Wednesday May 17, 2006
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Department of the Army
Ok. You get it. As a former member of the New Jersey and Ohio National Guard I believe I would be able to detect a difference between deployment to Iraq or Afghanistan, and deployment to the Mexican border at San Diego, California or El Paso, Texas.
Following the President's speech on Monday night, the opponents couldn't get in front of cameras quickly enough to find fault. A principal talking point issued by the Democratic National Committee was that the National Guard is already stretched so far that there are simply no Guard troops available for this duty.
There are about 400,000 members of the National Guard. If the President orders 6,000 of them to aid in patrolling the Mexican-American border that's about 1.5% of the Guard force.
According to the one cable network which is known as a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Bush Administration - CNN - the President scored extremely well with those who watched the speech.
According to a poll taken pre- and post-speech:
To: PFC Galen, Richard A.
Service Number: NG21801329
FR: Department of the Army
1. By order of the Commander-in-Chief you are hereby ordered to active duty for a period not to exceed 360 days.
2. You will report to Ft. Belvoir, Virginia NTL 0830 1 JUN 2006.
3. At the induction center there will be two lines:
A. Service Members in one line will be sent to Fallujah to participate in Operation Iraqi Freedom
B. Service Members in the other line will be sent to San Diego to participate in Operation Burrito Blockade
4. Upon arrival you may choose either Line.
A. Once having chosen a line, you will not be permitted to change to another line.
B. The lines will not be marked.
5. Service Members whose line is designated for deployment to Iraq will be issued:
One each Helmet, Kevlar
One pair boots, desert, combat
Two sets blouse and pants, camouflage, desert
One each jacket, armor, body
One each M-16 rifle
[Assorted other items suitable for desert warfare]
6. Service Members whose line is designated for deployment to San Diego will be issued:
One each cap, baseball, Buffett, Jimmy
One pair sandals, flop, flip
Two sets blouse and shorts, flowered, Hawaiian
One each jacket, dinner, Steakhouse, Outback
One each pistol, water, squirt, super
[Assorted other items suitable for border patrol]
79% had a positive reaction to the speech
Protecting the border with Mexico which is about 1,950 miles long, is tough enough. But there is also that pesky border between Canada and the lower 48 states which is about 4,000 miles long.
After we've solved the problem of protecting nearly 6,000 miles of land crossings (which doesn't include Alaska) we can begin to solve the issue of dealing with the 11,323 miles of coastline which doesn't include Alaska or Hawaii.
Total? 16,266 miles of places where someone can illegally enter the continental US.
The President's proposal on adding border security is a start, but there is a long way to go. More-or-less sealing the Mexican border without dealing with the Canadian border or the coastlines is like locking your front door, but leaving the door to your attached garage wide open.
Anyone who presents an easy solution to border protection either doesn't understand the sheer scale of the problem, or is looking to make political points at the risk of increasing our vulnerability.
On a the Secret Decoder Ring page today: An explanation of the title and the whole service number thing; links to the CNN poll, a page which shows the length of the coastline by region, a long-ago Mullfoto, and a Catchy Caption of the Day.
67% had a positive view of the President's policies on immigration (compared to only 42% pre-speech)
75% favored using the National Guard to help patrol the border
68% favor allowing immigrants to enter the US as temporary workers
74% favored the President's policy on allowing some immigrants already here to earn citizenship.
Copyright © 2006 Richard A. Galen
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