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Army Times
Troops begin combat operations in New Orleans
By Joseph R. Chenelly
Times staff writer

NEW ORLEANS - Combat operations are underway on the streets "to take this city back" in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

"This place is going to look like Little Somalia," Brig. Gen. Gary Jones, commander of the Louisiana National Guard's Joint Task Force told Army Times Friday as hundreds of armed troops under his charge prepared to launch a massive citywide security mission from a staging area outside the Louisiana Superdome. "We're going to go out and take this city back. This will be a combat operation to get this city under control."
Jones said the military first needs to establish security throughout the city. Military and police officials have said there are several large areas of the city are in a full state of anarchy.

Dozens of military trucks and up-armored Humvees left the staging area just after 11 a.m. Friday, while hundreds more troops arrived at the same staging area in the city via Black Hawk and Chinook helicopters.

"We're here to do whatever they need us to do," Sgt. 1st Class Ron Dixon, of the Oklahoma National Guard's 1345th Transportation Company. "We packed to stay as long as it takes."

While some fight the insurgency in the city, other carry on with rescue and evacuation operations. Helicopters are still pulling hundreds of stranded people from rooftops of flooded homes.

Army, Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard and police helicopters filled the city sky Friday morning. Most had armed soldiers manning the doors. According to Petty Officer 3rd Class Jeremy Grishamn, a spokesman for the amphibious assault ship Bataan, the vessel kept its helicopters at sea Thursday night after several military helicopters reported being shot at from the ground.

Numerous soldiers also told Army Times that they have been shot at by armed civilians in New Orleans. Spokesmen for the Joint Task Force Headquarters at the Superdome were unaware of any servicemen being wounded in the streets, although one soldier is recovering from a gunshot wound sustained during a struggle with a civilian in the dome Wednesday night.

"I never thought that at a National Guardsman I would be shot at by other Americans," said Spc. Philip Baccus of the 527th Engineer Battalion. "And I never thought I'd have to carry a rifle when on a hurricane relief mission. This is a disgrace."
Spc. Cliff Ferguson of the 527th Engineer Battalion pointed out that he knows there are plenty of decent people in New Orleans, but he said it is hard to stay motivated considering the circumstances. "This is making a lot of us think about not reenlisting." Ferguson said. "You have to think about whether it is worth risking your neck for someone who will turn around and shoot at you. We didn't come here to fight a war. We came here to help."
 
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kwflatbed said:
Army Times

"I never thought that at a National Guardsman I would be shot at by other Americans," said Spc. Philip Baccus of the 527th Engineer Battalion. "And I never thought I'd have to carry a rifle when on a hurricane relief mission. This is a disgrace."

Spc. Cliff Ferguson of the 527th Engineer Battalion pointed out that he knows there are plenty of decent people in New Orleans, but he said it is hard to stay motivated considering the circumstances. "This is making a lot of us think about not reenlisting." Ferguson said. "You have to think about whether it is worth risking your neck for someone who will turn around and shoot at you. We didn't come here to fight a war. We came here to help."

What a disgrace. I always joked around that the deep south is third world, but I never thought it to be true. How wrong I was. These a-holes that get caught better not be let off easy. This is how the rest of the nation will be when the ACLU and the Michael Moores of the this country make accountability and morality illegal.
 

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I can't believe we have a situation in our country where "combat operations" are needed against our own. This day is sadder than I think most people can comprehend.

It might start to look like Somalia, but this is still Louisiana, part of the United States. What has happened to the core of our country where lawlessness and self-interest have become so commonplace? What happened to the rally cry when calamity hits? Why is NO so different today than NYC was on September 11th? When the towers fell, NYC came together and banded like brothers. NO is like Armageddon. Is there truly that much of a cultural gap from the north and south? I dont know what I missing in all of this, but I tell you my stomach is turning. This is NOT what we're about as a culture and people. Something has gone terribly wrong, but then again, I've never lived in, or experienced true poverty, so maybe this is just the way it is and will be so long as people have nothing to lose.

But one thing is for damn sure. If the police or National Guard find one SOB with a weapon remotely pointed in their direction; I hope they drop him like a bag of dirt. Which is a fair analogy actually.
 
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KozmoKramer said:
What has happened to the core of our country where lawlessness and self-interest have become so commonplace? What happened to the rally cry when calamity hits? Why is NO so different today than NYC was on September 11th? When the towers fell, NYC came together and banded like brothers. NO is like Armageddon. Is there truly that much of a cultural gap from the north and south? I dont know what I missing in all of this, but I tell you my stomach is turning. This is NOT what we're about as a culture and people. Something has gone terribly wrong, but then again, I've never lived in, or experienced true poverty, so maybe this is just the way it is and will be so long as people have nothing to lose.
The difference in NYC is that there were enough Americans with dignity and pride. There will always be poor people with shit luck and can't make it up the ladder (I pray for them), but in NO there is a large segment that have no pride and don't care. That keeps many of them poor. Their lack of self respect is now showing in this time of crisis. NO gov't, police, and society at large has been corrupted civicly & morally for decades. Look at the difference in how the citizens of Mississippi and Alabama are dealing w/ the crisis. No matter their status in society, the people of NYC had self-respect. Now, I am not saying NO is lacking a good segment, but there are enough bad seeds to disrupt the rescue of Firfighters' families in a building, snipers shooting at rescue helicopters, and a-holes shooting at soldiers who not to long ago were overseas settling the score for 9/11.
 

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Riding on the City of New Orleans,
Illinois Central Monday morning rail
Fifteen cars and fifteen restless riders,
Three conductors and twenty-five sacks of mail.

All along the southbound odyssey
The train pulls out at Kankakee
Rolls along past houses, farms and fields.
Passin' trains that have no names,
Freight yards full of old black men
And the graveyards of the rusted automobiles.

Good morning America how are you?
Don't you know me I'm your native son,
I'm the train they call The City of New Orleans,
I'll be gone five hundred miles when the day is done.

Dealin' card games with the old men in the club car.
Penny a point ain't no one keepin' score.
Pass the paper bag that holds the bottle
Feel the wheels rumblin' 'neath the floor.

And the sons of pullman porters
And the sons of engineers
Ride their father's magic carpets made of steel.
Mothers with their babes asleep
Are rockin' to the gentle beat
And the rhythm of the rails is all they feel.

Good morning America how are you?
Don't you know me I'm your native son
I'm the train they call The City of New Orleans,
I'll be gone five hundred miles when the day is done

Nighttime on The City of New Orleans,
Changing cars in Memphis, Tennessee.
Half way home, we'll be there by morning
Through the Mississippi darkness
Rolling down to the sea

And all the towns and people seem
To fade into a bad dream
And the steel rails still ain't heard the news.
The conductor sings his song again,
The passengers will please refrain

This train's got the disappearing railroad blues.

Good night, America, how are you?
Don't you know me I'm your native son,
I'm the train they call The City of New Orleans,
I'll be gone five hundred miles when the day is done.

 

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Those are words I never thought I would hear in the same sentence in my lifetime. Maybe I am naive and all, but combat operations in New Orleans...damn! These thugs are really no different from the insurgents in Iraq and Afghanistan and will be treated accordingly.
 
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