An AP essay: Is this happening in America?

This quite extraordinary essay is from AP. It will appear in thousands of newspapers and websites across the planet. AP has that kind of reach, more than any other news media. Seriously.

For mainstream media to be saying this indicates the ruling elite has their most serious crisis in decades. The facade of them pretending to care about the public is gone. Billions for wars for oil, but crumbs for the citizens. In a true irony, the Gulf oil industry lies in tatters in part because money that was earmarked to be spent on levees was diverted to Iraq instead.

Some excerpts from the AP essay – read the whole thing.

The richest, most powerful nation in the world can build schools, hospitals and shelters halfway around the globe, but it can’t provide the basic necessities for its own days after a disaster that everybody saw coming?

Yet, ultimately, that’s what is most unsettling about the constant stream of images: The suffering goes on not just for hours, but for days after we should have and could have ended it. And for all the commissions, reports and bravado that passes for preparedness, we didn’t. It was a hand we never expected to be dealt. 

There will be time enough, too, to assess blame, for politicians to point fingers, find and fire those deemed accountable. And maybe even to figure out how a handful of Southeast Asian governments, whose economies, armies and emergency resources could all be folded comfortably several times inside those of the United States, responded to a tsunami much larger and fiercer than Hurricane Katrina with swiftness and efficiency, and we could not.

Let’s make the Sept. 24 antiwar protests enormous and militant. For those who say we should just mention one issue, the war, on Sept. 24, and ignore all other issues, Katrina aptly demonstrates how all the issues are linked. Billions for war, but crumbs for the citizens. Makes a mockery of their pretend ‘compassionate conservatism’, doesn’t it?

Bush is an extreme example of a system gone mad with greed and selfishness. The problem, at root, is an avaricious economic system, not a lunatic president. That’s what we need to change.