Tuesday, August 30, 2005


By Elaine Meinel Supkis

The great hurricane is past but far from done. As flooding and general mayhem continues, the parts already hit wake up in a daze. There was a similar event back in the 1920s: the Great Flood. The Mississippi overflowed its banks and many people were stranded on high ground without food or water. And the Republican controlled government at first, sat idle....sounds familiar?

From Wikipedia:
The Great Mississippi Flood in 1927 was the most destructive flood in United States history.
In the Great Mississippi Flood of 1927 the Mississippi River broke out of its levee system in 145 places and flooded 27,000 square miles or about 16,570,627 acres (70,000 km²). The area was inundated up to a depth of 30 feet (10 m). The flood caused over $400 million in damages and killed 246 people in seven states.
Started in hurricane season. You know, a terrible drought followed this period of extreme wetness...both made the Great Depression much worse. The flood displaced farm workers decreasing the labor pool, for example, just before the stock market tanked.

As the flood approached New Orleans, Louisiana 30 tons of dynamite were set off on the levee at Caernarvon, Louisiana and sent 250,000 ft³/s (7,000 m³/s) of water pouring through. This prevented New Orleans from experiencing serious damage but destroyed much of the marsh below the city. As it turned out, the destruction of the Caernarvon levee was unnecessary; several major levee breaks well upstream of New Orleans, including one the day after the dynamiting, made it impossible for flood waters to seriously threaten the city.

By August 1927 the flood subsided. During the disaster 700,000 people were displaced, including 330,000 African-Americans who were moved to 154 relief camps. Many African-Americans were detained and forced to labor at gunpoint during flood relief efforts. The aftermath of the flood was one factor in the Great Migration of African-Americans to northern cities.
Relief efforts required a lot of manual labor. As we can see now, flood and hurricane messes are worse than earthquakes because the water rots the standing housing base as well as the mud fills the remaining houses and is very difficult to move and you can't just bulldoze the houses down if there is lots of mud in them, for example, and shoveling them out is all hand labor.

This is why we had the National Guard. Already, people are nervously wondering what happened to them. So far, about 5,000 of them have appeared in three states to deal with this mess. To clean up just the roadbeds of debrie in about 500 costal communities and one major city, this is what? Ten guards per town? Eh? Cleaning up New Orleans which should take only two weeks if enough Guards were available would require about 15,000 National Guards minimum!

WASHINGTON - Despite a heavy deployment of National Guardsmen to Iraq and Afghanistan, more than enough troops are on hand to assist with safety, security and relief efforts in areas impacted by Hurricane Katrina, a National Guard spokesman said Monday.

More than 5,000 National Guard troops across four states have already been activated; 3,500 of those in Louisiana alone, said Lt. Col. Mike Milord.

“The troops are available, they’re responding as we speak,” he said.
Four states! Gack! This comes down to 1,250 per STATE! In a blackout, this is how many you need for traffic direction only if you concentrate on the biggest intersections!

The la-de-dah about all this is infuriating. Perhaps, Americans who are well to do have successfully fled and think, let those darker people or useless elderly die? Huh?

This happened during the Great Flood. People were quite content to let the blacks stranded in the flood, die. Some photographers took pictures of these poor souls and they were reluctantly saved or the death toll would have been many thousands.

So it is now. The NG is handing out food right now but note that before the storm, they did NOT go door to door to seek out the old, the infirm, to firmly remove others who foolishly wanted to stay. They used to do this! I remember them doing this. As the storm lashes a city, you could see pictures of NG huge trucks rumbling through the rising waters rescuing people. One friend of mine, they had to use a ladder to save her as the ocean rose and was slamming into the front of her house and the only exit was the window out back!

There should be thousands of NG in boats and amphibians going all over, scouring for victims! Where are they? Soon, people will be very thirsty and hungry. There is no electricity. Many poor people will have to be removed from the area and fed and housed! In the twenties, they opened camps and then forced the residents to do the clean up for cleaning up will be a huge chore. But in this case, we are acting as if this were a minor inconvenience.

Yellow Dog:
According to Defense Department documents that show “a cumulative roster of all National Guard and Reserve personnel, who are currently mobilized,” a total of 4,109 Louisiana Reserve and Guard troops are currently serving in Iraq.

I'm sure their families and the people in New Orleans would give anything to have them home right now.
I feel the pain, brother! From Global Security (using our military as a private army):
Twelve 20th Logistics Readiness Squadron vehicle operators here are preparing to leave in early September to support convoy operations in Southwest Asia.

These predominantly first-term Airmen will undergo rigorous training at Camp Bullis, Texas, before immediately deploying for six to eight months with an Army truck company in Southwest Asia, said Capt. Whitney Sherrill, 20th LRS vehicle management flight commander.

Since 2003 when the Army chief of staff requested base operating support augmentation, Airmen have been supporting convoy operations in the war on terrorism.

Since that time, more than 500 vehicle operators and maintainers per air and space expeditionary force rotation have assisted with daily convoy and security operations, mainly in Iraq.

"These Airmen are truly at the tip of the spear, performing a critical function in support of coalition forces," Captain Sherrill said. "The bottom line is, without their support, supplies don't get where they need to go."
So, next WEEK Bush is shipping out even more of the NG units in Louisiana! Amazing.

As we close bases at home, we pour personnel and equipment and money into Iraq and other distant places. Leaving Americans to fend for themselves. This is total insanity. Our tax money, the $2.5 trillion debt we are accumulating, all this is going down that sandy sinkhole!

Homeland security? More like Homewrecker insecurity! (I am betting, morosely, there will be lots of developing stories about people unable to get simple aid...already, there are such stories from Florida from this same, damned hurricane!)

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