Sunday, September 11, 2005

Mercenaries Guard Rich Homes In NOLA

From the Guardian:

Hundreds of mercenaries have descended on New Orleans to guard the property of the city's millionaires from looters. The heavily armed men, employed by private military companies including Blackwater and ISI, are part of the militarisation of a city which had a reputation for being one of the most relaxed and easy-going in America.

Those names sound familiar? Fallujah...Baghdad...New Orleans. The final trappings of a third world nation presided over by a tinpot dictatorial President who likes to pretend he is a military man are now in place. Somehow, we should have known that this administration's favourite guns-for-hire wouldn't be left out of the money-making.

Blackwater, one of the fastest-growing private security firms in the world, which achieved global prominence last year when four of its men were killed and their bodies mutilated in the Iraqi city of Falluja, has set up camp in the back garden of a vast mansion in the wealthy Uptown district of the city.

David Reagan, 52, a semi-retired US army colonel from Huntsville, Alabama, who fought in the first Gulf war and is commander of Blackwater's operations in the city, refused to say how many men he had in New Orleans but indicated it was in the hundreds.

Asked if they had encountered many looters so far, Mr Reagan said that the sight of his heavily armed men - a pump action shotgun was propped against the wall near to where he was standing - was enough to put most people off.

Well, my kids have this powder to sprinkle on the streets of San Antonio to keep the heffelumps and woozles off the sidewalks, and it must work because you never see any heffelumps or woozles around the same way, those rich gated communities must have been in danger from looters - it couldn't have been that all bar a small majority of the "looters" were simply trying to survive, find food and diapers, that kind of thing and never looked up towards the rich folks' homes...could it?

Digby says that racism often manifests as fear and oh boy is he right. There is at least one report of armed white-supremacist vigilantes randomly shooting black people in the chaos of New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina.

No comments: