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Spacecrab's Journal
LB in SF
Presque vu (startling-to-some image) 
4th-Oct-2005 07:00 pm

AP Wire, October 4, 2005:

Washington — U.S. President Bush, stirring debate on the possibility of a bird flu pandemic, on Wednesday suggested dispatching American troops to enforce quarantines in any areas with outbreaks of the virus.

Mr. Bush asserted aggressive action could be needed to prevent a potentially crippling U.S. outbreak of a bird flu strain that is sweeping through Asian poultry and causing experts to fear it could become the next deadly pandemic. Citing concern that state and local authorities might be unable to contain and deal with such an outbreak, Mr. Bush asked Congress to give him the authority to call in the military.

The president has already indicated he wants to give the armed forces the lead responsibility for conducting search-and-rescue operations and sending in supplies after massive natural disasters and terrorist attacks - a notion that could require a change in law and that even some in the Pentagon have reacted to skeptically. The idea raised the startling-to-some image of soldiers cordoning off communities hit by disease.
Dr. Irwin Redlener, associate dean of Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health and director of its National Center for Disaster Preparedness, called the president's suggestion an "extraordinarily draconian measure" that would be unnecessary if the nation had built the capability for rapid vaccine production, ensured a large supply of anti-virals like Tamiflu, and not allowed the degradation of the public health system.

"The translation of this is martial law in the United States," Redlener said.

Careful. Don't get caught in a hurricane, be Black and poor, get sick, be a non-Republican non-millionaire.

5th-Oct-2005 05:03 am (UTC)
He won't prepare for hurricanes, but he's gung-ho on bird flu, eh? One guess what kind of communities would be cordoned off and left to die.
5th-Oct-2005 05:36 am (UTC)
It's also about excuses to declare martial law. Any bets on whether they'll pack up and leave the White House if election results actually say they've lost in 2008? It may depend on what they can get Congress to pass in the next three years, now that the Supreme Court will be composed mostly of Bush's personal ex-attorneys. (What, me paranoid?)
5th-Oct-2005 06:30 am (UTC)
Oh, they'd leave. Their job is to make sure the election results don't say that. They were very clumsy about this in '00 and nearly gave the game away, and did a much smoother job in '04.
17th-Oct-2005 09:46 am (UTC)
"Any bets on whether they'll pack up and leave the White House if election results actually say they've lost in 2008?"

Who is the "they"? Do you think it makes a difference if it's, say, Bill Frist, Sam Brownback, John McCain, Giuliani, George Allen, Mitt Romney, or Newt Gingrich?

Are you familiar with the history of Teddy Roosevelt and William Howard Taft?

(The reason I noted the date on the article, by the way, is that if this was a 2004 article, it would be remarkable to have found that the President had then been talking about using the military in domestic disasters, which, as you may know, I've looked at with more than askance, myself, and that none of us had noticed. That he was talking about it again last week, though, is unremarkable, although still rather alarming on general principles.)

-- Gary Farber
17th-Oct-2005 02:00 pm (UTC)
Thanks, Gary. The original date of the story in the Mercury News was 10/4/2005. I've corrected it.

That link now goes to an expurgated version of the story, minus the doctor's criticism of Bush's statements and the reference to martial law. (The story I quoted is still online here.)

As to differences between Republican thugs and wannabes: yes, I think there still are some -- which isn't an endorsement for McCain, Giuliani, or Gingrich.

Did you get to read this post, while it had the accompanying graphic of Frank Miller's Martha Washington struggling with the evil Surgeon General? The site I linked to for that seems to have been, um, "Crab-dotted." (You can still see the thumbnail if you run a Google search on Washington + "Frank Miller" .)
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