I think that I'm coping with the seemingly endless horror of Katrina's aftermath by converting all my emotional reactions into pure anger. It's somehow easier for me to be angry than horrified. Anger seems somehow potentially more constructive. And there's so goddamned much about this to be angry about. Aaron Broussard, President of Jefferson Parish in New Orleans, has called this "one of the worst abandonments of Americans on American soil ever in U.S. history," and surely that's true. You need to follow that link and watch the video. I'm puking sick of hearing how America needs to get through this crisis without politicizing it, when the politicians in power are bungling the recovery process so completely. This disaster within a disaster is political, and the people who are telling you to not to make waves, that it's all fine, that we can get through this if we just smile and trust in the Federal Government are deluded or lying or fearful of retaliation or some combination thereof.
And at this point, I'm going to yield the floor to Mr. Viggo Mortensen, because he has been far more articulate on this matter than I am capable of being. He doesn't even use any cuss words:
In the often and rightly quoted words of Bill Clinton, "There's nothing wrong with America that can't be fixed by what's right with America." We see now how individuals and groups around the country are acting in any way they can to help their fellow citizens in Louisiana, Mississippi and other devastated places near the Gulf of Mexico. They refuse to stand idly by and wait for President Bush and his morally-bankrupt, pirate administration to respond in an appropriately urgent and compassionate manner to the escalating agony and desperation of our fellow citizens.
This agony and desperation was caused in large part by a near complete absence of adequate federal government funding, preparedness, and leadership. We the people will continue to help Americans and non-Americans alike, with or without the participation or approval of George W. Bush and his Neo-Conservative cohorts. While it is true that what is most important right now is to rescue, feed, house, and in any way possible care for those immediately affected by the disaster, it is equally true that in the long run those directly responsible for aggravating the tragic situation must be held accountable.
The mounting evidence of the Bush administration's criminal mismanagement of the nation, as well as its consistently arrogant disregard for our planet's people and natural environments must be confronted immediately. Those who voted for Bush last year, or who have continually supported his outlaw administration in its destructively dishonest conduct, including not only extremist conservatives but also politically-calculating Democrats, need not hang their heads or avert their eyes now. What they can and ought to do is join the increasing numbers of Americans who are demanding that presidential impeachment proceedings be initiated as soon as possible.
Members of the Bush Administration responsible for the blatant lies and self-serving manipulations that have fanned the flames of disaster from Iraq to New Orleans must be prosecuted as our laws require. We must insist on this. Furthermore, we must not allow these disgracefully unpatriotic public servants to be pardoned by any future president as Gerald Ford did for Richard Nixon. Please call or write your government representatives and help get the scoundrels out of government and in prison where they belong. Do not allow the subject to be changed, do not be distracted. The time to act is now. Take back your country.
I've been quoting Millay a lot recently. This bit is very apt:
I know. But I do not approve. And I am not resigned.
Be angry people. For the sake of this whole sorry, greedy, lying world, be angry. Fan that anger as though it is the only heat in the world — because it may well be the heat that saves you. But then get up off your asses and do something with that anger. Infect everyone you know with that anger. Carry it. Turn it against the bastards.