“These troops know how to shoot to kill…and I expect they will”

Louisiana Governor Kathleen Blanco is not instilling confidence in anyone who’s heard her speak since this crisis began. Her words as she “declared war” on looters, using National Guard troops fresh from Iraq, are a prime example:

These troops know how to shoot and kill, and they are more than willing to do so, and I expect they will.

“I expect they will”? Not, “I have ordered them to use all necessary means”, but, “I expect they will.”

Maybe I’m reading too much (or too little) into her public statements over the last four days, but that’s pure politician-speak–nothing firm on which you can hang responsibility (“Well, I didn’t actually say ‘shoot to kill’.”). I haven’t heard her make one clear statement all week, except for the announcement that the state was commandeering school buses. She’s in over her head.

The federal response isn’t any better. “Cluster-f**k” is the first word that comes to mind. NORTHCOM is supposed be coordinating the relief effort. The U.S. military can handle logistics in Iraq and Afghanistan but it can’t figure out how to get water and rations into New Orleans?

The situation there is grim, from what I can read at the WWL-TV blog. It’s like the old Kurt Russell movie Escape From New York is being played out for real. People are literally dying of dehydration in the streets of a major American city.

This is criminal.

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