What I will highlight here, however, is the occupation and evacuation of New Orleans. I thought the reason to evacuate survivors was to get them in a safe, sanitary environment, provide food and shelter, and to save the lives of those stranded on rooftops.
But how can the government force people to leave who don't want to go?
Raimondo quotes survivor Michael Barnett:
If you watch the cam or walk the streets, you see that almost every civilian is approached, evaluated for threat potential, then either patted down or left alone. The disconcerting thing is that these authorities always have their guns at the ready and look like they're enjoying intimidating the people.
What in the world is going on here? Raimondo writes,
In New Orleans, government – as Michael Barnett noted above – is doing what it does best: bullying people. They are now going door-to-door, demanding that the remaining inhabitants leave the city. The authorities, at least on the federal level, have apparently decided that The Big Easy is now history, all too easily abandoning all hope of reclaiming it and allowing people to reclaim their own property and their sense of allegiance to locality. Instead, they have settled on a policy of dispersing the inhabitants in a nationwide diaspora.
However, as many as 10,000 are resisting, refusing to leave, and in this resistance we see the beginnings of trouble – potentially some very big trouble. If the U.S. government is currently worried about the resistance to the occupation of Iraq, they will soon be alerted to a new source of subversion, this time from within: the insurgents in Louisiana who are fighting the occupation of their lost Atlantis, the denizens of the French Quarter who are keeping the bars open, the local patriots whose strong sense of place rebels at the mere suggestion that New Orleans is necessarily lost.
Something very ugly is afoot. The Feds want civilians to get out, to not watch whatever it is the feds have planned for the place. I suspect they deliberately facilitated a hellish situation so that those who did leave would never want to go back and rebuild. It makes me want to go down and live there myself.
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