An Open Letter to the People of America

Dear US Citizens,

I hate to be the one to break it to you, but the recent disaster following Hurricane Katrina has revealed several things wrong with your society. It has a cancer - a gaping, seething wound that you really, really need to see someone about.

Your people are behaving worse than animals. Your government is proving itself to be ineffectual when it comes to looking after its own people. And your citizens have shown brazen stupidity in the face of an oncoming disaster.

Animals? Yes: you're raping, beating, robbing and killing your own people, at a time when you should be banding together to assist those around you. You're making a mockery of the sense of international image that your country purports to exhibit. The moral outrages occurring on a minute to minute basis in New Orleans are a national scandal.

Government? Well ... where do I start? how about with the US Army Engineers, whose job it was to decide what kinds of levies to build around New Orleans? The decision was reached, on the basis of a cost/benefit analysis, to build levies to withstand Force 3 hurricanes - in an area widely known to suffer from those and much worse in the way of weather. How in God's name could it have been decided that, to save money, an entire city would be put at risk? The cost of building better levies cannot have been anywhere near the cost in human life that decision has created, let alone the years of work and effort that will go into trying to get New Orleans back on its feet?

Relief efforts are fucked. It's been days since the levee broke, and the chain of command in terms of rescue has proven itself woefully inadequate. I'm gobsmacked at how disorderly and disorganised it appears to be.

Stupidity? Oh yeah. Again, I make the comparison between the Tsunami and Katrina. Your citizens had days to get ready for this, to leave town and make for higher ground. Yet so many thousands decided to ride the storm out - bars in New Orleans were still serving booze as the Hurricane's winds hit the shoreline. And now, since they've been stranded by this most horrendous occurrence, the people left behind are descending into brutal, animalistic behaviour.

I'm hoping that soon I'll read reports of people doing the right thing, of helping each other and attempting to keep order, rather than smashing windows to steal TVs and shooting, beating and raping each other in the streets.

It's fucking shameful - for a nation's government to put itself on a pedestal as the beacon of all that is right and good in the world, and when things go south, that government and its citizens react like this.

I'm sorry guys - I really am. I know that these people are doing it really tough at the moment, but the facts speak for themselves. the disaster has shown that there are some severe problems within the US - problems that require urgent attention.

Let me know if there's anything I can do to help...

What do you think, did we get it right? Comment here...