Hurricane Hanna brings up vivid memories of Hurricane Katrina for me and I am sure for many others. Certainly, Hanna's predecessor Gustav, was a timely reminder for all of us of the failure of the Bush administration to deal with disasters. And I will be charitable. Bush had a lot of help. However, one of the things he could have helped was to keep the National Guard at home and not send them over to Iraq to fight in a war they were never trained to fight. The National Guard was trained to deal with civil disturbance and natural disasters and certainly Katrina posed challenges in both of those areas. But because Bush and Cheney wanted to look like they knew what they were doing, they sent a minimum number of regular troops to do a job that needed a lot more feet on the ground. They backed the troops up with National Guard (who may not have been counted in the regular Pentagon budget because National Guard and Pentagon don't calculate souls and soles the same way). And then they employed Blackwater and other firms who were not calculated at all in that hard math of war. Companies we have learned about like Blackwater and Cheney's old firm, who don't have to answer to military law at all because they are not bound to use the military rules of engagement. Bill Moyers' Journal tonight discusses the New Jersey National Guard deployment. Fully one half of the entire NJ unit is being sent to Iraq in the next week. If New Jersey takes a direct hit from Hanna tearing up the coast will there be enough National Guard to take care of the devastation? I hope so. I really do but at what cost to the Guard members and to the people who need saving? Worse, the last I heard on C-Span is that the Guard is not being treated equally in their health care and after battle demobilization. In fact, they are not being treated well at all. Guard members and their families are an uncounted cost of this conflict. As a nation, we need to come back to basics, take care of our own people who have taken care of us. We really do.