In the US hurricane-stricken areas the lawlessness continues. Some engineering contractors on their way to plug a breech in a stretch of the New Orleans levees came under fire from unknown elements. None of the contractors was hurt. But their police escort returned the fire and killed at least five people. There could be more casualties as the police believed they had opened fire on eight people.
The stress level for New Orleans police and firefighters have been humongously unbearable, especially in the immediate aftermath of the devastation. A couple were actually driven to suicide by the nightmarish trauma of maintaining some semblance of order in the city.
The destruction was so overwhelming, yet made worse by the state of anarchy as the law of the jungle took over, and looting, rape and murder began. Several police officers who saw the impossibility of holding back the criminals without emergency troops simply turned in their badges in defeat and disgust.
That surely would have provided an inkling to the Americans of what the new Iraqi security forces would have been facing in Iraq. There have been too arrogant and too callous many condemnations by some Americans of the Iraqi’s “gutlessness” and “lack of resolve”. The New Orleans experience would have brought the truth nearer to those American critics sitting on their bums safely in Washington.
Meanwhile a Coast Guard Super Puma helicopter has crashed but the two crew members are safe. There has been no indication whether they were shot down or had crashed due to technical or flying problems.
A Touch of Iraq in New Orleans