Thursday, September 08, 2005

SEWAGE TREATMENT PLANTS are not working. The water is not safe to drink or bathe in; raw sewage from broken sewer lines is running through the streets, releasing all kinds of disease-causing pathogens. People are defecating in the streets, adding to the toxic stew. The authorities fear outbreaks of dysentery, salmonella, hepatitis A, and other conditions that normally are rarely seen in a country where the public health system is good enough to have largely eliminated such third-world ailments.

This sounds like a description of Baghdad any time during the 12 years of economic sanctions that kept Iraq from repairing the infrastructure that U.S. bombers had destroyed during the 1991 Persian Gulf War. In fact, this is exactly what Iraqis experienced.

But it's not Baghdad being described here. It's New Orleans.

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