Sunday, September 11, 2005

Libération speaks about Katrina and Bush

PBS's The McLaughlin Group today featured a quote from the French newspaper Libération about the true colors of the Bush administration. After the 2004 election, Libération's headline was "L'Empire Empire," which is French for "The Empire Gets Worse." (The pun doesn't translate, but the sentiment does.)

This week, Libération said (by McLaughlin's translation):

On September 11, America found a common cause for pride in the bravery of its [people]. This time, there is no heroism and nothing left to see but the dark side of the empire — that of a country gnawed away by money and segregation, in which those shipwrecked in the system are left behind, abandoned to the elements.
[Note: as was highlighted by another quote on today's program, the fact that Libération printed such a quote does not necessarily reflect the paper's editorial position. I was not able to find this quote in French or in English on Libération's web site.]

McLaughlin also quoted some other European newspapers:
Where was the President in his country's hour of need? And why has it taken him five days to go to New Orleans? — The Independent, London

Third World America — The Daily Mail, London

The Tragic Cost of Bush's Iraq Obsession — The Financial Times, London; note that this particular headline was by a guest columnist

Incredibly Unprofessional — Deutsche Zeitung, Germany

For Bush, the poor do not exist! — Le Figaro, France

Was Katrina Colorblind? — Der Spiegel, Germany

Katrina: Ordeal for a Blind America — Le Temps, Switzerland
The Europeans quite clearly perceive the horrific destruction of Hurricane Katrina and the astonishingly slow response (causing the suffering to be far greater than it might otherwise have been). President Bush dropped the ball by putting unqualified cronies in important positions. He dropped the ball again by slashing FEMA's funding. He dropped the ball again by responding slowly to the crisis, and he's dropped the ball yet again with his response to the criticism.

The weekend edition of Libération, by the way, carried the headline "Pompons les pétroliers. À la suite des profits records qu'ils ont engrangés, le ministre de l'Économie a menacé de les taxer. Résultat immédiat: Total et BP baissent le prix de l'essence." In plain English: "Let's pump the oil companies. Following the record profits they garnered, the Minister for the Economy threatened to tax them. Immediate result: Total and BP lowered the price of gasoline."

Gosh, us Americans don't know nothin' 'bout no oil companies makin' windfall profits from the sudden disruption in oil supplies. I reckon we'd better give them oil companies some more tax breaks so's they'll have some incentive to go out and drill fer oil. Yep.