Saturday, September 03, 2005

This is not America

Reuters AlertNet - Rapes, killings hit Katrina refugees in New Orleans:
"They killed a man here last night," Steve Banka, 28, told Reuters. "A young lady was being raped and stabbed. And the sounds of her screaming got to this man and so he ran out into the street to get help from troops, to try to flag down a passing truck of them, and he jumped up on the truck's windscreen and they shot him dead."

Wade Batiste, 48, recounted another tale of horror.

"Last night at 8 p.m. they shot a kid of just 16. He was just crossing the street. They ran him over, the New Orleans police did, and then they got out of the car and shot him in the head," Batiste said.



A member of that family, Africa Brumfield, 32, confirmed the incident but declined to be quoted about it, saying her family did not wish to discuss it. But she spoke of general conditions here.

"There is rapes going on here. Women cannot go to the bathroom without men. They are raping them and slitting their throats. They keep telling us the buses are coming but they never leave," she said through tears.
There's a lot wrong, and I'm sure there are cases where deadly force is justified down there, but this just isn't OK. It's not OK that people are getting shot like this and it isn't OK that the bathrooms in the convention center are so dangerous.

Plus,

One National Guard soldier who asked not to be named for fear of punishment from his commanding officer said of the lack of medical attention at the center, "They (the Bush administration) care more about Iraq and Afghanistan than here."

The Louisiana National Guard soldier said, "We are doing the best we can with the resources we have, but almost all of our guys are in Iraq."
It's a bit too pat to tie all this to Iraq, but it's important to note that the National Guard personnel in New Orleans are unhappy about the effects of Iraq on their effectiveness.