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Thread: Destroying the National Guard

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    "I Think a Lot of Guys will Break Down in Iraq"
    Destroying the National Guard

    By WILLIAM S. LIND

    The unit knew it would soon be shipped to the front. Some soldiers responded by deserting. Others got drunk and fought. In response, officers locked the unit in its barracks, allowing the troops out only to drill, not even to smoke a cigarette, until it could be put on the transport that would take it into combat.

    It sounds as if I am describing some third echelon Soviet infantry regiment in, say, 1942. In fact, I am talking about the 1st Battalion of the 178th Field Artillery Regiment, South Carolina National Guard, in September 2004. According to a front-page story in the September 19 Washington Post, the unit was disintegrating even before it was deployed to Iraq. One shudders to think what will happen once it gets there and finds itself under daily attack from skilled enemies it cannot identify.

    One of the likely effects of the disastrous war in Iraq will be the destruction of an old American institution, the National Guard. Desperate for troops as the situation in Iraq deteriorates, Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld is using the National Guard in a mission for which it was never intended: carrying on a "war of choice" halfway around the world. Most Guardsmen enlisted expecting to help their neighbors in natural disasters, or perhaps maintain order locally in the event of rioting. They never signed up for Vietnam II.

    Yes, the Guard was mobilized and deployed overseas in both World Wars, but those were true national wars, in which the American people were all involved one way or another. Cabinet wars, as they used to be called, are something altogether different. As Frederick the Great said, cabinet wars must be waged in such a manner that the people do not know they are going on.

    But National Guardsmen are the people. To send them into a cabinet war is to misuse them in a way that will destroy them. Even in the American Revolution, militiamen were seldom asked to fight outside their own state. When they were, they usually responded by deserting.

    The fault does not lie with the soldiers of the National Guard. Even within their units, they are being horribly misused. One of the Guard's strengths is unit cohesion: members of a unit come from the same place and usually know each other well, both in the unit, where they serve long-term, and often in the local community as well. In the case of the 1st Battalion, 178th Field Artillery, the Post reports that "to fully man the unit, scores of soldiers were pulled in from different Guard outfits, some voluntarily, some on orders." Cohesion went out the window. One soldier in the unit said, "Our morale isn't high enough for us to be away for 18 months...I think a lot of guys will break down in Iraq." That is always what happens when unit cohesion is destroyed, in every army in history.

    For many Guardsmen, deployment to Iraq means economic ruin. They have mortgage payments, car payments, credit card debt, all calculated on their civilian salaries. Suddenly, for a year or more, their pay drops to that of a private. The families they leave behind face the loss of everything they have. What militia wouldn't desert in that situation?

    The real scope of the damage of Mr. Rumsfeld's decision to send the Guard to Iraq--40% of the American troops in Iraq are now reservists or Guardsmen--will probably not be revealed until units return. One of the few already back saw 70% of its members leave the Guard immediately.

    What the Washington elite that wages cabinet wars does not understand, or care about, is the vital role the National Guard plays on the state and local levels. Once the Guard has been destroyed, who will provide the emergency services communities need when disaster strikes? One would think that in a so-called "war against terror," where the danger to the American homeland is readily acknowledged, someone in the nation's capital would care about the local first line of defense.

    The fact of the matter is that Versailles on the Potomac does not care about the rest of the country in any respect, so long as the tax dollars keep coming in. My old friend King Louis XVI might be able to tell Rumsfeld & Co. where that road eventually ends up.

    William S. Lind is Director for the Center for Cultural Conservatism for the Free Congress Foundation.

  2. #2
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    So these guys lose their homes and cars to sacrifice their lives fighting against these Iraqui scum? That is just foul. F that. There should be some pause in their payments since they are overseas...repossesion of items and foreclosures are not what they should be coming home to. Damn...

    LL

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    Yes, mole is concerned about the ability of our guardsmen to make car payments.

    But only when he's not here on the board joyously celebrating their deaths at the hands of terrorist scum.

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    [quote][i]Originally posted by shakin318[/i]@Sep 25 2004, 09:37 AM
    [b] Yes, mole is concerned about the ability of our guardsmen to make car payments.

    But only when he's not here on the board joyously celebrating their deaths at the hands of terrorist scum. [/b][/quote]
    10-to-1 the article posted by west coast hole was made using fake documents via Dan Rather/CBS/Viacom

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    [quote][i]Originally posted by shakin318[/i]@Sep 25 2004, 09:37 AM
    [b] Yes, mole is concerned about the ability of our guardsmen to make car payments.

    But only when he's not here on the board joyously celebrating their deaths at the hands of terrorist scum. [/b][/quote]
    [quote][b]10-to-1 the article posted by west coast hole was made using fake documents via Dan Rather/CBS/Viacom [/b][/quote]

    It's posts like these I am referring to when I say that Partisan Politics is evil, and can blind even a moral man from seeing the truth...... :(

    How can you two not agree that Guardsmen, sent to Iraq, should not have some protection from creditors during their service times. These HEROES shouldn't have to worry that when they return they will face financial ruin.

    Instead of sharing the outrage that our Heroes get shafted this way, you slam Mole, purely because he's on the other side of the fence than you two. THAT is why I hate partisan politics.

    Now go ahead and slam me if you like, but not being outraged at the fiscal devastation our Heroes face, the Guardsmen sent to defend America from terror....is sickening.

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    I can't take it, any more...

