[I]n an interview today, the head of the National Guard under George W. Bush said he had not yet heard a clear rationale for sending in the Guard and suggested it might not be the appropriate response to the problems at the core of the current crisis, though he did say he could envision the Guard playing some sort of part in a broader solution.You and me both, buddy. You would think that at least Rick Perry himself would be able to state why he wants the National Guard, but he seems to be of the general (very Republican) opinion that merely sending troops somewhere to do something will solve the original something.
[E]ven Perry has struggled to articulate what the Guard should do in this case. When Brit Hume recently pointed out to Perry that kids are merely turning themselves over to law enforcement already, and asked how the Guard would change this, Perry argued that the “visual” showing them at the border might serve as a deterrent.That's as far as Perry's gotten. His recent border trip with Sean Hannity was mostly a series of photo ops with guns. America's Dumbest Congressman Louie Gohmert went farther, saying Texas had the right to dispatch "ships of war" to the Rio Grande if that's what it took to something-something refugees. Fox News has been a huge peddler of the something-something part: as Bill O'Reilly so tersely put it, "you can stabilize the southern border by militarizing it."
Please read below the fold for more of this ridiculousness.
All right, so what's the something-something part? The Guard and the warships will be doing what, exactly? Shooting the migrant children? Turning them around to head back through the desert, unescorted, and if they die out there it's Mexico's problem? Many or most of this new wave of refugees are fleeing Central American crime and violence; while most are happy to surrender to U.S. authorities, precious few are in a position when they reach the border to make the trek back. Presuming Rick Perry and Louie Gohmert and the rest do not mean to gun the children down or send them off to wander the Mexican desert (benefit of the doubt and all that, though you never know these days), that leaves what we're currently doing: detaining them. And, yes, feeding them, because we are not f--king monsters. And putting them in abominable holding cells, and moving them from place to place to relieve crowding (trying to avoid the places most filled with racist crackpots), and attempting to reunite them with their families or at least finding someone more decent then us to take them on. If you're not going to shoot them or tell them to eff off at the border, that is your only remaining choice. And we are going to be keeping them alive while they're in our custody, right? Great. Then it's not entirely clear what the Rick Perry call for militarizing the border is meant to accomplish, other than giving Rick Perry something to talk about to his reflexively pointy-shooty base.
Again, we're assuming that we're not going to shoot these people. We're assuming that we're not going to block their access, stranding them in the desert, while citing the famous verses underneath the Statue of Liberty entitled Sucks to be You. We're assuming we will be treating them humanely, and giving them cots, and food, and that we'll eventually have to release them either into America or into the custody of another country rather than building a thousand-mile long Gitmo and calling it done.
So what's the controversy? What's the alternate plan? Let's say you get your ultra-militarized border, Bill and Rick and America's Dumbest Congressman: then what?