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Thursday, September 01, 2005

Katrina 

Watch this video taken by an NBC cameraman and then watch his on-screen testimony. Good lord.

Then read this Slate article.

Then donate. My employer is matching contributions. Check to see if yours is.

UPDATE: It seems to be nigh impossible to actually figure out the situation on the ground. The photographer in the MSNBC video talks about orderly masses and law-abiding citizens waiting to be rescued; his clear implication is that the rescue workers waiting due to safety concerns is bunk, or at least a result of poor information. However, I also see this, by an individual working for a private security company in N.O. In his eyes, the direness of the situation is, in part if not in whole, a result of lawlessness, looting, and more-or-less mob rule. Clearly, the city is big enough that both could be true. I've not been watching any TV news today; maybe the situation has crystalized in the last few hours. But, from where I sit, it's very confusing.

LATER UPDATE: And, even still, doesn't Digby make at least some sense here?
I Wondered About This

From Kos diarist Militarytracy:
I have also spoken today on post here with Army pilots really pissed off that when the helicopter was shot at yesterday at the Superdome, they suspended operations. What I have been told is IT IS A MILITARY HELICOPTER AND YOU ARE PREFORMING A KIND OF MILITARY MISSION AND YOU ARE TAKING FIRE SO WHAT'S THE FUCKING PROBLEM? I heard this from pilots who have served in Iraq. They are really upset right now that it is okay to take fire to liberate Iraqis but it isn't okay to take fire attempting to rescue and save people in your own country!
I've been a little bit gobsmacked by this fraidy-cat reaction to the surly thugs in the streets I've been hearing about all day. The national guard and the coast guard are trained to operate in hostile environments where people are shooting at them. And big city police forces are no slouches either.

Yet they completely cancelled the rescue operation because some bozo shot at a helicopter. And the national guard now refuses to escort patients who are being transferred from hospitals that have no power, food and water.

Gosh I sure hope someone is guarding the oil ministry.
Then again, this may merely be a boots-on-the-ground issue. A chinook outfitted for civilian rescue and transport may simply not be equipped to handle any sort of fire whatsover. I doubt it, but I guess it's possible.
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