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New Orleans Disaster: Where’s the National Guard?

Institute for Public Accuracy
915 National Press Building, Washington, D.C. 20045
(202) 347-0020 * *

PM Thursday, September 1, 2005

New Orleans Disaster: Where’s the National Guard?

Interviews Available

Lessin is a founder of Military Families Speak Out. She said today:
"The numbers we have are that there are 11,000 National Guard personnel
from Louisiana, of whom about 3,000 are in Iraq with most of the heavy
equipment. This included generators and high-water and other vehicles
which could assist with the rescue effort."
She added: "My daughter is in New Orleans in a hotel with no plumbing
and no electricity. Meanwhile, the residents of New Orleans --
particularly working and/or poor people -- do not appear to be having
the rescue attempts that they desperately need right now."

CELESTE ZAPPALA, via Ryan Fletcher,
Celeste Zappala’s eldest son, Sgt. Sherwood Baker, was killed in
action in Baghdad on April 26, 2004. She said today: "The disaster in
New Orleans is the kind of thing that Sherwood signed up to help with.
Instead he ended up being the first member of the Pennsylvania National
Guard getting killed in combat since World War II -- while searching for
alleged Iraqi weapons of mass destruction."

Solomon is executive director of the Institute for Public Accuracy
and author of "War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning
Us to Death." He said today: "The same priorities that sent U.S. troops
into Iraq nearly 30 months ago have hampered the rescue effort after
this catastrophic hurricane. If not for the White House's determination
to pursue the war in Iraq, thousands of men and women in the National
Guards of Louisiana and Mississippi would have been on the scene when
the hurricane struck. Now, the administration is refusing to hasten the
return of the 3,700 soldiers from the Louisiana National Guard who are
currently in Baghdad and not scheduled to come home for several more
weeks. Another 3,000 men and women in the Mississippi National Guard are
scheduled to stay in Iraq, according to the Associated Press. These
National Guard members, who are intimately familiar with their own
communities, were -- and remain -- uniquely suited for crucial tasks
back home. But the administration is determined to 'stay the course' in
Iraq. This is symptomatic of White Houses priorities that have placed
the president's fixation for war in Iraq above all else."

[or via Jay Heidbrink,]
Senior fellow and director of national defense and homeland security
at the Center for American Progress, Crowley organized the conference
"Transforming the Reserve Component for the 21st Century" in September
He said today: "What Katrina brings home is the reality we are
pulling the Guard in several directions. ... Given the additional
strains of Iraq and Afghanistan, right now, the National Guard [at home]
only has about half the equipment it normally would."

For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167


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They are on the way, and hopefully they dont take any crap from any of these looters and crazy people that are shooting at rescuers. I hope they declare martial law and shooter all looters and shooters on the spot, Judge Dred style. This looting stuff is ridiculous. I mean, I can understand looting for food and water in order to survive, but why are people taking electronics and other unnessesary goods?

Chris, sometimes people do stupid things when they are hungry, thirsty, tired, dirty, in a hell hole and ignored by their country's leaders. They are desperate and perhaps baser thoughts and actions have taken over. A quicker response and reaction to citizens' needs might have prevented some of this. Easy for all of us to say from our safe, comfortable home. I do not approve of lawlessness either, but our Country has failed these citizens. These are not refugees....which is a demeaning term and would never be used if a disaster occurred in New Hampshire...Let's all have a heart and help in any way that we can quickly.

The government delighted in disenfranchising Africian Americans in the last election and now the slow response in the face of disaster can be chalked up to further Bush administration racist attitudes.

Or maybe it can be chocked up to the fact that these people are going crazy and shooting at police officers and rescue workers! Stop trying to turn this natural disaster into some conspiracy theory.

Do you think the Bushies would have had the same response if a disaster happened in the US Northeast? It is race and class discrimination, and Bush & his puppet administration show no real emotion to the emergency.

I remember after the "fall" of Baghdad when the Museum of Antiquities was being looted Rumsfeld said free people are free to make mistakes and do bad things. I suppose we just have some more free people in New Orleans. No need to kill them unless they are poor and an inconvenience to the powerful culture of lies (I mean, life) class.

If they are shooting at rescue crews, they need to be shot back at.

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