation that makes today's public transportation in our own USA a mockery. The biggest and most heard of crimes were getting drunk and indecent in public behavior. Today, streets are filled with criminals, there are tens of thousands of homeless people on any city in Russia, people with no food, no medical insuance, no education, crimes sky rocketing, disperity among the haves and have nots increasing at a phenomenal rate, diseases are spreading all over due to poverty and lack of medical facilities.

Is that what we claim and fight for in the name of democracy? One would argue, well there's a price to be paid for freedom. What freedom? Whose medicine is so called "freedom"? West's freedom of the freedom achieved by an internal slow process of a country that evolves within itslef? Or the forced freedom under occupation desgined and forcibly shoved down people's throats like what we shamefully tried in Iraq and failed yet continue on this shameless slogan of "democracy" and "freedom".

Why don't we do a self examination at home first of our freedom? We have the largest number of Americans locked up in penitentiaries than any country. We have the largest number of drug use in the world. We have the worst corruption than any third world country in our government yet we point fingers and invade countries to liberate them from the same evil. We preach people's rights and democratic principals, yet when a soverign country exercises its one person-one vote democracy and elects its people to run thier country's affairs that we disapprove or dislike, we demonize them and send our "Special Forces" to "kill them" or topple their democratically elected governments for they turned out to be not subservient to our dictatroial demands.

We side with the most evil leaders of the world and the biggest violators of human rights and the worse enemies of democracy like Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, and many among our staunch allies. We demonzie all except our own. How quickly we have forgotten the crimes of our leaders against our own nation. Katrina was not something that our leaders did not know. Why such a horrific negligence could be overlooked yet go out with vengeance after those we are responsible in creating the monsters they have become, like Osama bin Ladin, Saddam Hussein, Khomeini, Marcos, Shah, Suharto, Noriega, etc.

They all were our allies and partners in crimes. How can we not feel culpable of the atrocities these criminal allies of ours perpetrated on its masses with our help and full cooperation? Now that the chickens have come home to roost, we don't like the sound and the smell of it. Let's be brave and accept our fault and find ways to make things right. Two wrongs don't make one right!

Indeed, Hurricane Katrina was eminently predictable. In another way, so was the terrorist onslaught of Sept. 11. For the lay meteorologists of foreign policy who recognized well in advance that the U.S. had made itself a target of Islamic extremists, precisely because of its military presence in the Middle East and unconditional support for Israel, the attacks were pretty much inevitable.

The latter catastrophe has so far led to two wars marked by lies and an utter lack of official accountability. But the former disaster, if we're lucky, just might lead us out of the morass generated by Bush's reaction to the terrorists – if, as seems far more likely this time around, the president won't be able to evade the "accountability moment" he said had transpired successfully with his reelection. For as commentators like Paul Craig Roberts and Norman Solomon have been quick to point out, the War Party's obsession with invading Iraq has directly and needlessly exacerbated Hurricane Katrina's destructive power – which now reflects rather poorly on their judgment.

According to the Washington Post, the National Guard troops of the two states afflicted – Mississippi and Louisiana – are for the most part fighting in, or recovering from, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The hurricane's massive damage is now "stretching the limits of available manpower."

According to the article, Mississippi's National Guard currently has over 4,000 soldiers lost to the Iraq campaign, while Louisiana has about 3,000 troops in Baghdad alone. "Missing the personnel is the big thing in this particular event. We need our people," stated Mississippi National Guard Spokesman Lt. Andy Thaggard to the Post. Lacking enough local troops to deal with this massive humanitarian disaster, the Pentagon has had to call in thousands more from distant states.

But it gets worse. As with 9/11, certain preventative measures could have been taken beforehand that would have greatly minimized Katrina's destructive power. While the Bush administration contradicts its own intelligence services in claiming that that no one could have seen the terrorist attacks of 2001 coming, it is shocking now to see how ill-prepared the government was to deal with something that is basically an annual threat. After all, were a blizzard to strike Hawaii, no one would blame the Honolulu Fire Department for not having stocked enough snowplows. Yet having detailed advanced evacuation plans in an endemic hurricane zone is something completely different.

Indeed, as Paul Craig Roberts implies, the Battle of N'Orleans is where the president might get a crack at his second accountability moment:

"Distracted by its phony war on terrorism, the U.S. government had made no preparations in the event Hurricane Katrina brought catastrophe to New Orleans. No contingency plan existed. Only now after the disaster are FEMA and the Corps of Engineers trying to assemble the material and equipment to save New Orleans from the fate of Atlantis.

"Even worse, articles in the New Orleans Times-Picayune and public statements by emergency management chiefs in New Orleans make it clear that the Bush administration slashed the funding for the Corps of Engineers' projects to strengthen and raise the New Orleans levees and diverted the money to the Iraq war.

"Walter Maestri, emergency management chief for Jefferson Parish, told the New Orleans Times-Picayune (June 8, 2004): 'It appears that the money has been moved in the president's budget to handle homeland security and the war in Iraq, and I suppose that's the price we pay. Nobody locally is happy that the levees can't be finished, and we are doing everything we can to make the case that this is a security issue for us.'"

Sadly, the "war on terror" that every state and county cashed in on in the aftermath of Avoidable Disaster No. 1 resulted in a needless allocation of millions of dollars to places where they weren't likely to ever be used. This lamentable triumph of pork-barrel politics owed as much to the greed of elected officials as it did to the total (and continuing) failure to do honest risk assessments. Indeed, al-Qaeda in Tiptonville, Tenn., or a hurricane in New Orleans? It's too tough to call…

Let's keep our cool and not march to the beat of the false drums that are being sounded by an intensified network of special interest groups for their own special agendas and to create enough smoke screens to hide their own crimes against humanity and their own dirty hands.

Submitting....

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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