copyright © 2005 Todd Ristau


An Archie Levine piece about the Hurricane

Hey! I'm Archie Levine, and THIS is what I think.

We all know that this week America was devastated by the worst natural disaster in history. I know that I can be a bit hyperbolic and screaming about politics in the wake of this disaster would really be inappropriate.

So, at first, I wasn't going to do a piece at all this week...but then, I thought about it, and decided that if I could be reasonable, and calm...then maybe it wouldn't be seen as exploiting this tragedy for my own twisted political agenda by the right wing Theocrats if I voiced a few concerns I have about how this is all being handled.

Besides, nobody is better at exploiting tragedy than those guys.

But, I'm going to rise above all that and stay calm. I'm not even going to mention Repent America saying Katrina was God's vengeance on gays and Girls Gone Wild.

(Struggles to remain calm, takes a deep drink.)

Now is not the time for pointing the finger of blame.

(Caps the bottle in front of him)

But it is time to ask a few hard questions. I know it's a lot more likely that George Bush will meet with Cindy Sheehan than meet with me, but if he did, these are the questions I'd like to ask a quiet and calm manner.


Mr. President, if we've spent every single day since 9-11 preparing for a catastrophic terrorist attack with Weapons of Mass Destruction, why weren't we better prepared for the massive destruction caused by this natural disaster? Katrina gave us a lot more warning than the terrorists will.

Sir, do you continue to feel that your efforts to "prevent" such an attack by pre-emptive war in the Persian Gulf is actually making us safer here at home? If a massive terrorist attack does happen, we now know that because so much of our National Guard force (and their equipment) is in Iraq, we're woefully unprepared to deal with that attack. And, since the terrorists watch CNN too, don't they also know this?

Why, sir, when FEMA predicted that this exact event was one of the "three likeliest, most catastrophic disasters" did you
cut funding by a record $71.2 million for the Army Corps of Engineers, representing the largest single-year funding loss ever for the New Orleans district?

Do you also, in retrospect, think that shelving the study of how to protect against Category 5 hurricanes was a mistake?

Now that we have had a natural disaster of what is being called "Biblical proportions", do you feel it is a mistake to have announced that FEMA is to "officially" lose the disaster preparedness function that it has had since its creation and become instead the terrorist response wing of the Department of Homeland Security?


HUH? Do ya?

I think these questions need answers, and if you don't think so, which one of us hates America more?

I, even THE PRESIDENT said that the response to Katrina is NOT ACCEPTABLE.

I mean, he's not directly blaming himself, but he is saying the response is unacceptable.

I don't know who he considers responsible for that response, but that's what he said. "UNACCEPTABLE."

Do you suppose he means it was unacceptable to declare Katrina a disaster before it hit but not deploy any troops for almost three days? That it might be unacceptable to go to a golf and RV resort on the day it hit to hawk his medicare program to rich old people instead of heading to Washington to deal with the disaster he just declared was imminent?

Or that it might have been unacceptable for Condi Rice to go on vacation in New York in the aftermath of the hurricane, see a Broadway show, buy thousand dollar shoes on 5th Avenue, and play tennnis while an entire US city is being destroyed?

MISTER PRESIDENT, today YOU YOURSELF described this devastation as being as if the WORST WEAPON YOU CAN IMAGINE had been set off there.

KATRINA is a TEST of how well we are prepared to deal with the aftermath of the terrorist attack YOU'VE been telling us to EXPECT for the last FOUR YEARS...and without the distraction of having to decide WHO TO INVADE.

It is a test YOU YOURSELF say we have been failing.

And I'm sorry if I can't stay calm about THAT.

EVERYBODY better fucking HOPE we DON'T have a terrorist attack of this magnitude, because THIS is the BEST these FUCKERS can do with almost a FULL WEEK of warning and after evacuating 90% of the city IN ADVANCE.


For once in my life I agree with George W. Bush.




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