A new opinion poll in Time magazine says that 61 percent of Americans think funds for the war should be redirected to aid and clean-up for victims of Hurricane Katrina.
This is a significant erosion of support for Bush. Billions of dollars have been appropriated for the Iraq invasion disaster, while federal monies dried up for projects at home. Two years of improvements needed for the Gulf Coast and New Orleans levee systems went missing because of Bush’s priorities.
The use of the National Guard to prosecute his war has been challenged here at home. Over 40 percent of US troops in Iraq are from the National Guard and the reserves. The National Guard are supposed to be at the ready to respond to emergencies.
One New York guardsman I met a year ago, sergeant Stephen Miller, told me, “I joined to fight forest fires. I’ve won awards and I’m damned good at it.” When sent to Iraq, his unit ended up going into areas ahead of the Marines to “test the waters”—to be used as cannon fodder.
Much of his unit suffered emotional and physical injuries. At the time I met him, he was working with a couple of others in his unit to fix up a house in the Bronx for his homeless war buddies.
The war was sold to Americans with the myth that it would make us safer. The facade is definitely cracking. The question is being planted in our minds following Katrina — how would this government function in a terrorist disaster?
Bush is good at plundering, but he has not a clue nor a plan as to how to protect anyone other than his cronies.