More on how New Orleans is 'Militarized'

Where does Cindy Sheehan get her information? My guess is that it’s not FOX News. (Which is too bad, a good dose of FOX might help her regain a sense of reality.) My guess is that she gets her ‘news’ from ‘independent’ media who postulate that the U.S. military enforces the fascism of the capitalist oligarchy, or some such, and like to put out reports like this one about how New Orleans has been ‘militarized’.

There seems to be only one playbook for the anti-war left, with very few pages in that book.

From the Iraq Playbook: The Sinister Occupation (of New Orleans)

The Militarization of New Orleans: Jeremy Scahill Reports from Louisiana, Friday, September 16th, 2005

JEREMY SCAHILL: Well, I mean, in the days that have passed, the week or so since you were here this past weekend, we have seen a real increase in the militarization of the city. It's turned into a much greater state of lockdown. You have more military checkpoints set up. You have less of a civilian presence in large parts of the city and much more of a military presence. I mean in fact, I still have only seen one FEMA vehicle, the entire time I have been here. That wasn't even staffed. It was just a FEMA vehicle parked on a median near the Hyatt hotel where the main headquarters is of the so-called Operational Emergency Command of the military and various branches of the government coordinating their so-called disaster response. But there are soldiers all over the city. What's incredible is that you see them doing almost nothing. They're either just standing around or sitting around. There's very little work being done by the military. You do see units like the 82nd airborne patrolling the streets. It looks like the aftermath of a massacre or war zone where you have soldiers patrolling around. You also see a tremendous increase in the number of private security contractors who have arrived on the scene.

...Then you also have the National Guard and the Army inside of the city now, and so the potential for conflict with residents coming back in is very great. A lot of people are very concerned now with this Marshal Law still in effect with the military curfew in effect, that that is going to remain as people come back and live here. It's one thing to have Martial law when you have a depopulated city. It's another thing to have it when you have people who want to go about the business of rebuilding their lives, particularly when they are being told by very wealthy, powerful people backed up by men with guns that they are not welcome in the city that they have lived in their whole life. We have a potential, I think, for serious, overt conflict, hot conflict here in New Orleans as people start coming back in.

...JEREMY SCAHILL: I remember the other night you called me and you alerted me to this, and just today I had seen what I thought were some sort of spy drones because really, what we have seen here is sort of -- some people are calling it “New Oraq” instead of New Orleans, because of all of the various forces, the Halliburtons, the KBR's, the Blackwaters that are here now, the connections to Iraq are so incredible. The same looters who have raided the federal funds in Iraq, U.S. funds in Iraq, are looting federal funds here in New Orleans. Yes, I saw the drones flying overhead. I'm concerned, very concerned of the toxic waste that they're now dumping on the city in addition to the horribly unsafe waters that flow through the city and continue to flow through the city.

I can already sense the potential insurgency getting ready to fight for their freedom against the barbaric Bush military junta. Viva La Louisiana! Che Lives (in cajun country)!

Iraq Playbook: Occupation/War 'Profiteers'
Oops, I need to add racist to this particular play... The Racist Occupation/War 'Profiteers'

This man, Patrick Quinn is bidding for these contracts where FEMA potentially could come in and rent out hundreds and hundreds of rooms in his hotel and other businesses are struggling to simply stay alive or scramble to get federal money to rebuild, he is standing to gain a tremendous amount of money from these lucrative federal contracts. It must be noted that he is a major contributor to the Republican party. In fact, his wife was just elected in the special election to the state Senate. Her name is Julie Quinn.

...I mean, what they're really trying to do is to settle the poor and the African-American populations of New Orleans elsewhere. And to make New Orleans a nice, white city, for white, rich businessmen. There's no other way to put it. That's exactly what we're seeing right now. They want to take areas for instance like the ninth ward and turn them into big -- you know, Wal-Mart type neighborhoods. In fact, we heard mayor Nagin talk yesterday about how one of the first things they want to do is set up a gigantic Wal-Mart so people returning can have a place to shop in New Orleans. This hurricane is the greatest thing to happen to Wal-Mart since the superstore. And this is a very serious racist series of actions that we're seeing here right now. This is has everything to do with class and everything to do with race, and it's very, very frightening.

..."Those who want to see this city rebuilt want to see it done in a completely different way, demographically, geographically and politically. I'm not just speaking for myself here. The way we have been living is not going to happen again or we're out." James Rice has brought in Israeli para-militaries to guard his facility. It's Israeli company that brags about having former members of the Shin Beit, the GSS, the Israeli Defense Forces. He has brought them in. I was talking to them in front of his property. Some of them participated in the Israeli invasion of Lebanon, and these are guys now who are patrolling outside on St. Charles avenue in front of Audubon Place and will potentially come into conflict with residents of New Orleans. What on earth are Israeli paramilitaries doing on the streets of New Orleans? These are the questions that people need to ask right now, defending a man like James Rice who was called for the poor to not be allowed back into New Orleans.

So this is where Cindy gets her information. Very very frightening indeed.

Only a few weeks ago Cindy Sheehan was the hope of the left. Supported by a myriad of Democratic groups and political figures such as the Democratic National Chair, Howard Dean, and Democratic strategist Joe Trippi, and money from wealthy liberal political supporters giving her the ability to run television ads and campaign across the country 24/7 against Bush, along with a Main Stream Media willing to gloss over her more unsavory views in order to promote the higher cause of hurting Bush politically.

Cindy Sheehan is a symbol, not of a new mass resistance to the war in Iraq, but of the left's utter failure to come to grips with the fact that the far left's views are now historic. Historic in the sense that a platform advocating Eugenics, or Communism, or National Socialism is historic. There are very few regular everyday Americans who would take such a platform seriously. Yet the Democratic party continues aligning itself closer and closer to it. Why?

Posted by Eric Simonson at September 19, 2005 7:14 PM