Standing Guard in New Orleans

When New Orleans’ murder rate spiked last month, Mayor Ray Nagin requested the National Guard to help cope.

Now keep in mind that half the old population base was scattered after Katrina and only recently – but ominously – began to trickle back in. And also keep in mind that while New Orleans prefers geographically and culturally alluring appellations such as “Crescent City” and “The Big Easy,” it’s long been saddled with the (all too) well-earned “Murder Capital of the U.S.” moniker.

But calling out the National Guard because of murders in New Orleans? That’s like sending NATO peacekeepers into Afghanistan – but just until the country no longer needs pacification.

As for the “Big Queasy”: The day the Guard leaves is the day Mayor Nagin declares, in effect, that his city has been purged of disproportionate numbers of career criminals with high-risk lifestyles. You can take him at his word.

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