US National Guard cannot help California wildfire victims, as they’re in Iraq


This video from the USA is called Get Out Of Iraq! ‘The President says he cares about human rights for Iraqis — but he GOLFED while his own citizens drowned in the streets [after Hurricane Katrina struck]? Our budget can afford billions per DAY for war — but none for building proper levees to protect one of our oldest cities [New Orleans]?’

Like with the Hurricane Katrina disaster all over again …. And with the tornado in Kansas ….

From the web log of Bill Richardson, (Democratic party) governor of the state of New Mexico:

Where is the National Guard?

Today, we all extend our sympathies and prayers to those devastated by the wildfires in California. Millions of Americans are impacted by this natural disaster.

Neighbors should help neighbors in their time of need. As Governor of New Mexico, I ordered two fire crews (strike teams, with 5 engines and 21 crew members each) to California. …

But as someone who believes the war in Iraq is a complete disaster and that we need to get our troops out now, I look at the natural disaster in California and feel compelled to also ask President Bush and every candidate who thinks it is okay for our troops to remain in Iraq until 2013 or longer – where is our National Guard?

It is a sad irony that yesterday, the very day I sent fire crews to California, 300 more New Mexico National Guard members were sent to Iraq. Just when we need them most at home, more of our brave men and women, true public servants, are sent away to a war we cannot win.

Never before in our history has our National Guard, a group of dedicated men and women who serve our country and provide critical aid in the time of natural disasters been used, and re-used, for so long to fight a war tens of thousands of miles away.

In California, the Guard force is authorized to have over 21,000 members. Today, that number is just under 15,000. Why the decline? I believe it has nothing to do with a diminished commitment to service, but rather is a frustration with having that commitment abused, and families turned upside down, just so President Bush can continue to pretend his war can succeed.

George Bush, his Republican friends and the Democrats who continue to allow this war to continue have not only broken our military, they’ve broken our National Guard.

The news this morning had images of Americans fleeing to a huge sports arena for shelter during a natural disaster that struck a familiar chord. When Katrina struck and the floods hit two years ago, a good portion of the Louisiana National Guard was in Iraq. How many people died in the days it took to get proper personnel on the ground in New Orleans? Today, as the fires rage, California has National Guard men, women, and critical equipment thousands of miles away in Iraq.

They need to come home. We need them here.

Bush administration had been warned about wildfire dangers: here.

Wildfire update 27 October 2007: here.

Firefighting shortages played role in California wild fire damage: here.

The Forgotten Victims of the California Wildfires: Undocumented Migrant Workers: here.

Iraq, Afghan Wars Could Cost US trillions of $: here.

5 thoughts on “US National Guard cannot help California wildfire victims, as they’re in Iraq

  1. FEMA Staff Pose As Journalists, Ask ‘Softball’ Questions
    Posted by: “G. Myrick” garymyrick@sbcglobal.net garymyrick
    Fri Oct 26, 2007 10:57 pm (PST)
    Remember when America had REAL press conferences that weren’t filled with disguised plants from the dictator’s administration?

    Just asking…

    ———————————————————-

    FEMA Stages Press Conference: Staff Pose As Journalists And Ask ‘Softball’ Questions

    ThinkProgress
    October 26, 2007

    On Tuesday, while “wildfires raged” in California, Vice Adm. Harvey E. Johnson, the deputy administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), held a press conference at FEMA’s Southwest D.C. offices that was “carried live on Fox News, MSNBC and other outlets.” In the presser, Johnson said he was “very happy with FEMA’s response” while praising “the good messaging” of federal and local government responders.

    But if the questions lobbed at Johnson seemed a bit like softballs, that’s because they were asked by FEMA employees posing as journalists. The Washington Post’s Al Kamen reports:

    “We’re told the questions were asked by Cindy Taylor, FEMA’s deputy director of external affairs, and by “Mike” Widomski, the deputy director of public affairs. Director of External Affairs John “Pat” Philbin asked a question, and another came, we understand, from someone who sounds like press aide Ali Kirin.”

    WATCH a segment of Fox News’ coverage of the presser, which never mentions the FEMA stage handling at http://thinkprogress.org/2007/10/26/fema-softball-presser/ .

    Though FEMA told Kamen that “the staff did not make up the questions,” the press briefing was filled with softball questions and opportunities for Johnson to praise the FEMA’s response to the disaster, contrasting it with the agency’s performance during Hurricane Katrina. Kamen writes:

    “[S]omething didn’t seem right. The reporters were lobbing too many softballs. No one asked about trailers with formaldehyde for those made homeless by the fires. And the media seemed to be giving Johnson all day to wax on and on about FEMA’s greatness.”

    Considering FEMA gave reporters “only 15 minutes’ notice of the briefing,” it gives off the perception that they didn’t want reporters to show up and ask questions that would disrupt the agency’s propaganda performance.

    ***

    Read this with LINKS at http://thinkprogress.org/2007/10/26/fema-softball-presser/

    Like

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