May 14, 2006

National Guard on the US-Mexico Border?

I don't usually talk about American Politics on this blog. The focus is, naturally, about me, my life and experiences. Today I just want to say that it seems that US politics is going on a funny offshoot. Well, not so funny.

Bush's polls are in the netherworld. He first sent troops to Afghanistan. Then got the US stuck in a costly, unpopular war under false pretenses in the first leg of the Axis of Evil: Iraq. Now, all these years going after the next leg of the Axis of Evil, Iran, is not a good prospect since it is big, technologically advanced, oil-rich and already has long range missiles (still working on the nukes.) North Korea somehow has fallen off the media radar. I bet that has their PM very upset because he isn't the center of attention. So we should expect some noise from him soon...but in the meantime, Bush knows that we will never pick a fight over there in East Asia.

Remember how at different times since the US has been in Iraq, the US has dared Syria to flinch. Syria seems a good prospect for attack seeing as how it is a terror promoting state, a brutal dictatorship and an oppessor of Lebanon (and responsible for Pres. Rafic Hariri's assassination.) There are, however, problems with invading Syria: Israel might be forced to get involved, the US troops would still be complaining about being in the Middle East, the troops would have to occupy ANOTHER country where they don't speak the language and it isn't an Axis of Evil country (though it should have been.)

Now the new recommendation is that we send National Guard troops along the Mexican border. Let's move battle-hardened desert warriors from the streets of Baghdad to the Rio Grande. I wonder if anyone has thought about what Bush might get out of placing National Guard on the Mexico-US border. It's ingenious in a way that is both scary and funny.

Bush will at the same time:
a) brings a ton of troops home from Iraq,
b) defend the homefront against terrorists,
c) get tough on illegal immigration,
d) get local network TV affiliate coverage,
e) keep the troops on a 'war' footing and not allow any troops to leave service (keeping troop number up),
f) squeeze more money out of Congress,
g) have the largest mobilization of military troops on our soil in 60 years (ideal if the populous is getting itchy at the domestic spying revelations in the news),
h) increase enrollment in the National Guard since recruiters can sell xenophobia better than they can sell getting killed in a foreign land,
i) get some troops to help keep the protesters away from Crawford,
h) place troops close to the Gulf States in case they are needed as hurricane season approaches.
j) make use of his Espanol skills,
k) pick a fight with a country we know we can whoop with one Army tied behind our backs (We already whooped them once before and back then, we didn't have any aircraft carriers.)


l) maybe get people to focus on things which haven't blown-up in his face yet.

Another result I see is some headlines about dead Mexicans killed by battle-fatigued National Guardsmen who should have been sent home after the first two years of the Iraq War.

How do you say bad idea in Spanish?

Maybe placing individuals trained for border patrol would be better than guys that who have been forced to worry about IEDs for the past couple of years.


Publius said...

Interesting post. I do have a question though because it says you are in Israel. The talk of the town is that building 700 miles of security fences will not work and is too costly. But, didn’t Israel build 400 miles of security walls to keep out suicide bombers? Don’t suicide bombers seem more determined to get around a security wall than someone looking for a job? Perhaps you could explain if the 400 mile wall works and why a 700 mile wall here wouldn’t.

Adiv said...

Too costly is a relative term. The barrier in Israel is relatively larger for Israel than a barrier on the US/Mexico border is for the US. Israel's economy is a fraction of the US's and the cost in human life due to terrorism coming across the border is relatively higher. There is also less likely going to be human rights claims based on seperating people from their property/fields in the US as there have been in Israel. But that's a side point.

My post IS directed at the idea that battle hardened National Guard should be sent to the US-Mexico border. It is not as if it is a hostile frontier with a determined enemy on the other side. Mexico and the US are presumedly friends. The idea of a barrier along the border is fine for me, but why send troops? Why risk somebody with combat fatigue shooting a family of 5 as they run across desert landscape in hopes of a better life?

The immigration issue should NOT be turned into a photo-op and the new front in the war on terror. I think that sending thousands of troops who have been geared for combat will do just that. There is no need to treat illegal immigration like a crisis that requires emergency troops. It is an urgent concern, but not the kind of urgency that requires militarizing a friendly border. Send the troops home to their families and if you need more manpower on the border, HIRE THEM and TRAIN THEM. How much will the cost of sending the National Guard to the border cost? Use that money to build the damn wall.