The Daily Pick

Friday, September 02, 2005

Finally, Someone In Charge

Lt. General Russel Honore is now in charge in New Orleans. After all the incompetencies from the administration, at least they put someone with some leadership skills in charge.

Some news reports:

"He came off the doggone chopper, and he started cussing and people started moving," Mayor Nagin said in an interview Thursday night with a local radio station.

CNN's Barbara Starr, who is traveling with the three-star general, said Honore is "very determined to keep this looking like a humanitarian relief operation."

"A few moments ago, he stopped a truck full of National Guard troops ... and said, 'Point your weapons down, this is not Iraq,' " Starr reported.

The three-star general directed the deployment of an estimated 1,000 National Guard troops from a New Orleans street corner Friday, making it clear that it was a humanitarian relief operation. Getting food and water to the people at the city's convention center was a difficult process, Honore said.

"If you ever have 20,000 people come to supper, you know what I'm talking about. If it's easy, it would have been done already."

The general acknowledged that frustration, and in some cases lawlessness, is building.

"By-and-large, these are families that are just waiting to get out of here. They are frustrated; I would be, too. I get frustrated at the cash register counter when the paper runs out."

And another story about Honore:

We were walking with U.S. Army Lt. Gen. Russel Honore and his military team from the convention center and there are still hundreds of people on the street. They are just sitting there in terrible circumstances.

We came across one young African American mother. She had twin young infants in her arms. She was trying to walk in this terrible heat and she apparently was so exhausted that the babies were half falling out of her arms.

It was at that point that Gen. Honore just stopped cold in the middle of the street. He went up to this woman and said, "We're going to get you help." He took both of those babies and handed them to his soldiers. They also evacuated another mother and her baby.

Then we all got on a Coast Guard ship. These three infants and two mothers, who are terribly dehydrated and exhausted, are now getting instant medical care on this ship. And the mothers tell us that there simply has been no help. They tell us they escaped their homes by swimming to safety during the flood. They have been waiting ever since with their babies on the street for someone to pick them up.

posted by The Daily Pick at 6:17 PM


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