Friday, September 02, 2005

I'm Angry

I'm in a lousy mood.

The Iraq War continues, and the current status of their constitution says: "Article (2): 1st — Islam is the official religion of the state and is a basic source of legislation: (a) No law can be passed that contradicts the undisputed rules of Islam." I'm concerned that what we have done in Iraq is replace one oppressive dictatorship with another oppressive fundamentalist religious state. Is that why we went to war?

No, we went to war because we were told there were weapons of mass destruction. We heard politicians talk about the smoking gun would be a mushroom cloud over our cities. We heard implications that Saddam was responsible for 9-11. None of it true, of course.

But we are at war, and today about 1/5th of the National Guard of Mississippi and Louisiana are in Iraq. Days after Katrina, Americans are trapped and issolated, needing medicine, food and water.

Where is the help? Why is it taking so long?

I'm angry, but aren't we all?

It is not just that the National Guard are in Iraq -- so is the money that could have prevented this disater from becoming a tragedy. "In 1995, the Army Corps of Engineers began a project to shore up the New Orleans levees. But in 2003, Bush grabbed the money from that project to pay for his invasion and occupation." (from Another Day In The Empire). Sydney Blumenthal writes "In 2001, FEMA warned that a hurricane striking New Orleans was one of the three most likely disasters in the U.S. But the Bush administration cut New Orleans flood control funding by 44 percent to pay for the Iraq war."
But forseen or not -- I'm angry that the response to the disaster in Mississippi and Louisiana is so agonizingly slow.

I live with hurricanes, and I know you have to always be prepared. New Orleans is below sea level and for years that city's newspaper has repeatedly warned of this coming crisis, expressing concern about federal spending -- or the lack of it.

We could have done better.

We should have.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

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5:09 PM  
Anonymous steph said...

We never believed in Bush's lie of WOMDs (if Sadam had them why didn't he use them? or how did Bush know - because he had the receipts?) and what did Iraq have to do with 11th September anyway? But still bush went ahead and did what he wanted illegally(for oil and personal power or whatever), cut funding in 2002 for projects designed to cope with such an event such as this in New Orleans, to fund the war in Iraq ... and now that it has happened? Well no rush with aid - it is mainly poor black people who didn't have the means to evacuate, who are left behind. Nothing more than a convenient 'ethnic cleansing' for bush ... any link with his war and WWII is the remarkable resemblance between Hitler and bush.

Furthermore, bush refuses to acknowledge the reality of global warming and will not sign the Kyoto Protocol designed to confront and attempt to curb this phenomenon caused by human greed and pollution. It's bad economically, he says. He is irresponsible and short sighted. America is one of the world's biggest polluters. Without its participation in the Kyoto Protocol the planet has no future and natural disasters will increase and the poor will be the first victims.

I am not American thankfully and I feel sorry for Americans having bush, but as a NZer we are affected by the destruction Bush causes and we are depressed shocked and frustrated with the lack of organisation in the aid to New Orleans. I pray for the poor people of New Orleans. The first aid to reach them is in the form of MPs shooting at looters trying to steal food to feed their families. I am very very sorry and very very very sad

4:11 AM  
Blogger Laurie said...

Don't be too hasty to infer that those clauses in the constitution mean a fundamentalist Islamic state. The term "undisputed" is VERY important. There are about as many undisputed doctrines in Islam as there are in Christianity. This word at very least lays the groundwork for for Sunnis and Shi'a to live together--a crucial step. In addition, we often forget that many European countries have state churches that to a certain extent control legislation. We don't call Italy fundamentalist because the Catholic church still has much say in legislation there. No government that isn't at very least nominally Islamic will have the support of the Iraqi people, like it or not. Most muslims have very different ideas of government than most Christians/Westerners. And they often have well thought-through reasons for this.

Also, I think that even if the new Iraqi government leans towards conservative Islamic legislation, that will still be indescribably better than Saddam's regime. I am an American Christian living in Iran and can testify that at least this regime, labeled "fundamentalist" by many, has its good points. Corruption levels are nowhere near as high as in most of the so-called "democratic" Arab regimes. HUGE strides have been made since the Islamic revolution in basic areas like advancement of women in the social sector (I swear this is true!), lifting the poorest sections of society out of abject poverty, providing health care and clean water to all, and more.

That said, I completely opposed the invasion of Iraq by the US. Moral concerns aside (If I can actually make that statement) it was a politically inane movement, as any true democracy in Iraq is almost definitely going to be an Islamized democracy and not very friendly to US interests. But I don't know that that's necessarily a bad thing as US interests don't often coincide with the interests of people in this region.

I only hope that Iraq can find wise representative leadership and that the US can give that leadership independance to recreate an Iraq that strives harder to be a good place for all Iraqis than it does to be good for America.

I really enjoy looking at your blog and join you in prayer for the people suffering in the aftermath of Katrina.

10:36 AM  
Blogger Jen said...

Okay, I've been lurking on your blog for several weeks now, and have finally decided to leave a comment.
I am a Liberal, agnostic 23 year old, but ironically find myself agreeing with much of what you say. It's refreshing to see a member of the Christian community step up and be critical of an administration who continually uses the Bible and God to defend outrageous policies.
Thanks for providing a much needed, well informed voice.

3:13 PM  
Blogger Andy said...

Preach it brother John!
Great post, echoes a lot of what I've been feeling. The question now is what do we as pastors, as Christians and as people do? how do we actively respond? How do we put our anger and frustrated energy into something worthwhile lest we be consumed by the "powers and principalities" that can overwhelm us and keep us angry and eventually hateful.
How do we as Sister Helen Prejean says in "Dead Man Walking" "make our way out of the hate?"

5:49 PM  
Blogger Maryellen said...

Not wanting to get into politics or a Liberal vs Conservative debate, Katrina and her aftermath is not a question of racism, or whether or not the concern over WOMD was founded, or 911, or even global warming. Anger, justified or not, is not going to help the problem. Is it easier to blame Bush than it is to blame God? Is it easier to blame Bush than it is to blame Sin? We, who are able must help, and there are many opportunities to get involved in the relief effort. Time to put Matthew 25:34 into action. Feed the Hungry, Clothe the Naked, Shelter the homeless...Time to extend the loving hand of Christ to those in need. Finger pointing and blame setting will solve nothing. It will only add fuel to the fire of hate and frustration.

11:24 AM  

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