Thursday, September 01, 2005

The pictures of the looting in New Orleans are unbelievable. It is so reminiscent of Baghdad after the fall of Saddam. People are hot wiring cars and trucks. They're stealing anything that is not already destroyed. They're stealing guns and then carjacking people's vehicles. It is to the point that they have to take the police off of rescue missions and start arresting looters.
Mayor Ray Nagin ordered 1,500 police officers to leave their search-and-rescue mission Wednesday night and return to the streets to stop looting that has turned increasingly hostile as the city plunges deeper into chaos.
These people are going beyond taking water and food from grocery stores. They're stealing supplies from hospital patients.
Looters also chased down a police truck full of food. The New Orleans police chief ran off looters while city officials themselves were commandeering equipment from a looted Office Depot. During a state of emergency, authorities have broad powers to take private supplies and buildings for their use.

Managers at a nursing home were prepared to cope with the power outages and had enough food for days, but then the looting began. The home's bus driver was forced to surrender the vehicle to carjackers.

Bands of people drove by the nursing home, shouting to residents, "Get out!" Eighty residents, most of them in wheelchairs, were being evacuated to other nursing homes in the state.

"We had enough food for 10 days," said Peggy Hoffman, the home's executive director. "Now we'll have to equip our department heads with guns and teach them how to shoot."

Tenet Healthcare Corp. said late Wednesday that it would also evacuate one of its hospitals in Gretna after a supply truck carrying food, water, medical supplies and pharmaceuticals was held up by gunmen.

"There are physical threats to safety from roving bands of armed individuals with weapons who are threatening the safety of the hospital," spokesman Steven Campanini said of the 203-bed Meadowcrest Hospital.
Did you ever think you would see a day in America where hospital employees would have to be armed with guns to shoot off looters?

The looters are after guns. This is going to get to be more and more like Baghdad.
New Orleans' homeland security chief, Terry Ebbert, said looters were breaking into stores all over town and stealing guns. He said there are gangs of armed men moving around the city. At one point, officers stranded on the roof of a hotel were fired at by criminals on the street.

Authorities said an officer was shot in the head and a looter was wounded in a shootout. The officer and looter were expected to survive.
One newsman had a story of his car being attacked by armed gunmen with machine guns. And these looters seem to have no fear. I don't know where they're going to take the people that they arrest.

What a tragedy that the police and the National Guard have to be civerted from rescuing people who are still stranded in order to deal with these people. It is so depressing to see how quickly some have descened into a state of nature instead of trying to help their neighbors in this terrible situation.