MoonDawg's Den: "locked and loaded" in the Big Easy

MoonDawg's Den

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

"locked and loaded" in the Big Easy

The city of New Orleans has requested that 300 National Guard troops be deployed there to help combat an increase in violent crime. On Saturday a "slaughter" took place in New Orleans, with five teenagers killed by gunfire as they drove their SUV through the Central City area. Just this morning the city suffered its 54th murder of 2006, when a 22 year-old man was gunned down inside an apartment.

According to the New Orleans police superintendent, the NG troops being deployed will have arrest powers and authorization to use deadly force:
"They will be armed, locked and loaded and prepared," he said.
When President Bush announced that a few thousand NG troops were being sent to help support border enforcement, some liberals cried that the President was "militarizing" the border - even though those troopers are being deployed without any arrest powers. Will these same people decry the "militarizing" of Bourbon Street?

UPDATE: Michelle Malkin notes the the "total silence of civil liberties Chicken Littles who would be screaming 'police state!' if Nagin were white and he and Blanco were Republicans sending convoys of armed military police officers into any other city in the country."


  • Wow! This is why I don't blog much anymore. Let's examine your post, shall we?

    1- You continue to misrepresent one quote by Nancy Pelosi to make your point that "some liberals cried that the President was 'militarizing' the border." We discussed the Pelosi quote in an earlier instance, and you're still completely spinning it to slam liberals. I still believe that you agree with the premise of Pelosi's statement: sending the troops in this manner is ineffectual at controling illegal immigration. Could partisanship be getting in the way of your reading of the quote?

    2- You're comparing apples and oranges. Sending troops to help police New Orleans as they rebuild after Katrina, I believe, is actually quite overdue. There is a specific problem, crime, that can be better contained by having a military presence to help with law enforcement.

    On the other side, sending troops to the border doesn't really stop the problem of illegal immigration. It's 30 years too late to do that with troops on the border. It was a political move by the president, not a real solution. That's the problem Nancy Pelosi had with it, I had with it, and you had with it.

    No, instead it has to be about race. It has to be "liberals hate white people." Yet, when liberals cried foul at the abysmal response to Hurricane Katrina, we were told that it wasn't because New Orleans was full of liberal minorities and that we shouldn't play the race card. Now it's okay to play the race card if it works the other way? Sheesh...

    By Blogger Jeff, At 8:44 PM, June 21, 2006  

  • BTW, if we want to talk race, how about republcans delaying the renewal of the voting rights act.

    By Blogger Jeff, At 11:06 PM, June 21, 2006  

  • Glad to see you're still alive Jeff, how's the book going?

    I never did agree with your interpretation of Pelosi's statement because - a) by this logic, "militarizing" = "ineffectual", and b) as we discussed, the support mission the NG was sent on and their ROE (lack of arrest powers) is more a non-militarization of the border.

    I'm not buying for a second that folks like Pelosi are critical of the deployment because they want the NG's role to be more direct and aggressive (especially when some civil liberties-oriented lefties say things like the deployment is tantamount to a declaration of war on Mexico).

    Apples and oranges? There is a "specific problem, crime" at the border as well - illegal crossings, narco-trafficking, dangerous human smuggling - plenty of crime there that "can be better contained by having a military presence to help with law enforcement". Alas, strong rules of engagement are apparently ok for New Orleans, but not for the border.

    I don't know what the Voting Rights Act has to do with this, but implying that racism is related to the delay is nonsense - the delay is because some House members from Texas object to their state and a handful of others continuing to be subject to Justice Department preclearance for amending voting standards, and because of a provision in the VRA that requires multi-lingual ballots in certain areas.

    By Blogger Garry, At 9:40 AM, June 22, 2006  

  • I'm glad I'm alive too. I almost stepped on a rattlesnake on the golf course a couple of days ago, so my fate was in question. The book is going well. I'm trying to revise it from a good story that feels a little like liberal propaganda into just a good story. It's hard work removing biases.

    As for Pelosi, my logic isn't that militarizing=ineffectual. My point is that militarizing isn't the key word in her speech. She calls the president's plan a "political gimmick" that is trying to substitute for "failed policy." What she is basically saying is that sending the military is bad policy because it doesn't fix the problem, not because it is "militarizing." But, we may never agree on that point. For me, it is difficult to judge one person's point of view if you only focus on one word of what they said. Here's her speech in it's entirety. I don't think my interpretation is too far off:

    “Tonight’s speech is an opportunity for President Bush to demonstrate the kind of leadership on border security that has so far been sorely lacking.

    “Unfortunately, the President’s reported solution – a proposal to send thousands of National Guard troops to the border – is unmistakable evidence of the failure over the past five years of the President and Republican Congress to develop a comprehensive immigration policy. This failure continues under the House Republicans, who have refused to fully fund the number of border patrol agents that Congress has authorized, even as Democrats have repeatedly pushed for Congress to fulfill its obligation.

    “We must protect our borders, but militarizing our borders is a desperate response by the President to his and Republican Congress’ policy failures. This ill-advised proposal would rely on a National Guard that the President tried to reduce in size earlier this year, and which is already stretched thin by repeated deployments to Iraq. It is long past time that we fully fund the border patrol and implement all the 9/11 Commission recommendations, as Democrats have repeatedly proposed.

    “Tonight, the President must explicitly embrace the elements of comprehensive immigration reform that are supported on a bipartisan basis by a strong majority of Americans: real border security with expanded border patrol levels, family reunification, strong labor protections for all workers to prevent any exploitation, and a pathway to earned legalization and citizenship with tough requirements of paying fines and back taxes, being employed, and learning English.

    “If he is serious about true immigration reform, the President must now disavow the mean-spirited House Republican immigration bill, sponsored by Congressman James Sensenbrenner, which makes felons out of millions of immigrants. Such repudiation is necessary, given the narrow-mindedness of House Republican leaders toward comprehensive immigration reform.

    “The time for political gimmicks is over. It is time for real leadership.”

    As for my little blurb about the Voting Rights Act, I was more trying to point out that playing the race card with the NG being sent to NO and to the border makes about as much sense as playing the race card with the Voting Rights Act renewal. No sense whatsoever.

    The issue isn't about race with the NG being sent here or there. It's about how two groups view fixing a problem. The democrats want a moderate, comprehensive solution to the immigration problem, something along the lines of the senate bill, and the hard-line republicans don't.

    I do think that it's apples and oranges. NO and the border are very different situations, and race has nothing to do with it even though Malkin thinks it does. I guess that's my biggest beef with your post is the "update" from Malkin. It's too easy to cry racism in this country. If we're worried about racism, let's focus on more real examples of it and not use the word as a political tool.


    By Blogger Jeff, At 12:58 PM, June 22, 2006  

  • Look, why would she use the phrase "militarizing our borders" when the "gimmick" part of it is - as we both agree - that the deployment is anything but a militarization of the border??

    And Malkin wasn't crying "racism". Her point was that if Nagin was a white Republican then there'd be a bunch of folks that would now be crying "racism".

    By Blogger Garry, At 2:40 PM, June 22, 2006  

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