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Related Categories: Central Valley | San Diego | Anti-War
As California burns, where is the CA. National Guard?
by Dan Bacher
Tuesday Oct 23rd, 2007 5:56 PM
At a time when southern California is a blazing inferno, this action alert from Bill Lackemacher of Sacramento for Democracy urges Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to bring the California National Guard back home from Iraq.
arnold_at_a_fire.jpg
As CA burns, where is the CA National Guard?

by Bill Lackemacher, Sacramento for Democracy

As Southern CA goes up in flames, where is the CA National Guard? According to CNN, there are only 1,500 CA National Guardsmen fighting these fires. Where are the rest of our National Guardsmen, and why are they not helping to fight these fires? Are they in Iraq? If so, how many are still in California?

To the best of my knowledge, there are about 20,000 CA Army National Guardsmen. When I called their office, I couldn't get a straight answer about how many CA Air National Guardsmen there are. I'm not sure why they won't tell me. They wanted to know who I was and why I wanted to know how many there were. What are they hiding?

We all know that our guardsmen are in Iraq protecting Halliburton and the Multi-national Oil Corporations. I think it's well past time to tell our Governor to Bring Our CA National Guard Home! Please call the governor's office and tell him that we want our Guard Home Now to protect our great state!

Call Governor Schwarzenegger today!! 916-445-2841 (Press 1 for English, then 5 for "Hot topic issues", then 0 to speak to someone)
http://gov.ca.gov/interact#email

I believe it is due time that we revive Loni Hancock's, AJR 36, to bring our CA National Guard home!

Comments  (Hide Comments)

by Concerned
Tuesday Oct 23rd, 2007 10:16 PM
While I certainly think all troops and bases should be brought back to the US, I object to the false image that trained armed personnel are needed to help during disasters. Why would we want additional militarized people patroling and controling people? When I once confronted someone at a recruiting table for the ARMY National Guard, he gave me (and the youth at the table) the same story about helping during disasters. The military performing humanitarian duties? I don't think so...
HIS UNHOLINESS (GEORGE WARMONGER BUSH) : "Sorry to Oil the Post 9-11 BUSH IRAQ DEMONAIC WMD CHOIR CNN NBC ABC CBS FOX, the Post 9-11 Bush Satanic Azores Summit, the Post 9-11 Bush Hijacking of the US National Guard to Iraq, the Post 9-11 use of the US National Guard for the Bush Satanic Intifada in Iraq, the Post 9-11 196 Billion Dollar Increase in War Funds for the Bush Satanic Intifada in Iraq, the Post 9-11 Bush Cutting of Funds for Disaster Relief in America, the Post 9-11 Bush Hijacking of Disaster Relief Funds to Fund the Bush Disaster in Iraq, the Post 9-11 Bush Hijacking of Disaster Relief Funds to Fund the Bush Disaster in Afghanistan, and the Post 9-11 Bush Hijacking of Disaster Relief Funds to Fund WW III aka Armageddon aka the Bush Disaster in Iran but Oil comes First. READY TO ACCEPT THE DEVIL'S MARK ????????????"
by Current CA Guardsman
Wednesday Oct 24th, 2007 10:50 AM
You don't know the half of it. Don't be an armchair quarterback when you are not even in the game. I am in the California guard, I have deployed and have returned. The logistics involved in activating a unit is tremendous. With, food, a place to stay and pay, there is a lot more to just receiving a phone call and putting a uniform on. I drill over 120 miles away from where I live. Where am I to stay at a short notice. Figure this also, that most of the guardsmen have jobs on the outside and have families that are currently in harms way. They need to adjust

Don't turn this disaster into a political movement. By your comments above, I call tell which way you lean. Give the politicians and military a break.

Signed,

Someone who still serves his country
by rebuilding mansions for yuppies
Thursday Oct 25th, 2007 2:37 PM

Why should people in National Guard be in either Iraq or putting their lives at risk in SoCal's fire prone chaparral canyons to save the suburban sprawl mansions of yuppies? All that just so they can get an education??

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, the difference is NOT with leadership (Blanco vs. Schwartzenegger) nor that Bush, FEMA, etc.. has "learned" from their previous mistakes of Katrina and suddenly have compassion for the "poor people" who lost their homes to regular wildfires in chapparal canyons. Real estate property values is the name of the game here..

The primary differences between treatment of refugees are the CLASS and RACE of the displaced populations!!

We're talking about mostly lower income African-american people in NOLA and primarily middle to upper class Euro-american (or Asian-american, some wealthy Latino) people displaced in the SoCal fires. There is the reason for the difference in treatment of people evacuated and how FEMA responds..

