New Orleans descends into anarchy as corpses
lay abandoned in streets, fights and fires broke out, cops turned in their badges and the governor declared war on looters who have made the city a menacing landscape of disorder and fear.
|"They have M-16s and they're locked and loaded," Gov. Kathleen Blanco said of 300 National Guard troops who landed in New Orleans fresh from duty in Iraq. "These troops know how to shoot and kill, and they are more than willing to do so, and I expect they will."|
The chaos deepened despite the promise of 1,400 National Guardsmen a day to stop the looting, plans for a $10 billion recovery bill in Congress and a government relief effort President Bush called the biggest in U.S. history.
|"I'm not sure I'm going to get out of here alive," said Canadian tourist Larry Mitzel, who handed a reporter his business card in case he goes missing. "I'm scared of riots. I'm scared of the locals. We might get caught in the crossfire."|
More than four days after Hurricane Katrina struck, the National Guard finally arrived with food, water and weapons, churning through the floodwaters in a vast truck convoy that was met with both catcalls and cries of "thank you, Jesus!'' from the suffering multitudes.
New Orleans' top emergency management official has called that effort a "national disgrace" and questioned when reinforcements would actually reach the increasingly lawless city.