When is enough enough?
Today’s Washington Times Insider (registration required) carries a new story of incursions by Mexican soldiers into U.S. territory:
|The U.S. Border Patrol has warned agents in Arizona of incursions into the United States by Mexican soldiers “trained to escape, evade and counterambush” if detected — a scenario Mexico denied yesterday.|
|The warning to Border Patrol agents in Tucson, Ariz., comes after increased sightings of what authorities described as heavily armed Mexican military units on the U.S. side of the border. The warning asks the agents to report the size, activity, location, time and equipment of any units observed.|
Of course, the Mexican government was quick to deny anything of the sort:
|…Rafael Laveaga, spokesman for the Mexican Embassy in Washington, denied that Mexican military personnel are crossing into the United States.|
|“I strongly deny any incursions by the Mexican military as inaccurate allegations,” Mr. Laveaga said. “The Mexican military is a well-respected institution with strict rules on how to control Northern Mexico. It maintains a protocol of not going within a mile of the border, and those who would trespass would be severely punished.”|
|Mr. Laveaga said some drug smugglers headed “both north and south” wear uniforms and drive military-type vehicles, and might have “confused” U.S. authorities.|
However, the Border Patrol was skeptical of this “explanation” by the Mexican Embassy:
|“Give me a break,” said T.J. Bonner, a 27-year Border Patrol veteran who heads the National Border Patrol Council. “Intrusions by the Mexican military to protect drug loads happen all the time and represent a significant threat to the agents.|
|“Why else would they be in the area, firing at federal agents in the United States? There is no other explanation,” said Mr. Bonner, whose organization represents all 10,000 of the nonsupervisory Border Patrol agents.|
|He also challenged reports that Mexican military units had crossed mistakenly into the United States, saying, “Every country’s military has a [global positioning system] nowadays, including the Mexicans.|
|“If the border is so poorly marked, why don’t the thousands of Border Patrol agents working 24/7 along it ever seem to get lost, and none of us have been issued a GPS,” he said.|
Meanwhile, The Pentagon claims that it knows nothing, but the Department of Homeland Security has records of Mexican military incursions dating back to 1996.
In addition, there are outright attacks on Border Patrol agents. The assailants are suspected to be current or former Mexican military personnel:
|U.S. law-enforcement officials have long thought that current and former Mexican soldiers are being paid to protect drug shipments bound for the United States.|
|Several agents said the attacks have escalated in the past two years as U.S. security efforts on the border have increased — including the July shooting of two agents in an ambush near Nogales, Ariz., by assailants in black commando-type clothing, who fired more than 50 rounds. Authorities said the gunmen used military-style cover-and-concealment tactics to escape back into Mexico. No one has been arrested.|
This action is congruent with the Mexican government’s push to send illegal aliens across our borders. Not only does their economy need the remittances, it’s obvious they need the drug money, too:
|Several former Mexican soldiers trained in the U.S. as anti-drug commandos are now part of a well-armed gang known as the “Zetas,” which has been linked to hundreds of killings and kidnappings on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border in southeastern Texas.|
|Many of the gang members have been identified as ex-members of an elite, anti-drug paratroop and intelligence battalion called the Special Air Mobile Force Group, who deserted in 1991.|
The corruption in Mexico is so flagrant that it has become dangerous for Americans to visit there. Back in March, 2005, Gates of Vienna posted a warning put out by the State Department:
|At least 27 U.S. citizens have been abducted or have vanished along Mexico’s border with Texas over the past six months, caught in what U.S. officials have described as an escalating turf war between competing drug lords. Fourteen have been released; two have been found dead. The fate of the others is unknown. By contrast, three or four such abductions were reported each year since 2000.|
Now why do you suppose this fertile and oil-producing (and increasingly unfriendly) neighbor to our south is such a mess?
Hat tip: commenter, Wally Ballou
Unfortunately this is nothing new. Such incusions have been reported by ranchers and towns people all along the border. One wonders why the U.S. Government permits this and all those millions and millions of illegal entrants that are being escorted to the border by the Mexican military. Could it be cheap labor and cheap votes, costing tax payers billions, endangering and making our lives uncertain and more uncomfortable.
Our schools and hospitals are being chocked and whole cities, L.A. and Miami, two name two, have become areas where English is rarely heard.
The whole thing is an outrage, but who do we blame?
Well, Eleanor, it’s not so much “who do we blame” as it is “what do we do?”
And another question is “how can we support those (like some members of Congress) who want to take responsibility for substantive alterations to what has been a policy of not-so-benign neglect.
This article tripped my trigger to post on the subject today too. Coming from a slightly different angle, I say that we could stop 90 percent plus of the illegal crossings with the thoughtful application of a few billion dollars per year. Given the federal budget, we can afford it.
In the 2006 election cycle this is going to be a top-tier issue, and we need to hold our representatives accountable. Anyone who says we can’t, or shouldn’t, take the steps needed to achieve the necessary results needs to be turned out of office, period. And come 2008 we need a president who will lead on this issue.
What we really need is not the military on the borders…at least so called, but to upgrade the Border Patrol into a full-fledged Border Police or Gendarmerie. Such a force should be organized on military lines, with lots more manpower, equipped with helicopters, light aircraft and light infantry weapons.
The force would operate out of regional fortifications and strongpoints, and could secure the border by both patrolling and with the deployment of sensors; as well as walls and ditches to render some areas impassable. To do this right, the government would have to buy-up a lot of property right on the borders, to construct the strongpoints and network of supporting roads and other facilities necessary.
The Border State governments, in their own interests, should help, State auxilliary forces, manned and paid for by the States, probably as adjuncts of the State Police forces (such as the Department of Public Safety in Texas), or of the organized State Militias (again, such as the State Guard in Texas) could be used to back up the Border Police.
If we really want to secure the land borders, this is how to do it. This is even more necessary considering certain political trends south of the border. I will have comments on the Mexican miltiary issue on my own blog perhaps this weekend.