The party is over in New Orleans, and the “good times” are no longer rolling. The trumpets are silent or if they are playing anything, it is retreat. Experts have been warning New Orleans’ officials for many years that the city was a disaster waiting to happen. But nothing was done. It has happened before.
In 1878, a deadly plague started along the Gulf Coast of the U.S., almost wiping out some towns causing horror and fear wherever it hit. It slowly worked its way up the Mississippi River to New Orleans, killing the poor and prosperous, ignorant and intelligent, and city-folk and country-folk alike. Its name was whispered in awe: yellow fever.
New Orleans in 1878 was a prosperous, proud, and prissy city, Babylon on the Mississippi.
New Orleans in 1878 was a prosperous, proud, and prissy city, Babylon on the Mississippi. Cotton was king, food was an obsession, dueling was common, and gambling was rampant. The wealthy lived in opulent, antebellum homes nestled along the Mississippi, while the desperately poor huddled in floorless hovels.
Everyone knew that yellow fever was working its way north along the river, and everyone knew it was deadly; however, New Orleans’ officials and media told everyone not to worry. Things would be all right. They wanted to believe that, but had no reason to believe it.
When the fever showed its ugly face in New Orleans, it was the worst plague to lash the city in its history. More than half of the inhabitants died and in fact, the city lost its charter and was not an official city until 14 years later. Public officials dallied, dawdled, delayed, and denied the danger thinking they were too smart, sophisticated, and special for such a thing to happen to them. It happened. They refused to take the warning seriously and paid for it with thousands of deaths.
The residents of New Orleans have always seemed to have an obsession with death. Michael Ledeen writing in National Review online suggested: “Death has always been omnipresent in the consciousness of the city; dancing in defiance of death was the city’s trademark, and the spirited music that defined New Orleans for much of the world was played at the happiest occasions, and at the most famous funerals.” Today, the “saints” are not strutting down Bourbon Street but struggling to get out of the city.
The city is not dancing in defiance of death today. It is struggling to survive the worst hurricane in U.S. history, but maybe it should not survive! We are told that New Orleans may be down but not out; however, maybe it should be. Why would sane people choose to live below sea level protected only by levees and antiquated water pumps?
I say, “Close the city, unplug the pumps, and destroy the levees and permit nature to take its course.” After all, it is well on its way to becoming another Babylon, an apt comparison. Let the city suffer the fate of Babylon as Jeremiah 51:37 says: “And Babylon shall become heaps, a dwellingplace for dragons, an astonishment, and an hissing, without an inhabitant.”
Today, New Orleans is in jeopardy of becoming a non-city after the catastrophic Katrina lashed into the area ripping up centuries-old trees, smashing impressive coastal homes, demolishing commercial buildings, breaking the levees, and flooding the famous streets with polluted water up to twenty feet deep.
The world has watched in horror and empathy as thousands of helpless people clung to rafts, perched upon house tops, and floated through noxious water on makeshift rafts. All waiting for someone to rescue them. Many people have been moved to safety but the city cannot be moved. It is still below sea level, and was kept dry by levees and pumps—when they functioned.
With each passing, scorching day, the danger increases as cholera becomes a certainty followed by West Nile virus, typhoid, and Yellow Fever. Add to the mix the brackish water, chemical and industrial wastes, sewage, decomposing bodies of people and animals and you have a witch’s brew that could kill thousands more than the storm.
The media have defended those who decided not to evacuate the area “because they were mostly poor.” Wait a minute. Are we to believe that all those people did not have automobiles, did not have friends or family with cars, or could not afford a $50.00 bus ticket out of town? Maybe they could have walked! While we should be compassionate, we should not be fools. While storm circumstances and timing were a factor, it does no one any good to place blame on “society” and excuse poor judgment, carelessness, or more nefarious motives for staying in the path of the storm.
Authorities have lost control as bands of thieves loot the stores for clothing, jewelry, television sets, kitchen appliances, and any item that was movable. When reproved by onlookers, the thieves shouted that it was a “matter of survival.” Another said, “It is an opportunity for oppressed people to get back at society.” Evidently, it hasn’t occurred to those people that in a few days, they may have to eat that clothing and those diamond rings and watches would be gladly traded for a bottle of water.
We are observing the results of fifty years of liberal indoctrination of America whereby people have been told that they “have a right” to education, home, good job, etc., at the expense of the productive. Now, they will take what they want while police and other officials stand by and watch! If order is not restored very quickly, anarchists will rule instead of authorities. Looters must be shot! Yes, a few looters will be killed, but that is better than police officers, firemen, and helpless citizens being killed or losing everything.
No national official has had the courage to demand a “shoot to kill” order as was common at one time in our nation, although Gov. Kathleen Blanco has threatened to do so. However, after absolute chaos reigns, public officials will suck up their gut and make some hard decisions. Deal with looters as in the past.
*Do everything humanly possible to save every human life. Forget the animals.
*Make every possible effort to relieve the suffering of those in need.
*Communicate with these refugees (bullhorns from helicopters) so they know how they hinder or help efforts to rescue them. Try using some crowd control.
*Issue a “shoot to kill” order immediately and publicize it widely.
*All right, I’m a softy, so have police officers order the looters to “stop or I’ll shoot.” Then shoot if he or she does not stop.
*Turn off the pumps, break the levees and permit New Orleans to return to the gulf waters.
Is it possible that God, after years of forbearance, finally said, “I’ve had enough and did as He did to Babylon? “And a mighty angel took up a stone like a great millstone, and cast it into the sea, saying, Thus with violence shall that great city Babylon be thrown down, and shall be found no more at all.”
Pull the plug on New Orleans and let it disappear into the sewer of judgment because like Babylon, it does not deserve to be saved.