Crime of the Heart
It may or
may not be true that the Emperor Nero fiddled while Rome
burned; but it is certainly true that ex-Governor of Texas
George W. Bush strummed on a guitar while Florida sank.
Just as he remained passively blinking in confusion in
a Florida kindergarten classroom, a primer in his hand,
when he was told the Twin Towers in New York had been
blasted, so he hesitated to react to the news that New
Orleans was being destroyed by Hurricane Katrina. Instead,
he went to San Diego to pitch a political message about
social security. He clowned by miming playing a guitar
given to him by country singer Mark Wills.
to Newsweek Magazine, September 11 issue, his aides constantly
shield him from bad news; they drew lots to determine
who among them would give him the news that New Orleans
was besieged. Apparently, he does not himself watch or
the mounting deaths in Iraq in his personal war based
on lies--is able to waken this man from his self-absorbed,
arrogant, cruel semi-slumber. Since someone--Karl Rove?--did
finally manage to get him to assume responsibility for
the lapse in emergency response to Hurricane Katrina--in
an attempt to regain the pose of concerned leader--doesn't
that amount to a confession of guilt? Doesn't such a confession
presuppose that a trial will follow? It does, but the
democrats in Congress remain eerily silent, cowed, "good
Germans" pretending not to see it happening.
wading for 18 hours through the waters of the flooded
9th Ward of New Orleans before being rescued by a boat--and
as the casualty rate soared--evacuee Walter Favoroth,
49, said of detained rescue efforts: "Every day they
waited--every hour--more people died. This is a crime--a
crime of the heart."
crime of the heart." That phrase should echo across
the country in judgement of a man who managed to squirm
his way into the presidency and who is responsible, directly
or indirectly, for dual disasters, thousands of lives,
in Iraq and in New Orleans.
September 22, 2005
Los Angeles, California
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Original material by John Rechy appears
frequently on these pages.