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When a Photo Op won't do - criticism from around the world

The NY Times reports that Bush and the Republicans are worried about growing American resentment over, gee, what is it? Oh, yeah:

- the Iraq war
- gas prices
- health care prices
- the state of our environment

and, of course:

- the government's mishandling of the Katrina relief.

The usual approach, gloss it up with a photo op and vapid promises, is wearing thin.

At a party last night, someone made an announcement about where to send relief dollars. A friend from Bangladesh interrupted and asked, "Is America no longer the richest country in the world?"

There was silence. He continued, "It makes sense for Americans and the world to support relief efforts in Sri Lanka or Indonesia where they might need more money. But here?"

I got what he was saying. I have felt it too. In the richest country in the world the government should've been down in the delta on Tuesday. Heck, they should've spent the money to pay for the levee repair. It would've been insurance. Now, we are expected to pay for this administration's muck ups.

Someone remarked that a relative in Canada (who happens to study the oil industry) cannot understand why the price of oil in his country rose with disaster in Gulf coast. That is a sentiment mirrored in some European countries as well.

I figure Bush now has to balance giving gifts to oil buddies, molding his legacy, and laying the ground for another republican administration. But the state of the war, the price of gasoline and health care, the inaction on Katrina relief are all things that have already happened. The latest news, the growing frustration across the country (feelings felt across the world for some time) are exposing what us on the left have always known: this president and the neo-con right need to go so that we can heal and start planning for a future that is more inclusive, egalitarian, nurturing, and forward-thinking. Sure, these things can be mimicked in a photo op. But New Orleans has now ripped open the facade. Hopefully, Americans are taking a good look inside.
gregory turner-rahman