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    [quote][i]Originally posted by Warfish+Sep 25 2004, 09:15 PM--></div><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>[b]QUOTE[/b] (Warfish @ Sep 25 2004, 09:15 PM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'> <!--QuoteBegin-shakin318[/i]@Sep 25 2004, 09:37 AM
    [b] Yes, mole is concerned about the ability of our guardsmen to make car payments.

    But only when he&#39;s not here on the board joyously celebrating their deaths at the hands of terrorist scum. [/b][/quote]
    [quote][b]10-to-1 the article posted by west coast hole was made using fake documents via Dan Rather/CBS/Viacom [/b][/quote]

    It&#39;s posts like these I am referring to when I say that Partisan Politics is evil, and can blind even a moral man from seeing the truth...... :(

    How can you two not agree that Guardsmen, sent to Iraq, should not have some protection from creditors during their service times. These HEROES shouldn&#39;t have to worry that when they return they will face financial ruin.

    Instead of sharing the outrage that our Heroes get shafted this way, you slam Mole, purely because he&#39;s on the other side of the fence than you two. THAT is why I hate partisan politics.

    Now go ahead and slam me if you like, but not being outraged at the fiscal devastation our Heroes face, the Guardsmen sent to defend America from terror....is sickening. [/b][/quote]
    Outrage?

    Mr. Fish, please comment on mole&#39;s repeated outright gloating and celebrating over American&#39;s deaths.

    He "laughed his ass off" at the pictures of American "mercenaries" who were killed, mutilated, dragged through the streets and hung from a bridge in Iraq.

    He has repeatedly celebrated the deaths of American servicemen and women here on the board.

    Don&#39;t obfuscate your response by changing the subject, just answer this: How do you feel about mole for doing those things?

    Then tell me whether or not you feel he deserves to be engaged in any dialogue on this board, rather than be slapped down, even on the extremely rare occasion that he makes a semi-valid point.

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    [quote][i]Originally posted by Warfish[/i]@Sep 25 2004, 09:15 PM
    [b] How can you two not agree that Guardsmen, sent to Iraq, should not have some protection from creditors during their service times. These HEROES shouldn&#39;t have to worry that when they return they will face financial ruin.
    [/b][/quote]
    I doubt anyone disagrees with this point. However given Moles&#39; prior postings, he has not earned a benefit of the doubt.

    And while the effect of serving should not result in ruin, the basic premise of this article is clearly slanted.

    Consider the section

    [quote][b]One of the likely effects of the disastrous war in Iraq will be the destruction of an old American institution, the National Guard. Desperate for troops as the situation in Iraq deteriorates, Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld is using the National Guard in a mission for which it was never intended: carrying on a "war of choice" halfway around the world. Most Guardsmen enlisted expecting to help their neighbors in natural disasters, or perhaps maintain order locally in the event of rioting. They never signed up for Vietnam II.[/b][/quote]

    Clearly an agenda.

    If people wanted to help only in a natural disaster, they should voluteer for the American Red Cross.

    The underlying message is that people who never expected to be deployed were perfectly happy to accept taxpayer money to dress up and &#39;play&#39; soldier a couple of times a year as long as nobody asked them to give anything back.

    It also brings out one of the few times I am proud of the company I work for, as anyone who is serving overseas continues to receive full salary and benefits.

  9. #9
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    [quote][b]Mr. Fish, please comment on mole&#39;s repeated outright gloating and celebrating over American&#39;s deaths.[/b][/quote]

    Who debates that?? Of course I think Mole is often a putz, and that he has held some dispicable viewpoints in the past (as you all state), but pointing out that fact is redundant. Like pointing out Bman&#39;s insanity and bad grammer. I though it was simply a given, something that didn&#39;t need to be pointed out in every response.

    But even a blind squirel finds a nut once in a while, and if this story can be trusted, it is an outrage that our service men in the NG have no fiscal protection while they are off saving our conutry from terrorists&#33; That is my point, and the only point in this thread that matters (to me, at least).

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    [quote][i]Originally posted by Warfish[/i]@Sep 27 2004, 09:38 AM
    [b] [quote][b]Mr. Fish, please comment on mole&#39;s repeated outright gloating and celebrating over American&#39;s deaths.[/b][/quote]

    Who debates that?? Of course I think Mole is often a putz, and that he has held some dispicable viewpoints in the past (as you all state), but pointing out that fact is redundant. Like pointing out Bman&#39;s insanity and bad grammer. I though it was simply a given, something that didn&#39;t need to be pointed out in every response.

    But even a blind squirel finds a nut once in a while, and if this story can be trusted, it is an outrage that our service men in the NG have no fiscal protection while they are off saving our conutry from terrorists&#33; That is my point, and the only point in this thread that matters (to me, at least). [/b][/quote]
    mole gets no benefit of the doubt, as he has repeatedly posted BS that has turned out to be absolutely false.

    If ever an article called for a named source, or a specific example, by name, of a guardsman who had "lost everything" because of his service, it&#39;s that article.

    But there&#39;s not one.

    I have no doubt many guardsmen are suffering hardships. I just have a problem with people who would ordinarily spit on those guardsmen using their plight as a political chit.

  11. #11
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    [quote][b]I have no doubt many guardsmen are suffering hardships. I just have a problem with people who would ordinarily spit on those guardsmen using their plight as a political chit.
    [/b][/quote]

    Understood and agreed.

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