More Katrina, Update III


Streiff at RedState has a good post about the left’s new talking points:

The meme is developing.

It is all Bush?s fault. Katrina was brought on by the failure of the United States to sign on to the Kyoto Treaty (never mind that even had the US signed on to this singularly stupid treaty there would be no measurable effect now, or probably ever, on climate change). The damage caused by Katrina could have been mitigated if all those Louisiana National Guardsmen and their equipment had been home and not in Iraq.

No less a personage than the exquisitely coiffed Howard Fineman baldly carries the water for the Left:

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.

Actually common sense tells you nothing of the kind.

…The issue here are twofold: were the troops in Iraq indispensable or even necessary to respond to Katrina and was the equipment those troops took with them indispensable or necessary to respond to Katrina.

The troops.

As of August 31 there were 3,748 Louisiana Army National Guardsmen and Army Reservists and 193 Air Guardsmen and Reservists on active duty throughout the world. The lion?s share of them, about 3,500, are with the 256th Infantry Brigade in Iraq. This leaves some 8,000 Guardsmen and an unknown number of Army Reservists available for disaster relief. The skill sets in those units, with the exception of the single combat engineer battalion, have no particular utility in disaster relief. So the argument that the absence of the 450 men of the 1088th Engineer Battalion were somehow critical to response to this disaster, or that the 3,500 troops missing could not be more than adequately replaced by other troops from neighboring states is just not true.

The equipment.

So did the equipment the 256th Infantry Brigade take with it to Iraq, equipment provide some unique immediate response capability that could have mitigated the damage from Katrina?

Arguably someone could make the case that the M1 Abrams tanks, M2 Bradley, and M109 Paladin howitzers belonging to the infantry, armor, and artillery battalions could have been filled with QUIKRETE? and pushed into the break in the levee. Absent this scenario, it seems ridiculous on its face to object to the deployment of this equipment to Iraq.

…On the other hand, the unit left behind, the 225th Engineer Group, (Combat), and its four organic Engineer Battalions (Combat)(Heavy), is well suited for disaster relief. Army Field Manual 5-116 lays out their missions and capabilities.

…Viewed from any position the idea that a very small number of troops could in anyway have had an impact on the aftermath of Katrina is laughable. It is doubly laughable because it ignores the 10,000+ out of state National Guardsmen who began arriving in Louisiana on Wednesday and the thousands of out-of-state police officers who have also been loaned to Louisiana, a team from Loudoun County, Virginia is departing as I write this.

This whole story line is nothing more or less than a dishonest attack perpetrated by the left in their concerted effort to make political points on the backs of the dead and homeless.

And then Mick from UNCoRRELATED has some thoughts comparing the reaction on 9/11 to Katrina:

The constrast between the country’s reaction to 9/11 and to the crisis in New Orleans couldn’t be more stark. Whereas hardbitten NewYorkers gave each other a helping hand, Orleanais have created a kind of Fallujah in their devastated city.

Already some on the left are making excuses for the behavior, saying that the “rich, white people” got out early. I suppose that bears an uncomfortable resemblance to the claim that “the Jews” stayed home on 9/11 because of advance warning.

Yet I have far more compassion for people who act badly under times of incredible stress than I do for white liberals sitting comfortably on their couches and limo seats pointing fingers and castigating people who are trying to help. Let me be clear here–I am not suggesting that criticism is unmerited (although frankly, I have as few facts as the liberal-left does on this score…), but the 9/11 commission, for all its flaws and partisanship, was deferred until after we dealt with the crisis.

Apparently many on the left think that was a mistake.

The left never ceases to amaze me.


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