Allah the Almighty says in His Qur’an (Al- Hajj 22:42-44):
I allowed time to the kafirun
but then I seized them.
How terrible was My denial!
How many wrongdoing cities We destroyed,
and now all their roofs and walls are fallen in;
How many abandoned wells and stuccoed palaces!
Have they not travelled about the earth
and do they not have hearts to understand with
or ears to hear with?
It is not their eyes which are blind
but the hearts in their breasts which are blind.
Two skyscrapers have been obliterated in downtown New York. It was the work of nihilists. They were from an extreme sect of Islam. They were terrorists. It was war against the American way of life. America was civilization – now the barbarians were at the gates! In the light of modern history it seems such a small thing, and yet on that thing the Federal government had thrown out two hundred years of Liberal legislation, rushing through the Senate a series of scarcely debated Bills, cancelling those which had upheld the rights of the individual in the State since the Founding Fathers. Ordered into obedience, Britain followed along, rescinding the Magna Carta and abolishing without reflection the principle of ‘no arrest without prosecution’. Whereas the Vietnam War had been halted by a new generation of Americans who still believed that there was an American Nation, less than half a century later American youth watched with almost total indifference as the USA ravaged Afghanistan and plunged Iraq into a brutal Civil War, pitting the Shia religion against the ex Saddamite atheists. It was clear that there was something wrong with the greatest democracy in the world, something wrong with America, something wrong with Democracy itself.
Then it happened. This time, there was no Other, no barbarians at the gates, no menace from outside. They thought they were dealing with the forces of Nature, their atheist culture had not explained to them that, in the logic of their own world view, there was properly speaking no such thing as Nature. Nature was not an identity. It was not a weather god. Only the Muslims understood that all the forces at work in the physical universe are inter-related, inter-connected in a web – a complex web that cannot be measured in either its intricacy or its perfection. In the metaphor of the Raja of Mahmudabad (Allah be pleased with him): “What does the ant know of the intricacy of the pattern on a Persian Carpet as it crawls among the towering tufts of wool.” To the mushriks it was Mother Nature. To the kafirun it was yet another Force Four hurricane heading for Louisiana. It was a weather front.
It was none of these things. It was a Divine Event. They had been warned. They had done nothing. Finally, those among them with a sense of the reality they lived in, budgeted to build high the levees that held back the ocean. The Federal Government had other plans. They had to restore the heroin trade in Afghanistan to keep their Under-Class inoperative. They had a war in Iraq in order to rescue Israel which needed the waters of its three great rivers if it was to survive. The funds to rescue New Orleans were allotted to the killing of people in distant lands.
Allah unleashed the hurricane with devastating force, laying waste to a land mass greater than that of the British Isles. So overwhelming was the physical impact that not only did they fail to grasp what it meant, they even failed to grasp the damage that had been done.
The media were all poised to move into the Tsunami Mode – the natural disaster, the taking stock, the call for Relief workers, the good media story of the miraculous rescue. It was in the destiny of the Event that Allah had placed an exceptional man in the exceptional circumstance. There were two unveilings that had to take place for people to see the truth of what had happened. It was one man who laid bare the first terrible reality that had to be conveyed to the American masses. No-one else could have done it, but this man saw the human tragedy unfold before his eyes and recognized that what was happening was at the same time an unprecedented suffering and also an outrage. We saw the tragedy with Anderson Cooper as he moved amongst the victims of the hurricane. While we shared with him his grief at what the people were going through, we also experienced through him, an awakening sense of anger. Absolutely nothing was being done to come to the rescue of half a million people. Anderson Cooper then added to this, his outrage. The outrage was that at the State level and at the Federal level they were incapable of action but also, and here was the final shock, they did not feel they had to act.
Anderson Cooper laid bare to the awakening consciousness of his viewers that the white Louisiana senator, a Democrat, uniquely saw her job as a Cooler, simply there to reassure people that whilst it was admittedly disturbing, the matter was in the hands of the professional political class. It would be dealt with effectively by that political class and indeed the Media, collectively defined by Joan Didion as “that handful of insiders that invent year in and year out, the narrative of public life.”
