the don mclean song seems strangely relevant to new orleans
bye bye miss american pie
drove my chevy to the levee
but the levee was dry
them good ole boys were drinking whisky and rye
singing 'this will be the day that i die'
yes, the good ole boys of the bush admin sat around and did nothing, and a bunch of poor black people died in new orleans. this is shameful. it is indeed about 'us' and 'them'.
'forward', he cried, and the front rank died.
-- pink floyd, 'us and them', 'dark side of the moon'
new orleans is also a metaphor for america's decline and the complex, inter-related web of imperial overstretch.
-- they encouraged islamic fundamentalism from (pakistan and saudi arabia) to get access to cheap oil and to hurt the soviet union
-- the fundamentalists got out of control, as they usually do
-- they invaded afghanistan when pakistanis and saudis hit them on 9/11
-- they invaded iraq to get hold of cheap oil but pissed off the fundamentalists no end
-- now they dont have the manpower or the stomach to fight two wars *and* to handle domestic emergencies
ie. oil, sleeping with fundies, and an exaggerated sense of their own power -- similar hubris got the british to become a has-been nation.
but i think america's decline is bad if it means a corresponding increase in china's relative power. americans are far less ruthlessly imperialistic than chinese. we better get that blue water navy and those nukes in place.