Louisiana Governor Kathleen Blanco said the 300 troopers from the Arkansas National Guard had been authorised to open fire on "hoodlums" who terrorised the flooded city in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.I wonder what this sort of story will do to enhance our reputation as the World's Policeman. Why do I feel like Martin Sheen in a Saigon hotel room?
The deployment came amid intense criticism of the Bush Administration for a tardy response to the disaster, which is feared to have killed thousands and left hundreds of thousands stranded and homeless.
"These troops are fresh back from Iraq, well trained, experienced, battle tested, and under my orders to restore order in the streets," Ms Blanco said.
"They have M-16s and they are locked and loaded.
"These troops know how to shoot and kill, and are more than willing to do so if necessary. And I expect they will."