Thursday, September 01, 2005

Looting, Violence, and General Mayhem

Just don't get it. You'd think there is enough misery in the area.

But the ambulance service in charge of taking the sick and injured from the Superdome suspended flights after a shot was reported fired at a military helicopter. Richard Zuschlag, chief of Acadian Ambulance, said it had become too dangerous for his pilots.
In a sign of growing lawlessness, Tenet HealthCare Corp. asked authorities late Wednesday to help evacuate a fully functioning hospital in Gretna after a supply truck carrying food, water and medical supplies was held up at gunpoint.

"There are physical threats to safety from roving bands of armed individuals with weapons who are threatening the safety of the hospital," said spokesman Steven Campanini. He estimated there were 350 employees in the hospital and between 125 to 150 patients.

Tempers flared elsewhere across the devastated region. Police said a man in Hattiesburg, Miss., fatally shot his sister in the head over a bag of ice. Dozens of carjackings were reported, including a nursing home bus. One officer was shot in the head and a looter was wounded in a shootout. Both were expected to survive.

Looters used garbage cans and inflatable mattresses to float away with food, clothes, TV sets even guns. Outside one pharmacy, thieves commandeered a forklift and used it to push up the storm shutters and break through the glass. The driver of a nursing-home bus surrendered the vehicle to thugs after being threatened.

Hundreds of people wandered up and down shattered Interstate 10 the only major freeway leading into New Orleans from the east— pushing shopping carts, laundry racks, anything they could find to carry their belongings.

I don't understand the looting of non-neccessities. If you need food or water, I can't blame you. Attacking hospitals or relief workers is just abominable.

If it wasn't for Posse Comitatus I'd say bring in the Marines for control and leave the national guard for assisting with aid.

As for Bush going to the area, I think that is a really poor idea. The area is far too large and will just distract from the rescue missions. Politics should just stay out for now.

Watching the FEMA press conference, I was just pissed. The only questions you heard were related to why FEMA is/has failed so miserably. The reporters even went so far as to say that the tsunami relief was faster. Not a fair comparison mind you but they had to go there. I even heard the question on how much the Iraq operations were effecting the recovery. The FEMA representative was quite clear that the Army stated they had no personnel deficit and that Iraq was totally irrelevant to the situation.

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