19.6.06

IT'S A QUAGMIRE. Send in more troops.
Acting at the mayor's request, Gov. Kathleen Blanco said Monday she would send National Guard troops and state police to patrol the streets of New Orleans after a bloody weekend in which six people were killed.
The stakes do not appear to be control of an oil-rich country, or a major religion.

It was the first time the National Guard has been used for law enforcement in the United States since the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

[New Orleans mayor Ray] Nagin had sought the troops after five teenagers in an SUV were shot and killed in the city's deadliest attack in at least 11 years. Police said the attack was apparently motivated by drugs or revenge. Also, a man was stabbed to death Sunday night in an argument over beer.

Is it really constructive to send in more troops?

The killings over the weekend brought this year's murder toll to 53, raising fears that violence was back on the rise in a city that was plagued by violent crime before Katrina drove out much of the population last year.

Crime has been creeping back into the city: 17 killings in the first three months of 2006, and 36 since the start of April.

With other demands on the Guard, is additional commitment to New Orleans necessary?
Texas' governor sent National Guard troops to Houston Monday as torrential rainfall flooded homes and highways in southeastern Texas and parts of Louisiana, where more than 100 patients had to be evacuated from a nursing home.

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