Saturday, September 03, 2005

Louisiana Governor Blanco, trying to sound 'tough'...

. . . praised some "battle-hardened" members of the Arkansas National Guard, who have just returned from Iraq and are being sent to New Orleans with orders authorizing them to shoot looters:

"They have M-16s, and they are locked and loaded. These troops know how to shoot and kill, and they are more than willing to do so if necessary, and I expect they will."

So, let me get this straight. We are bragging about sending soldiers to kill American citizens? Blanco's words come awfully close to that. I don't know the context to her remarks, but from here across the ocean, her statement makes a very bad impression.

I recognize the need to re-establish order in New Orleans, bring security to the people trapped there, and help the victims struggling to survive. I think that all of this should have been done immediately. And I'm not so naive as to think that it can be done without shooting some of the well-armed, violent looters whom we've been reading about.

Blanco's words, however, seem to emphasize killing over rescuing. She would better have said something like this:

"The Arkansas National Guard will soon arrive in New Orleans to protect the storm's victims and ensure orderly rescue efforts. They will therefore stop the looting, disarm the gangs, arrest criminals, and restore order."

Let's at least try to sound civilized.


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