NEW ORLEANS, Sept. 5 -- Spec. Frank Atkinson, wearing his tan desert fatigues from his recent deployment in Iraq, alternately drove a Humvee through downtown New Orleans streets littered with debris and putrid garbage and held suspected looters at gunpoint with his M-4 rifle.
"It's just so much like Iraq, it's not funny," said Atkinson, of Woodlawn, Ark., "except for all the water, and they speak English."
For a year ending this spring, Atkinson's infantry company of the Arkansas National Guard patrolled Baghdad's deadly Haifa Street, and scores of its members were awarded Purple Heart medals after fighting insurgents. Those war-zone images and instincts came flooding back Friday when Atkinson and 300 other Arkansas guardsmen, wearing helmets and full body armor, rolled into the chaos of central New Orleans.
"It's like Baghdad on a bad day," said Spec. Brian McKay, 19, of Mount Ida, Ark.
The whole article is worth reading.
Gun battles in New Orleans.
"We're having some pretty intense gun battles breaking out around the city," said Capt. Jeff Winn of the New Orleans police SWAT team. "Armed gangs of from eight to 15 young men are riding around in pickup trucks, looting and raping," he said. Residents fearful of looters often shout to passing Humvees to alert the soldiers to crimes in progress.
Some government officials were claiming that order had been restored to New Orleans two or three days ago. You don't suppose they were lying do you? I figure quite a few criminals will need to get captured or killed before that happens. But eventually New Orleans will be so deserted that it will be safer than it has been for centuries. That is what we call progress.
These soldiers are still better off than the soldiers in Baghdad. The looters will break a lot faster than Iraq's mujahedeen.
There's an obvious parallel between Iraq and Baghdad that has been missed: Democracy failed in New Orleans just as it failed in Baghdad. New Orleans is part of a nation with a population literally 600 times bigger than New Orleans and that nation imposes some amount of order on New Orleans. So the democracy failure is less apparent to those who want to avert their gaze from unpleasantness. But New Orleans has been part of the United States since the Louisiana Purchase. Though it almost was lost to the British in 1815 and was part of the Confederacy during the US Civil War. Still, it has been part of the United States for a long time and yet it is corrupt and dysfunctional as recent events have underscored. Democracy did not produce good government in New Orleans.
The failure of New Orleans government is predictable for those who have studied the accumulated body of evidence accumulated from psychometric research (PDF format).
A Hurricane Katrina evacuee staying with a Plano family was arrested Tuesday and accused of sexually assaulting a 13-year-old girl, police said.
Freddie Murray, 48, of New Orleans was charged with aggravated sexual assault of a child. Mr. Murray is a distant relative of the girl, police said. Police didn't know the exact relationship.
The difference here with Iraq is that in Iraq sex with relatives is done within the confines of marriage.
|Share |||By Randall Parker at 2005 September 08 09:49 AM Human Nature|