Rebuilding and reconstruction following the disaster event will also likely be different. The displaced lower income folks from NOLA were NOT able to return to their homes for months and now years following their disaster. This was not due to safety, as many people's homes and lots were siezed by developers looking to capitalize on the land base by reconstruction..

My guess for the SoCal foothills is that developers will be able to rebuild the yuppie's mansions in just a few months after the ashes cool. The taxpayers, from NY to WA will be forced to subsidize this rebuilding process as mansions reappear in the SoCal foothills despite the obvious knowledge that drought, heat and Santa Ana winds will once again blow their red hot breath across the human disease of development..

Maybe this sounds cold-hearted, though looking at the very real life risks faced by firefighters who struggle to save the property values of arrogant yuppie developers who ignore the ecological realities of building in fire prone chapparal canyons, my rage turns to the developers themselves. Developers bear the brunt of the responsibility for this tragedy by ignoring warnings from environmentalists about the real and regular threat of wildfires in the canyons. Criminal intent on the part of developers is evidenced by their refusal to recognize building codes and placing people in harm's way..

The lives of firefighters should not be placed at risk to save property values in a region where fire is as normal as sunshine. That is the cost of living in the canyons. If people choose to live in fire prone habitat, here's some simple advice;

When the flames and smoke appear, gather your kids, pets and pictures, then GET OUT!!

If you choose to rebuild in fire prone habitat, DO NOT expect to get one cent from taxpayers who know better than to build in fire prone habitat..

This is also different from NOLA where there is reason to believe that the levees around the lower 9th ward were deliberitley compromised by explosives so that the surrounding wealthier neighborhoods did not flood. There was knowledge that the combination of global warming storm surge, loss of protective wetland buffers (due to petroleum transport canals) and decades of subsiding of New Orleans (lack of sediment build-up from seasonal flooding) were going to break one of the levees around the cities. The ruling elites reasoned that it was better to flood the lower income people of the lower 9th ward than to flood the wealthier French Quarter and other capitalist interests..

BOTH the capitalist ruling class (Bush, Clinton, etc..) of the U.S. and the up and coming urban socialists (Amy Goodman, Hugo Chavez, etc..) need to understand that Madre Tierra is not a toy and playing with the ecosystem in these next few decades with so-called human innovations will have very dire consequences. My advice for people of all political stripes is to get educated about their region's indigenous populations (pre-Columbus) and how they adapted to nature and ecology. Then begin to put indigenous ecological wisdom into practice. Controlling and domination of nature will no longer be acceptable..
by T.Rios
Friday Oct 26th, 2007 12:48 PM
See todays article in the Los Angeles Times regarding the class question as matter affecting government emergency response in the cases of Katrina and the San Diego Fires.

http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/la-oew-brown26oct26,0,6606577.story?coll=la-opinion-center

by anarcentric
Friday Oct 26th, 2007 1:32 PM
"Don't turn this disaster into a political movement. By your comments above, I call tell which way you lean. Give the politicians and military a break."

I certainly don't want to make light of anyone’s suffering nor disparage those who are sincerely doing their best to alleviate that suffering but on the other hand we live in a political society and thus everything that affects society is in a sense political. Besides I all but guarantee you that in spite of whatever sincere sympathies that they might harbor for those affected these politicians and other officials are very much thinking of this disaster in political terms.

Besides don't act like your the only genuine players just because you happen to have state sanction because in Katrina it was the grassroots organizations such as the remarkable Common Ground Collective (Solidarity Not Charity) and others that did the most on the ground to aid those left devastated in the aftermath of the hurricane and the states incompetence, and often outright negligence, to survive and rebuild their lives. In fact they are still doing significant work and in some places remain the only source of aid. In California it may be a different story in large part due no doubt due to the economic clout and thus political clout of the region and that of the effected citizenry, most of whom are much wealthier then those in New Orleans. The government failed in Katrina miserably and it should be a lesson for all people, especially the poor, that they cannot necessarily depend on the state for aid in case of disaster but should organize ahead of time among themselves to the extent that they stand a better then average chance of surviving and even prospering without the state.

As for which way the comments on this site lean, do you not understand that Indymedia (Indybay) was conceived and is operated in the political tradition of the left.

T.Rios (anarcentric)
by shannon
Tuesday Jul 8th, 2008 12:47 PM
Iraq deployments are not relevant here. The training required for National Guard soldiers is a 10 day process. They are intended to supplement the fire fighters, not become them. It wouldn't be safe to attempt to train this many soldiers in fire fighting duties in such a short period of time. The Federal Army has active units stood up to help as well, and they are fully trained firemen.
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