Fearing potential unrest, 5,000 National Guard troops will be staying in Washington, D.C. until mid-March. Even some left-wing media members are unsettled by an action that has the appearance of overkill on steroids. Former President Donald J. Trump is presumably sunning himself at Mar-a-Lago, Joe Biden is safely ensconced in the Oval Office, and the American people are doing their level best to get back to work and deal with the new normal. What exactly is keeping a continued and rather sizeable military presence in the nation’s capital?
If it could be boiled down to one word, one would suppose that would be fear. At the time of this writing, 15,000 troops remain in the District of Columbia, but a drawdown of 7,000 is to take place by the end of the week. It is estimated that 5,600 guardsmen will stay, according to a National Guard Bureau chief. Keep in mind this is only one of the forces in the capital city. There are already 600 members of the Capitol Police and plenty of Secret Service to sprinkle around as well.
Commenting on the original Guard presence of 25,000, even the left-leaning political website Vox opined: “That’s a massive security presence. For comparison, that’s about half the entire number of U.S. troops currently stationed in Japan. President Barack Obama’s ‘surge’ of additional U.S. troops to Afghanistan in late 2009 consisted of 30,000 troops.”
Inauguration day has come and gone without so much as a whisper of protest. We’re talking nothing, nada, zip. The Military Times says it obtained written orders that claim the elongated Guard presence is due to “anticipated First Amendment demonstrations and Civil Disturbance response in the District of Columbia.”
The Boogeyman Known as the American People
In American parlance, such action falls under the category of fearing the boogeyman. Even on January 20, Liberty Nation – who was on the ground with live reports – could not find so much as a Trump flag blowing in the breeze, let alone insurrectionists armed to the teeth.
In fact, it would seem Portland, OR, would be a better place to send in the National Guard. Mayor Ted Wheeler, who is not known for his law and order tendencies, has been calling the left-wing protests in Portland “unacceptable.” On January 26, Wheeler got a little antsy when someone approached him outside a restaurant. Fearing an altercation, the mayor unloaded his pepper spray on one man.
Unlike Washington, D.C., downtown Portland continues to be the epicenter of violence, including the destruction of property coupled with a mixed bag of criminal behaviors. White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki went so far as to say, “smashing windows is not protesting, and neither is looting.” So long as we are discussing Portland, it should be mentioned that demonstrators are targeting government buildings where the Guard would usually stand at the ready.
Thus, it appears that National Guard troops are being misplaced – deployed to a totally peaceful city “just in case” and not helping an unruly situation on the other side of the country. Had this been President Trump at the helm, one would fully expect the media to decry his “dictatorial tendencies” by militarizing the U.S. capital while refusing to aid a city under siege.
The cherry blossom festival in Washington begins March 20 this year; perhaps the National Guard will be needed to maintain law and order for all the tourists trying to take selfies in front of the pink and white flowering trees. Now, there’s a good use of your taxpayer dollars.
Read more from Leesa K. Donner.