National Guard Troops Will Stand Down from the Border,
When the Border Patrol Stands Up

by James Glaser
May 16, 2006

George Bush in a speech to the nation Monday night said that he would send 6,000 National Guardsman to our border with Mexico. Much like his line about bringing home the troops from Iraq, George said those Guardsman would be there until the Border Patrol could train 6,000 new agents. Of course these National Guard troops will not actually be protecting our border.

President Bush said, "Guard units will not be involved in direct law enforcement activities—that duty will be done by the Border Patrol." He went on with, "The Guard will assist the Border Patrol by operating surveillance systems, analyzing intelligence, installing fences and vehicle barriers, building patrol roads and providing training."

Bush wants Congress to approve $1.9 billion for this program, which is a little less than what we spend every two weeks in Iraq.

One of the boldest and most honest statements of the night was the President admitting, "We do not yet have full control of the border." After five years in office, with millions of illegal aliens sneaking into our country under Bush's watch, the President has acknowledged we have a problem. To admit that the National Guard will have to build roads and put up vehicle barriers so we can protect our border, tells us just how unprepared we are. Our border should already have had paved roads by this time, and every sort of vehicle barrier should have been built years ago.

A skeptic might think that the President chose this moment in time to start talking about protecting our border because there is nothing else that he wants to talk about. For sure he doesn't want to talk about Iraq or the NSA's spying on Americans. I doubt if he wants to talk about how the Vice-President is back in the news about the leaking of a CIA agent's name to the press, and really all of his talking about oil, is just that—talk.

Tonight George got to use his favorite word, "terrorism" when he was talking about border security. Terrorism has always been a winner for George, so when you have a winner, you keep using it. That is why after five years in office George Bush has finally discovered that we have a problem on our border.

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