MOGADISHU ON THE MISSISSIPPI
"Confusion reigns in New Orleans
" John Robb's Blog
" by Jeremiah
at Organic Warfare
" Anarchy in New Orleans
" by Curzon
at Coming Anarchy
"Troops to Quadruple New Orleans Police Force
" Associated Press
There's a lot of blame to go around for conditions in New Orleans, operationally and systemically but a good demonstration is being made that in America, as in Iraq, desperately needed constructive and humanitarian work cannot take place in a security vacuum.
Security comes first. And that gets established in a dicey situation in terms of mass psychology by setting a shockingly harsh example with the first looters and then using the moment to swarm the area with boots. Lots of them. Whomever held police and troops back ( or failed to give clear orders, intentionally shifting the legal responsibility to the outnumbered cop or guardsman on a flooded streetcorner) from shooting looters out of stupidity or concern for " how things would look on TV" has a lot of deaths on their head right now.
Civilization is a fragile thing. Thanks to roaming gangs with guns made possible by governmental incompetence,we now have a situation that could unravel a lot further if we give these inchoate criminal mobs time to organize themselves. The U.S. military needs to step in now even if it means pulling a few combat and military police units from Iraq temporarily. And then massive relief aid needs to follow fast
( you can donate to the Red Cross here
). The penny-ante effort detailed by the AP is not enough.
Bush has, at most, a few days left to get his hands around this one. Yes, the nation and even New Orleans will ultimately survive this crisis but the president's administration is going to take quite a hit if they don't get their heads in the game.