Tag Archives: Texas National Guard

Why push the panic button on the border?

Donald Trump has an itchy panic-button finger.

The president is prone to pushing that button at the slightest provocation, such as his decision to order National Guard troops to the southern border with Mexico.

He contends there’s a tidal wave of illegal immigrants pouring over our border with Mexico. However, as the Texas Tribune reports, the federal government’s own figures show such crossings are at historic lows.

So, again the the question must be asked: Why the rush to essentially militarize a border with one of this nation’s closest and strongest allies?

As the Tribune reports: ” … U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s own statistics indicate that despite the uptick in March, the total number of people apprehended or turned away since October, when the federal government’s fiscal year began, was lower than during the same six-month time frame in the previous fiscal year. This year, there have been about 237,000 apprehensions, compared to 2017’s 271,000.”

This appears to be Trump’s modus operandi. He prefers sowing seeds of fear. Remember his inaugural speech in which he declared “this American carnage” is going to stop? That became the signature statement from a dreary and frightening speech that is usually intended to appeal to Americans’ noble instincts.

Not from this guy.

I keep circling back to the notion that we have plenty of assets to deploy — local law enforcement, customs agents, Border Patrol — to accomplish what the president wants.

Jade Helm has ended … we’re still free!

jade helm

They’ve sounded the all clear in central Texas.

Jade Helm has ended. President Obama’s allegedly threatened takeover of Texas didn’t materialize.

We can sleep better tonight.

If there ever was a moment in which the governor of our great state couldn’t embarrass himself more, it was when Gov. Greg Abbott responded to that idiotic Internet gossip that Jade Helm — a long-planned military exercise — was some kind of harbinger of a federal takeover of Texas.

What did the governor do? He ordered the Texas National Guard to “monitor” the activities of the Army, Marine Corps and Navy special forces that were conducting exercises in Texas.

Jade Helm concludes

It’s what they do. They practice military maneuvers to prepare them for actual combat.

But some right-wing freaks decided to launch a conspiracy in cyberspace that contended that it was all part of some plot to declare martial law or some such nonsense.

Can you say “black helicopters”?

Well, the exercise has ended. The Texas National Guard can go home. The governor can concern himself with actual threats to the state, such as, oh, illegal immigrants or red tide on the Gulf Coast.


By all means, let soldiers carry their firearms

Gov. Greg Abbott has issued exactly the right order to allow Texas National Guard personnel to carry firearms while they are on their various military installations.


The order comes in the wake of the shooting deaths of four Marines and a sailor in Chattanooga, Tenn., by a young man.

Abbott said: “Arming the National Guard at these bases will not only serve as a deterrent to anyone wishing to do harm to our service men and women, but will enable them to protect those living and working on the base.”

Indeed, military personnel are trained in the use of firearms and they absolutely should have standing orders to carry them when the needs arise.

If the governor sees the potential for violence — and the tragedy in Chattanooga suggests such potential exists anywhere — then it’s right for him to arm the men and women who are serving the state.

My hope is that every governor in every state issues the same orders to the men and women in uniform under their respective commands.

Lt. Gov. Patrick: Keep troops on the border

Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick wants to keep state National Guard troops on the state’s southern border.

Here’s the question: Is the state’s No. 2 elected official getting ahead of its No. 1 official, the governor, who’s actually in command of the Texas National Guard?


Former Gov. Rick Perry dispatched the National Guard to the border a year ago in a move seen by many as little more than a grandstanding act designed to make himself look tough in the face of that mass migration of children into Texas, who were fleeing political and economic repression in Central America.

You’ll recall, perhaps, that Gov. Perry sent the troops there with no clear mission — or even any authority — to make arrests.


There’s a new regime at the top in Austin, with Perry now out office and Abbott occupying the governor’s seat, and with Patrick having defeated Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst in the GOP primary this past spring.

It’s interesting to me that, according to the Dallas Morning News, House Speaker Joe Straus, R-San Antonio, has taken a cautious approach to Patrick’s call for keeping the troops on patrol along the border. “I appreciate Gov. Patrick’s remarks,” Straus said. “But Gov. Abbott is the commander in chief and he will decide whether to extend the National Guard’s deployment.” The Morning News reports that Abbott had no comment on Patrick’s statements.

All of this has me curious as well. Is the lieutenant governor’s stay-tough approach to border enforcement a symbolic shot across Abbott’s bow to ensure that the Big Man — Abbott — is equally stern in his approach to border enforcement?

Some folks seem to believe Patrick has his eyes set on another political prize in 2018, the one currently possessed by Greg Abbott.

I’m just wondering.


Troops to the border

The more I think about Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s decision to mobilize approximately 1,000 National Guard troops to patrol the Texas-Mexico border, the more ridiculous it sounds.

Texas Monthly’s Paul Burka had a brief post on it Monday. Here is most of what he posted: “What is the purpose of sending the Guard to the border? The National Guard is a military force. Is its mission military or humanitarian? Who is the giving the orders? What are the rules of engagement? Who is the enemy? Are the troops going to cross the border and invade a foreign country, as Pancho Villa did in Columbus, New Mexico, during the Mexican Revolution? Meanwhile, what happens to the refugees? And, by the way, what is this going to cost? These are good questions in search of answers.”

If there ever was a political stunt meant to appeal to an audience outside of Texas, the governor has just performed it — clumsily, I should add.

Perry’s decision is pure showboating.

As for the cost, it became known earlier today. The troops will cost the Texas treasury an estimated $12 million per month.

To do what? The National Guard has no jurisdiction in the effort to stem the tide of children fleeing their Central American nations. Fox News’s Brit Hume asked Perry about that very thing. The governor’s response? He said the troops were there for show. He knows they cannot arrest anyone, or that their “adversaries” are unarmed children who are surrendering in droves quite willingly to local police and federal Border Patrol agents.

The governor wants to run for president in 2016. This National Guard stunt is aimed at the Republican Party primary base in places like Iowa and New Hampshire that is going to eat this stuff up.

It’s another embarrassing display of grandstanding.