What ignited on the screen was Anderson Cooper’s grief and outrage. He himself was aware of it, shocked, admitting to himself that it should not be happening. He told us that he had seen disasters and wars but they had not had this effect on him. But it had happened and his tears and coherent anger were on behalf of the fathers, the mothers, the wives and children of those men who were daily being killed in Iraq and Afghanistan. It should not have happened. It was as if Cicero in ancient Rome were to weep over the inhuman conditions of the families of their slaughtered gladiators.
Cooper had laid down new political ground-rules and his host TV station was stuck with it. And it was only a matter of time before the matter was reconstructed inside the Tsunami model. These ground-rules were too powerful and they would not go away. He stated:
1) These people have been abandoned, as if unworthy of rescue.
2) The president failed to act. The administration failed to respond. The political system, the government, the Command Nexus was out of touch with the masses.
The following day, inside the CNN network, a senior commentator took advantage of the window on reality that had been opened by Anderson Cooper. Accepting the Cooper analysis, he then went on to draw the devastating conclusion to his argument. He moved cautiously. He led the public step by step to the terrible fact. What was the Terrible Fact? It was difficult for him as it had not been spoken for half a century. He said it: “But isn’t it true, this half million people abandoned in New Orleans – they are Black!” The genie was out of the bottle. Other commentators rushed in to rescue the moment: “No, no! They are the poor!” It had become worse. They were black and they were poor. And they had been abandoned. Things became clear. This is not how the Administration had behaved at the World Trade Centre crisis. There had been a Command Centre. There had been a rescue plan.
But then they were part of the political process. Joan Didion had defined it: “Fifty three percent of voters in the 2000 election, Mr. From noted, with what seemed genuine enthusiasm, had (“for the first time in our history”) incomes above $50,000. Forty-three percent were suburban. Seventy-four percent had some higher education. Forty-two percent had actual college degrees. Seventy percent said they invested in the stock market. That this was not a demographic profile of the country at large, that half the nation’s citizens had ONLY A VASSAL RELATIONSHIP to the government under which they lived, that the Democracy we spoke of spreading throughout the world was now in our own country only an ideality, had come to be seen, against the higher priority of keeping the process in the hands of those who already held it, as facts without application.”
These were a people who were not on the electoral register, and if they had against the odds succeeded in getting on it, their votes, like those of their cousins in Florida, had no doubt been quietly dumped. It was too late to start saying that they were citizens. Citizenship had become a myth too far. From the slave-owning Founding Fathers to the Nobel Prize-winning Faulkner and his bitter conclusion that a State could not be founded with one of its people genocidally decimated and another of its people slaves let loose to fend for themselves. The conclusion was inescapable. The end result could not be One Nation.
The political implications are uncompromising. The president proved incapable of leadership. This is not because it was Bush. The old joke in Washington was “Q: Define a political vacuum? A: Herbert Hoover!”
Presidency does not invest a man with power. Power is and always has been, in the hands of those who own the wealth, and the hideous face of the president of the World Bank remained supremely absent from the TV screens. The government was not in place to protect its people. Its priorities were those of the true governing elite, the Financial Oligarchy. States government was irrelevant and helpless.
The white woman Governor of Louisiana was described by a leading political analyst on SKY TV as “having turned to a jelly” on hearing of the disaster. In Washington it was the Republicans. At State level it was the Democrats. Cleverly, Bush called in Clinton to his aid and Bush, his Republican father. On the face of it was the myth of bi-partisanship. In reality the crime of the political class had to be covered by the President for the Republicans at Federal level and by Clinton for the Democrats at States’ level. With the affrontary that only politicians are capable of, Clinton announced: “This is a natural disaster, just don’t make politics out of it.” To them, you make politics out of air, preferably on CBS.
The curtain was brought down quickly on reality. CNN would have to bring in Christianne Amanpour, capitalism’s official mortician. Larry King would bring on the Entertainers. Songs could be sung. Money could be raised. Flags could be displayed. Already it was an insider joke in Washington:
A: “We have to move to damage limitation.”
