Politics is war. The laws of political struggle are exactly the same as in a military conflict. Sun Tzu 4,000 years ago, summing up these laws, began with, "know your enemy, know yourself." Does anyone really believe that a ruling class that destroyed the Soviet Union, placed men on the moon, put robots on Mars, disoriented the Chinese revolution and turned the national liberation movements into pillars of imperialist strength can possibly be inept and indifferent? The American invaders have no exit strategy in Iraq because they don't intend to leave. They haven't rebuilt New Orleans because they have an entirely different New Orleans in mind.
Sun Tzu goes on to explain that the basis of all strategy in war is deception. Perhaps they want us to think that blithering idiots run the government. How does all this apply to the human catastrophe that was New Orleans?
The magnitude of the tragedy is the context for the administration's plans. In five Gulf States, 90,000 square miles were utterly destroyed. That is an area roughly eight times the size of Belgium. Almost 2,000 people were killed or are missing. A quarter of a million homes were destroyed. A huge and vital area became open to globalization and the neo-cons' ideas of social engineering. The Thailand Tsunami Survivors and Supporters stated that "For businessmen-politicians, the Tsunami was the answer to their prayers, since it literally wiped those coastal areas clean of the communities which had previously stood in the way of their plans for resorts, hotels, casinos and shrimp farms. To them all the costal areas are now open land." This is true regarding New Orleans.
The city of New Orleans, as a city, is not vital to the national economy or to globalization. The ports and petrol-chemical industry identified with the city are. The Port of South Louisiana is the largest port in the United States by tonnage and the fifth largest in the world. Vital to our economy and the gateway to economic control of South and Central America, these ports were quickly repaired. What about the city? One of the poorest cities in the country, New Orleans was corrupt, crime infested and worst of all for the Bourbon elite, 68 percent Black. Katrina was their Tsunami. New Orleans became the testing ground for the privatization strategies -- from charter schools, to militarization of disaster recovery.
While the opposition screamed about an inept government that led us into a quagmire in Iraq, the basic strategic goals of the invasion were accomplished. The military built a series of strategic, permanent bases, (the recently passed law against such bases is just more smoke and mirrors since it is not retroactive). The oil and state sectors of the economy were privatized, and preparations for the overthrow of the Iranian government are in place (Mission accomplished).
The most deadly error in war or politics is to underestimate your enemy. Ours is experienced, ruthless and indescribably powerful. Yet, they are weak and doomed because they are moving against the will of the peoples of the earth, against the logic of history. If revolutionaries will accept an objective, common foundation for unity we can win this fight. That foundation is the political and economic demands of the new class of dispossessed that is being created by electronic production. The objective demand of this moment is a co-operative, communist reorganization of this war torn, starving, disease-ridden planet.
The revolutionary struggle for political power to achieve this end lies through the fight for the immediate demands of this class here and now. The political demand of the new class of dispossessed and the sections of society connected to it, economically, socially, politically, or morally, is for political power to insure the basic fundamental moral demands of human decency for housing, food, water, education, health care, safety and security. These are all economically possible now, but politically impossible without a transformation of power. Our enemy is not stupid, they are clear. We must become just as clear. Time is short and the future depends on us.
August 29 tribunal to take testimony about Katrina
On August 29, the second anniversary of the man-made disaster called Katrina, survivors will hold a tribunal in New Orleans to take testimony about what happened, in order to expose what the U.S. government did to promote the demise of the poor in New Orleans. The People's Tribune urges our readers to support and participate in this effort.