As you ponder the ongoing tragedies surrounding the victims of Hurricane Karina, as you get angry when you think former President George Bush thought it was enough to fly over the disaster and go "tsk, tsk," as you ponder what will happen when the next disaster hits the U.S., consider the following. After reading the quotes below, you will get the connection, but the American media missed it entirely. The media focused on Brad Pitt and other celebrities walking around the ravaged neighborhoods, TV and newspapers pondered the inability of the levees to handle the hurricanes surge, but nothing was said about the lack of sufficient National Guard help in New Orleans. Where was the National Guard?
"National Guard troops are deploying to Iraq and Afghanistan in historic numbers. Will states finally demand an end to the costly practice of using citizen-soldiers to fight overseas wars?" -"Worldwide WAMM" - April, 2009 issue, page 1
"It is the largest ever Wyoming National Guard deployment and will affect nearly 1,000 families and most Wyoming communities." -Caspar Star Tribune, Feb. 4
"The Vermont National Guard is gearing up for its largest deployment since World War II..." -Bennington Banner, Feb. 5
"Oregon's National Guard is in the process of mobilizing for its largest deployment of citizen soldiers since World War II." -Oregon Public Broadcasting, Feb. 7
"It's the largest aviation deployment in state Army National Guard history, spokesman 1st Lt. Jay Ostrich said Tuesday." - The Patriot News, Jan. 28
"This is the largest operational deployment of Wisconsin Guard forces since World War II." -Wisconsin National Guard's web site, Feb. 2
This has been and will continue to be the case for some time to come. Katrina was a warning. The U.S. is left very vulnerable without an adequate National Guard. Not only that, but opponents of this use of citizen-soldiers believe it prolongs wars and occupation, deepens the nation's debt, brings added hardship to our military men and women, and brings added suffering to families of these Guard troops. This is but another horrible legacy from George W. Bush. And his neocon followers complain about taxes. Is it too much to ask for taxes to take care of the men, women, and families of the troops, citizen-troops or regular military, who have carried the burden for us in Iraq and Afghanistan? Where is the tea party for our returning heroes? Who is covering for the lack of a National Guard at home? And frankly, Republican or Democrat, who seems to give a damn? Remember there were Democrats who voted for the illegal war in Iraq and supported the horribly-run "rehabilitation" of Afghanistan. While it all lays at the feet of a Republican president and his associates, both parties had people in Congress who were too damn wimpy to stand up for what was and is right.
Hurricane Katrina should have been a wake-up call. But the media missed the message.