Support The Troops?
Out of the blue in his first news conference in a long time the Shrubbery starts talking about the probable bird flu pandemic. Now there are a lot of issues he might have addressed in regards to the response to bird flu, but he decided to talk about the possible need for quarantines and that the military would have to be in charge, so Congress needs to change the law.
Before he talks about the military he might want to clarify who in the Federal government is in charge of a flu pandemic. As reported in August, Michael Chertoff is under the impression that the Department of Homeland Security
is in charge, while the Department of Health and Human Services thinks it's their job.
Now the Shrubbery is talking about the Department of Defense.
The Pentagon doesn't have the resources for the job. The military is not a police agency. The civil affairs units that are the military equivalent of local government services have been moved to the Reserves and National Guard, and they are tied down in Iraq. The military medical system is unable to adequately care for its current patient load, so how could they care for the victims of a pandemic?
The military is not the solution to every possible problem the country has. If there were some reasonable level of competence in this government, there would be no need to even bring it up.
Given that the military is the one government operation that hasn't grown under the "borrow and spend" Republicans, why are they being forced to do all the work?