I have two whole thoughts about Hurricane Katrina and the mess in New Orleans.
1. It's a powerful demonstration of how vulnerable we are in the west, dependent as we are on oil, electricity, all the modern conveniences. It doesn't take long to reduce the most technologically advanced society in the world to a state of chaos.
2. I certainly hope the world responds to this disaster with the same concern and compassion it showed during the tsunami disaster. Just because the US is rich and powerful doesn't mean they don't need and wouldn't appreciate help.
Yes, New Orleans (I visited the French Quarters a few years ago - lovely city - wrought iron, lush vegetation... jazz... I hope there is a city to return to...), but also that awful disaster in Baghdad, where hundreds were killed during a pilgrimage - most women and children, when a stampede occurred, because of rumours of a suicide bomber in their midset. My heart cried for them... to live with the constant and real fear of a suicide bomber killing their children, their loved ones, themselves.
Who told you Larry, that the US is a rich and powerful nation?
It is all an illusion. The US is owned by China and Japan, thanks to generous borrowing. The only power the US has is its history. In the past, they have been powerful enough to defeat the Native Americans, the British, the Germans, Japan, and may others. But that was the past. Now, they are so far in debt, and the bridge between rich and poor is so vast, that the next war will be a civil war, fought against those who are kept in oppression. Its own citizens. When that time comes, the government will not have the money or the power to stop it.
The US is owned by the world, and the world is owned by the US, and when they fall they're going to take a lot of us poor suckers with them.
You could also say that the US is owned by the oil producers, because no one in the US (or the rest of the west) has had the foresight to push the development of alternative energy sources. And I don't think the American oil companies give a shit about foresight. Just make the profit while they can...
I think Noam Chomsky has a thesis that as the US declines in economic power it will come to rely more and more heavily on military power. (If we can't buy you, we'll shoot you?) Then, perhaps it will begin to resemble the Soviet Union even more than it does now.
As for civil war, I'm not convinced. At least not in the sense of government vs. its oppressed peoples. If we're looking at Doomsday scenarios, I think we're more likely to have something like what just occurred in New Orleans. Eventually there will be gas riots.
Unfortunately, I don't have much faith in the political consciousness of the masses. They've been immersed too long in the opium of consumerism.
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