Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Looting; a glimpse of the future

Below The Beltway said it best:
I've always feared what would happen if a major American city simply collapsed. It appears that we are finding out.

I won't repeat all of the looting stories here, but these stick out in my mind:
Inside the store, the scene alternated between celebration and frightening bedlam. A shirtless man straddled a broken jewelry case, yelling, “Free samples, free samples over here.”

Another man rolled a mechanized pallet, stacked six feet high with cases of vodka and whiskey. Perched atop the stack was a bewildered toddler. . . .
Most officers, though, simply stood by powerless against the tide of law breakers.

One veteran officer said, “It’s like this everywhere in the city. This tiny number of cops can’t do anything about this. It’s wide open.”

At least one officer tried futilely to control a looter through shame.

“When they say take what you need, that doesn’t mean an f-ing TV,” the officer shouted to a looter. “This is a hurricane, not a free-for-all.”

Sandra Smith of Baton Rouge walked through the parking lot with a 12-pack of Bud Light under each arm. “I came down here to get my daughters,” she said, “but I can’t find them.”

The scene turned so chaotic at times that entrances were blocked by the press of people and shopping carts and traffic jams sprouted on surrounding streets.

Some groups organized themselves into assembly lines to more efficiently cart off goods.

I think the scene in New Orleans may be a preview of what we may expect during the next terrorist attack on U.S. soil - especially if that attack is particularly devastating. Somehow we avoided this kind of thing on 9-11, but that situation was unique.

The MSM/DNC has been making Bush and America into the enemy for almost four years. The sense of unity that appeared on 9-11 is largely gone. I don't think we can count on the patriotism of American looters the next time an attack occurs.

The rest of us should take some lessons away from this episode about preparedness not only for the next terrorist attack, but for the civil unrest that will follow. Read Peggy Noonan's column from last week also, as she advises us to Think Dark.

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