Impeach Bush Now, Before
By Paul Craig Roberts
-- -- The raison d'etre of the Bush administration is war in the
Middle East in order to protect America from terrorism and to
insure America's oil supply. On both counts the Bush
administration has failed catastrophically.
Bush's single-minded focus on
the "war against terrorism" has compounded a natural
disaster and turned it into the greatest calamity in American
history. The US has lost its largest and most strategic port,
thousands of lives, and 80% of one of America's most historic
cities is under water.
If terrorists had achieved this
result, it would rank as the greatest terrorist success in
Prior to 911, the Federal
Emergency Management Agency warned that New Orleans was a disaster
waiting to happen. Congress authorized the Southeast Louisiana
Urban Flood Control Project (SELA) in order to protect the
strategic port, the refineries, and the large population.
However, after 2003 the flow of
funds to SELA were diverted to the war in Iraq. During 2004 and
2005 the New Orleans Times-Picayune published nine articles citing
New Orleans' loss of hurricane protection to the war in Iraq.
Every expert and newspapers as
distant as Texas saw the New Orleans catastrophe coming. But
President Bush and his insane government preferred war in Iraq to
protecting Americans at home.
Bush's war left the Corps of
Engineers only 20% of the funding to protect New Orleans from
flooding from Lake Pontchartrain. On June 18, 2004, the Corps'
project manager, Al Naomi, told the Times-Picayune: "the
levees are sinking. If we don't get the money to raise them, we
can't stay ahead of the settlement."
Despite the dire warnings
delivered by the 2004 hurricane season, the Bush administration
made deep budget cuts for flood control and hurricane funding for
New Orleans. The US Senate, alarmed at the Bush administration's
insanity, was planning to restore the funding for 2006. But now it
is too late. Many multiples of the funding that would have saved
the city now have to be spent to rescue it.
Not content with leaving New
Orleans unprotected, it took the Bush administration five days
to get the remnants of the National Guard not serving in Iraq,
along with desperately needed food and water, to devastated New
Orleans. This is the slowest emergency response by the US
government in modern times. By the time the Bush administration
could organize any resources for New Orleans, many more people had
died and the city was in total chaos.
Despite the most dismal
performance on record, Bush's Homeland Security Secretary, Michael
Chertoff, said on Thursday that the Bush administration has done a
The on-the-scene mayor of New
Orleans sees it differently: "They're
feeding the people a line of bull, and they are spinning and
people are dying."
"They're thinking small
man, and this is a major, major deal."
It is a major deal, one that
will affect Americans far beyond New Orleans. According to
reports, 25% of our oil and gasoline comes through the New Orleans
port and refineries, all out of commission. Needed goods cannot be
imported, and exports will plummet, worsening an already
disastrous deficit in the balance of trade.
The increased cost of gasoline
will soak up consumers' disposable incomes, with dire effects on
consumer spending. US economic growth will be siphoned off into
higher energy costs. American lives far from New Orleans will be
The destruction of New Orleans
is the responsibility of the most incompetent government in
American history and perhaps in all history. Americans are rapidly
learning that they were deceived by the superpower hubris. The
powerful US military cannot successfully occupy Baghdad or control
the road to the airport--and this against an insurgency based in
only 20% of the Iraqi population. Bush's pointless war has left
Washington so pressed for money that the federal government
abandoned New Orleans to catastrophe.
The Bush administration is
damned by its gross incompetence. Bush has squandered the lives
and health of thousands of people. He has run through hundreds of
billions of borrowed dollars. He has lost America's reputation and
its allies. With barbaric torture and destruction of our civil
liberty, he has stripped America of its inherent goodness and
morality. And now Bush has lost America's largest port and 25
percent of its oil supply. Why? Because Bush started a gratuitous
war egged on by a claque of crazy neoconservatives who have
sacrificed America's interests to their insane agenda.
The neoconservatives have
brought these disasters to all Americans, Democrat and Republican
alike. Now they must he held accountable. Bush and his
neoconservatives are guilty of criminal negligence and must be
What will it take for Americans
to reestablish accountability in their government? Bush has got
away with lies and an illegal war of aggression, with outing CIA
agents, with war crimes against Iraqi civilians, with the horrors
of the Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo torture centers, and now with the
destruction of New Orleans.
What disaster will next spring
from Bush's incompetence?
Paul Craig Roberts has
held a number of academic appointments and has contributed to
numerous scholarly publications. He served as Assistant Secretary
of the Treasury in the Reagan administration. His graduate
economics education was at the University of Virginia, the
University of California at Berkeley, and Oxford University. He is
coauthor of The
Tyranny of Good Intentions. He can be reached at: email@example.com
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