Amid reports of roving gangs of armed thugs commandeering supply-laden rescue convoys, thwarting rescue attempts, looting, and even raping fellow citizens, coverage of the inefficiency of federal response to Katrina in general has been, metaphorically so, inundated.
FEMA Director Michael Brown has even gone so far as to partially blame the dire situation on the victims themselves.
I can and will not grant a pass to these dispicable examples of human smegma. But I will take a moment to ask, "Why?" Although nothing can justify the actions of these individuals, a look at possible motives and rationale may offer much needed perspective, as it points to a larger, more substantially paramount yet conspicuously ignored underlying cause.
These people are witness to extreme suffering and trauma. And what relief do they see in sight? In a country whose leader was swept into office on a current of vows of National Security, and privy to the creation of a Department of Homeland Defense, assured of its intrinsic abillty to respond promptly and effectively in situations of crisis, they see the manifestation of hollow promises and triviality of rhetoric.
If it appears as if anarchy is setting in, it's, well, because it's anarchy! Where is effective authority? This is as glaring an example of "political disorder and confusion" one needs to see.
If you need a nexus, imagine surviving a disaster, barely existing for hours and days in a complete state of desolation and destruction, with the concept of abandonment slowly presenting itself all around. Now add in a dash of death , disease, and dehydration. Stir this into the contaminated sludge you're wading through, and - voilà! - civil unrest!
This is why people are looting:
They have no fucking shoes! They have no shelter, no water, no food. The basic essentials for human survival are gone, everything they've ever possessed has been erased, and the usual means of obtaining replacements are no longer available. Although some of this civil disobedience is, well, no longer civil, I believe the bulk of it was prompted out of necessity, and escalated (according to human nature) from there.
Yet, news would rather report these evil swarms of renegades than acknowledge the national disgrace that is the government's response. And a society that cheers on underhandedness as entertainment on Survivor, Big Brother, et al. as a show of REALITY is in shock and awe (pun intended).
Where is our humanity? For god's sake (hope the evil atheists don't expel from their coven for that) the mayor of NOLA called off search and rescue efforts to focus police actions on thievery! Once again we're reminded that material possessions are of more signifigance than human life. Does it not bewilder anybody that people avoided evacuation and actually barracaded themselves inside to prevent theft?
Add in the unavoidable fact that a large chunk of the "perpetrators" (and afflicted) are poor and minority, coupled with usual media bias, and it really shouldn't be all that suprising.
On that note, religious groups have already convicted homosexuals as the impetus of destruction. If we can obtain [read: forge] "intelligence" connecting al Qaeda, I will seriously not be suprised. (Un)fortunately, we already have scapegoats. Especially when they don't match the reflection we see on that TV screen - often unnoticed, but constantly present - floating just on the surface of the disinformation, outright lies, and propaganda.
*NOTE* It was later discovered, after the chaos settled, that the reports of evildoers, child rape and murder in the Superdome, attacks on police and rescue officials, and general violence in the aftermath of Katrina were all hyperbolic panic and false. This, of course, received far less press than the specious reports.