B: “You mean repair the breached levees?”
A: “No. Get the president to hug a negro.”
But there it was. They had been given ample chance. Lots of times. Not just the decade of warnings against the levees. Not just the half century of the abandoned Civil Rights movement. Not just the century-and-a-half long hidden truth that the Civil War had not been to free the slaves, but to establish Northern banking Capitalism.
There was not One Nation under God. The original population had been all but eliminated in their Reservations, first by their diabetes, caused by the Federal Program of free white flour and white sugar, and finally by turning them into casino managers, with round-the-clock gambling – a cynical miniature of the round-the-clock trading of the banker elite. The other nation, the black nation, already lay in chains again, within the Federal Penitentiary system – a black prison population larger than the population of Togo.
Before a word was said about rescue, about baby food, about the dying, the white Governor of Louisiana and the white President of the USA were both displaying their concept of leadership by finally announcing their position: “We will have zero tolerance on looters!” It is the language of Democracy, prior to any genocidal policy to define the resistant minority as sub-human. First, call the Basque thugs and terrorists, then apply summary execution. First, call the Northern Irish hooligans, then torture and lock them up in the no-exit Maze Prison. Before Putin’s massacre of the Chechens he had openly defined them as “ravenous wolves that needed to be exterminated.” Faithful to the doctrine, Presidents of both State and Union announced: “The hoodlums and criminals.”
Hurricane Katrina did not with its winds whip them into a state of anarchy, violence, robbery and rape. A young lifetime of abject poverty, and that zero education which the State follows up with zero tolerance, did that.
Allah the Exalted says in Al-Hajj (22:46):
How many wrongdoing cities I allowed time to
and then I seized them.
I am their final destination!
There is only one lesson to be drawn from the great hurricane, and from the only group able to draw a lesson from it. It is that the Black Nation must once and for all move out from defeat and unify as a people of Allah. Islam is the natural religion of the Black Nation. It is the natural religion of their homeland Africa, from Tangier and Timbuktu to Tanzania. It is your inheritance and with it, wherever it has gone, it has raised up its people and produced a rich culture and high civilization.
Lillian Hellman, in her great study of the capitalist psyche, “the Little Foxes”, has a white financier, Ben Hubbard, state his position:
“I say to myself, years of planning and I get what I want. Then I don’t get it. But I’m not discouraged. The century’s turning, the world is open. Open for people like you and me. Ready for us, waiting for us. After all, this is just the beginning. There are hundreds of Hubbards sitting in rooms like this throughout the country. All their names aren’t Hubbard, but they are all Hubbards, and they will own this country one day. We’ll get along.”
In the same play, speaking about the Hubbards, the Southern black housekeeper Addie has her say:
“Yeah, they got mighty well off cheating niggers. Well, there are people who eat the earth and eat all the people on it like in the Bible with the locusts. Then there are people who stand around and watch them eat it. Sometimes I think it ain’t right to stand and watch them do it.”
Given the condition of the Black Nation of America at this time, James Baldwin might never have written, Nina Simone might never have sung, and Martin Luther King might never have died.
Then Allah sent His Hurricane, and with it a message of hope to the black people still enslaved in America. It was confirmed by a sign. What was the Sign? It was that for the first time in the history of the USA since the Civil War a part of the South was off-limits to an American President. Bush could not land in New Orleans. He went to Mississippi to an isolated spot. He will go to New Orleans in the coming days. Why could he not go during the crisis? The President of the United States of America was afraid. He was afraid to face the fury of a people who did not look on him as their leader. Oh yes, he would go to New Orleans – once the people had been evacuated. All that is left to him are the ruins of an empty city.
By Grand Central Station, Allan Greenspan sat down and wept.
Allah the Exalted has said in Fatir (35:9):
It is Allah who sends the winds which raise the clouds
which we then drive to a dead land
And by them bring the earth to life after it was dead.