Returning National Guard Troops Set To Smash Wisconsin Protest?
300 soldiers head back to state fresh from Iraq after Gov. Walker put Guard on alert last week to prepare for strikes
Paul Joseph Watson
Friday, February 18, 2011
Coincidence or not, the fact that hundreds of National Guard troops are returning to Wisconsin today fresh from battling insurgents in Iraq is sure to alarm union protesters who labeled Governor Scott Walker’s move to put the Guard on alert last week a “threat” designed to intimidate demonstrators who are currently massed around the Capitol in Madison.
In case of a widespread walkout in response to his “budget repair bill,” Walker told reporters last week that he would use National Guard troops to be “prepared…for whatever the governor, their commander-in-chief, might call for. … I am fully prepared for whatever may happen.”
Ostensibly, Walker’s announcement was a signal that he is prepared to replace state workers with National Guard troops, deploying them for example as prison guards. However, protesters cried foul, claiming that Walker was invoking the Guard as an intimidation tactic to suppress dissent.
“Hundreds of Wisconsin National Guard soldiers return to the state Friday,” reports the Wausau Daily Herald.
“About 300 soldiers from the 724th Engineer Battalion will be back at Volk Field where they will be met by senior National Guard officials and family members. A brief ceremony will be held before the soldiers are taken to nearby Fort McCoy to begin about five days of demobilization before their release.”
The unit comprises roughly half of Wisconsin’s National Guard soldiers that are currently on active duty. They return fresh from Iraq after having been on missions to remove roadside bombs placed by insurgents.
They may now face a different type of insurgency, one led by state workers who are furious that their pension and health care contributions are set to double to fill a $3.6 billion budget deficit black hole, while two-thirds of corporations in the state pay no taxes whatsoever according to the Wisconsin Department of Revenue.