The New World Order, the New Iraq, New Orleans and New Afrika: Death Throes of an Empire in Decay

 The New World Order, the New Iraq, New Orleans and New Afrika: Death Throes of an Empire in Decay

Michael Novick Turning The Tide, Fall 2005

International Terrorist George Bush Here’s a quick pop quiz on meteorology, cosmology and sociology: The destruction of New Orleans and the Mississippi Delta by Hurricane  Katrina, and the unrelieved suffering and deaths of tens of thousands, was  caused by:  a) the vengeance on a Satanic/sinful/hypocritical America by  Allah/Yahweh/Jehovah, for whom the last straw was Pat Robertson’s call to  assassinate Hugo Chavez  b) an unavoidable, horrific natural disaster that will give America a  chance to show it can still roll up its sleeves and rebuild things better  than they were before  c) the result of 500 years of racism, colonialism and industrialism,  compounded by a decade of heedless profit-oriented neo-liberal and  neo-conservative militarism  The answer is obvious even to those most blinded by religion or  flag-waving. The heart-rending devastation and the terrible cost in human  lives and destroyed homes are driving home to people throughout the U.S.  what the people in the region are experiencing directly.  The U.S. social, political and economic system – the Empire – is not only  incapable of meeting the most fundamental human needs – it is the immediate  cause of irreversible calamity and destruction of the natural and social  environment.  The evidence is clear. Scientific debate notwithstanding, the force of the  hurricane was indisputably a result of the global warming caused by  industrial pollution and its effects on atmospheric and oceanic  temperatures. The inability of the New Orleans levee system to withstand  the ocean surges and the rain was directly a result of decades of  destruction of the surrounding wetlands, compounded by the diversion of  needed funding to Iraq and “Homeland Security.” The total lack of  preparedness and evacuation measures, or of effective rescue operations,  was a manifestation of deep-seated racism and class prejudice. It exposed a  political economy and society based on individualism and privatization,  compounded by the assignment of the bulk of the Mississippi and Louisiana  National Guard and their equipment to military duty in Iraq.  The racism of the media that showed white survivors “finding” bread and  soda in stores, while Black survivors “looted” supplies from the same  stores in the same flood waters was matched only by the state’s diversion  of police and Guard troops from search and rescue operations to property  protection under martial law. Bringing the National Guard troops home  immediately from Iraq is all well and good, but what will it gain us if  they are dispatched to wage war on the poor, Black and homeless residents  of New Orleans and the Mississippi Delta?  Reality has smacked us all upside the head with a tragic wake-up call. But  where do we go with this new awareness? What do you do when you wake up and  discover that the long national nightmare is just beginning?  We need to understand that total social, political and economic  transformation – revolution – is on the agenda, now. The “American Way of  Life” has demonstrated its unsustainability for all to see. Forget “The Day  After Tomorrow” – Hollywood films cannot come close to the actual  devastation we are facing today. Is Los Angeles more capable of dealing  with the inevitable 9.0 earthquake?  The Empire does not only stand in the way of human and planetary survival;  every day of its continued existence makes matters worse. We must begin  immediately the process of de-colonization, democratization,  decentralization and demilitarization that is our only hope.  For the people of African descent in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama,  Georgia and Carolina, along with their white and Mexicano/Caribbean  neighbors, that means that the rebuilding process must be based in creating  a new social order of liberation, collective responsibility and harmony –  New Africa, not Dixieland. For the rest of us, it means beginning a similar  process of dismantling and opposing the Empire by every means at our  disposal. That means turning out massively to the border on September 17-18  to denounce the vigilantes, the coyotes and the Border Patrol. That means  mobilizing massively on September 24-25 to demand immediate U.S. withdrawal  from Iraq and Afghanistan and to stop the war machine. But even more, it  means living each day to build unbreakable ties of human solidarity and  community while reversing the damage caused by profligate waste of energy  and poisoning of the water, air, and soil.

 This is the lead editorial in the new issue of “Turning the Tide: Journal  of Anti-Racist Action, Research & Education,” published by ARA-LA/PART. A  free sample copy in the US is available by writing to ARA-LA/PART, PO Box  1055, Culver City CA 90232, calling 310-495-0299, or emailing A one-year, six-issue subscription is $16  ($26US outside the US or to institutions) payable to Michael Novick at the  above address.

K. KersplebedebK. KersplebedebK. Kersplebedeb

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.