Saturday, November 18, 2006

A Call for a "State Guard"

N.Y. Governor George Pataki commends members of the South Carolina State Guard who assisted New York's State Guard at Ground Zero after 9/11.
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I noticed two items in the news today. One is former Clinton FEMA director James Lee Witt calling for states and localities to buck up their own disaster preparedness programs, a tacit admission that the Federal Government cannot respond quickly and efficiently to distant disasters. Mr. Witt was particulary distressed at the possiblility of another major New Madrid fault earthquake. A repeat of the 1811 event would be a Katrina-sized disaster.

The other was Republican Governor Mike Huckabee making a strong case that it was private individuals, not the federal government, that did the most good in the critical hours and days after Katrina struck New Orleans.

One might argue that our National Guard is supposed to be available for such situations, but our efforts to "nation build" across the globe have left them an unreliable resource when disaster strikes- we don't know if they will even be on this continent, much less available to stop looting in Little Rock or the Delta. Even if they were, their mission has drifted away from disaster preparedness. They look more and more like a regular army reserve unit.

Twenty-seven states have "State Guards" or "Home Guards". These are not subject to Federal Call-up, but are available to the Governor or County Judges in accordance with state law.

I don't want our great state to wind up like many of the citizens of New Orleans, who were so used to the Feds rescuing them that they had no idea what to do when disaster struck. The people waited around helplessly for the government to rescue them, the city government waited for the State Government, and the State Government waited for the Federal government. It would be wise to prepare to take care of ourselves in such a situation rather than figure out who to blame afterward.

6 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

One might argue that our National Guard is supposed to be available for such situations, but our efforts to "nation build" across the globe have left them an unreliable resource when disaster strikes...

It won't take King George and the Neocons long to co-opt this group of citizen soldiers either. America must realize that jingoism is a tool the globalist rely on to kill our boys (and now girls!) on foreign lands while they and their pals line their pockets. It isn't patriotic to muzzle ourselves just because the Monarch has committed our troops to yet another needless skirmish.

Enough with the expanding empire.

9:22 AM, November 18, 2006  
Blogger Mark Moore (Moderator) said...

If it is created under the 9th and 10th amendment, I believe the organization as a whole can be legally protected from co-option, though the individuals in it could be subject to a re-instituted draft along with the rest of us.

9:35 AM, November 18, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

5:22 PM, November 18, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mississippi, Tennessee, and Texas all have State Guard organizations. Currently federal law prohibits State Guard organizations from being federalized by the national government. Unfortunately, most State Guard's receive very little funding (remember, 95% of the cost of the National Guard is paid for by the federal government) so they get little real training and almost no equipment.

Nevertheless, Arkansas law has provisions that allow the Governor to create a state guard (which would be called the Arkansas State Defense Force) and everyone should urge Governor-elect Beebee to do so.

6:36 AM, November 19, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey 9:22, stop drinking the DCCC Kool-aid and try actually thinking for yourself. It really does work and like the rest of us that do (you know, the REAL people in this country, the conservatives who work for a living) you might actually be intelligent. But if you continue to repeat the DCCC and DNC talking points, you'll continue to be co-opted and raped by such factions.

8:37 AM, November 25, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah! How dare you criticize King George! He's the Pope of America! If he decides we should die in Iraq, by golly WE SHOULD DIE IN IRAQ! Who are you to question the Pope's decision!?

7:57 PM, November 25, 2006  

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