And now: the Storm and the Flood, which have inundated the Gulf Coast in deadly water. This is, literally, an invasion of the homeland, and it will require a warlike response from a nation and a military already stretched thin. National Guard officials insist that they have enough men and women on hand to do the job, but common sense tells you that they could use the others stationed abroad. The U.S. Navy is dispatching supply ships to the region, but battling the waters that cover the region will require many more resources.
That's the usually-respectable Howard Fineman, writing for Newsweek. I guess Fineman's complaint is, Bush wasn't prescient enough to realize we'd need more troops at home to battle natural disasters.
Well, guess what: War is why we have armies. Most of the time, thankfully, we aren't at war. So rather than keep the troops in their barracks or the ships at anchor when disaster strikes, we call on them to serve in a different manner. Fineman's complain strikes me as just plain silly. I guess FDR would have taken a double-drubbing over Hitler's 1944 Ardennes Offensive, had there been a big California earthquake in the Spring of 1945.
I mean, the Battle of the Bulge added an extra three or four months to the European Theater of War. Had FDR not screwreed things up so badly, those troops could have been waging peace in California instead of waging war in Europe.
Is there anyone left on the Left who hasn't tried to make political hay out of Hurricane Katrina?
(Skippy excepted, of course.)
UPDATE: Cirby comments:
They're deploying 20,000 National Guard troops across the whole disaster area.
The largest deployment in history.
If they decide to double that (not likely), it's be up to 40,000.
Which means that they will have deployed about one-seventh of the National Guard soldiers left in the US after Iraq deployments.
You'd think that Howard Fineman, with all the resources of Newsweek/MSNBC/The Washington Post at his disposal, could have come up with those (ahem) sobering figures.