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By Gianni Riotta
September 2, 2005
In his movie Escape from New York, director John Carpenter portrays Manhattan as a maximum security prison where the U.S. President risks falling into the hands of rebels. The New Orleans tragedy, which has left several thousand residents prisoner to floods and more than half a million people homeless, could trap President George W. Bush. Natural disasters morph into political crises very quickly in a global world.
An earthquake in Irpinia brought down the wrath of Italian President Sandro Pertini. Floods in
With each passing hour, events along the
on the borders of Texas, Louisiana, and Alabama are becoming a murky mirror for the troubles of
The Superdome teems with people fleeing from the ghetto. Gangs of desperados from the poor flooded bayou areas steal anything they can lay their hands on, their machetes confronting the M16s of middle-class whites. Grandmothers steal bread for hungry grandchildren. Such things happened in 1992 after the anti-police riots in Los Angeles, as they did during the New York blackout  that inspired the nihilist approbation of poet Nanni Balestrini.
Katrine has left behind devastation, swollen corpses floating
in the mud, and a long political wake. Attacks on a pollution-prone United States
now paying the price for the greenhouse effect, are as convincing as the protestations
of 9/11 deniers. And it is sad that a minister, even one as threatened by imminent
electoral defeat as
Like the water spilling over the breached
dykes of the French Quarter, the propaganda and the polemics will pass. But
what will remain, along with the bodies and the broken buildings, is the rift
that has split
Divided in politics, the
David Brooks, a conservative who writes for the New York Times, admits with honesty that in New Orleans the victims “are predominantly black and poor. The political disturbances are still to come.” I believe those disturbances are already taking place. Mr. Bush has failed to unify the majority of Americans and Democratic leaders are incapable of rising above tendentious, Michael Moore-style rants. At a time when many around the world condemn the White House for wanting to dominate the planet through unilateralism and many Americans accuse Mr. Bush of the same thing, the truth laid bare by Katrina is rather different.
The whole world needed a unifying leader
who could only have emerged from the White House, and Mr. Bush does not look
up to the task. The