Re: Gonzo Anthroposophy and the Fright Geist
- Dear DL--- In email@example.com, "lightsearcher1"
> The Left in the US seems determined to find any angle (ranging fromAlthough I'd like to feel that I'm Left or Right on the basis of the
> the irrational to the psychotic) to pin the blame of the devastating
> Hurricane Katrina on President Bush.
issues (GWB is a fuck-up but I'm all for family values), thre is this:
Off Their Guard
By Mark Benjamin
Thursday 01 September 2005
The Gulf Coast disaster is further taxing the National Guard,
already stretched to a breaking point in Iraq.
US National Guard look for survivors heading west on Interstate 10,
On Aug. 1, a spokesman for the Louisiana National Guard lamented
to a local reporter that the state might be stretched for security
personnel in the event of a big hurricane. Dozens of high-water
vehicles, generators and Humvees were employed in Iraq, along with
3,000 Louisiana National Guard troops.
"The National Guard needs that equipment back home to support the
homeland security mission," the Louisiana National Guard's Lt. Col.
Pete Schneider told a reporter from WGNO, the ABC affiliate in New
Orleans. Schneider said that in the event of a hurricane, Louisiana
would need help from neighboring states.
Amid the Gulf Coast rubble and looting, it appears Schneider may
have been right. "Missing personnel is the big thing in this
particular event -- we need our people," Lt. Andy Thaggard, a
Mississippi National Guard spokesman told the Washington Post
Wednesday. Mississippi has 4,000 National Guard troops in Iraq.
Military experts have long said that repeated, lengthy deployments
to Iraq are decimating the National Guard. Dispirited veterans are
leaving the Guard in droves and recruiting has plummeted.
However, on Wednesday, the National Guard Bureau responded that it
had more than enough troops to go around. Currently, 8,200 National
Guard troops are responding to the disaster in Louisiana, Mississippi,
Alabama and Florida. While those states all have units deployed to
Iraq or Afghanistan, the National Guard said that it has not yet
deployed all of its reserves to the Gulf Coast.
In addition to nearly 3,800 Louisiana National Guard troops
already at work on relief efforts, the state has another 2,700 troops
on hand. "Louisiana has 6,500 guard members available," said bureau
spokesman Lt. Col. Mike Milord. "They have only used up about half of
their force available." Mississippi still has another 5,000 troops in
reserve, Milord said. "There are still forces in each state for the
state to draw on," Milord said. He said the Gulf Coast states could
also ask other, less affected states for help too.
In fact, late Wednesday, the Pentagon announced that 10,000 troops
from 13 states outside the area would be divided between the hard-hit
areas in Mississippi and Louisiana. And the Department of Defense
announced it would send help from the active-duty military, including
helicopters, a mobile hospital and Navy ships.
But the hurricane may very well launch new discussions about how
far the country can stretch the National Guard, as it does double duty
fighting terrorists and responding to forest fires and killer storms.
(All of the Alabama National Guard units responding to Katrina have
already served in Iraq, according to the Washington Post.)
National Guard units are the descendants of militias from the 13
original colonies. As opposed to active-duty soldiers, state National
Guard units report to their governors during peacetime assignments --
such as responding to hurricanes. Soldiers hold regular civilian jobs
and train mostly on weekends. When units are activated by the federal
government for war, the president has ultimate authority.
The National Guard fought in the first Gulf War, but Iraq is the
first wide-scale and long-term deployment of the National Guard in a
foreign war since the Korean War. More than 250,000 National Guard
troops have been mobilized for active duty since Sept. 11, 2001.
Nearly 40,000 members of the Army and Air National Guard have served
more than one duty in Iraq or Afghanistan. Today, 146,000 National
Guard troops are mobilized for war efforts, according to the
Department of Defense.
The pace has been brutal for soldiers who thought they were more
likely to chase looters in New Orleans after a hurricane than watch
out for roadside bombs during a year in Iraq. "Very possibly, the
major casualty of this war is going to be the National Guard," said
University of Maryland military sociology professor David R. Segal.
"They have pretty much used up their combat-ready brigades."
The deployments have been increasingly worrisome to governors who
rely on National Guard troops to respond to natural disasters at home.
Governors shared their trepidation in a July meeting of the National
Governors Association in Des Moines. Idaho Republican Gov. Dirk
Kempthorne told the Associated Press that National Guard troops had
been so taxed overseas that he feared they would not be available when
needed at home. "You haven't seen these kinds of participation from
the states since the Civil War," he said.
John Pike, director of GlobalSecurity.org, a defense information
Web site, said it is too early to tell if there will be enough
National Guard troops in the area to respond to Katrina. But he hopes
that it will spark a debate about how to fix the National Guard. "I
don't know if they are actually going to turn out to be short-handed"
along the Gulf Coast, Pike said. "I would imagine that there are
governors who are watching their state armies dissolve on them. I
think it is going to flow up the food chain that we have a problem
that has got to be fixed."
Mark Benjamin is a national correspondent for Salon based in
- Hey Dottie, maybe you can get Led Zeppelin to play at Elderberries- One of their guys almost became a Waldorf teacher.