Open warfare on the Mexican border puts U.S. citizens at risk
By Seth Richardson
The Gazette suggests that with the advent of the new Obama administration, it’s now time to revisit the need for the border fence along the U.S.-Mexican border. Agreed. We don’t need a border fence, we need at least two of them, parallel to each other and some distance apart, patrolled and protected by U.S. military forces with rules of engagement ordering them to fire upon anyone entering this country under arms, or anyone firing upon the United States from Mexico, along with orders to arrest and detain anyone else. It works in Korea, and it can work here.
In Mexican border towns like Juarez, Nogales, and Tijuana, drug-related gunplay is commonplace and more than 6000 people, including hundreds of Mexican police officers have been murdered in ongoing drug-induced warfare. And that violence has been spilling over into the United States for more than a decade. WorldNetDaily reported on February 20th that at least two incursions of armed soldiers in Mexican military uniforms had occurred in Hudspeth County, about 50 miles east of El Paso, in recent weeks. In one incident, soldiers were seen driving Mexican army HMMWVs towing thousands of pounds of marijuana across the border near Neely’s Crossing. These HMMWVs were armed with heavy machine guns, and the sheriff’s deputies who witness the incursion wisely retreated.
This is hardly the first time incursions by Mexican military units have been reported. The Washington Times reports that there have been more than 200 armed incursions by Mexican military personnel since 1996. Back in 2002, Soldier of Fortune magazine reported that armed Mexican military personnel fired on a U.S. Border Patrol agent with a .50 caliber heavy machine gun, piercing the agent’s vehicle as he sped away. Again in January 2007, Mexican army soldiers in a camouflaged HMMWV fired a .50 caliber machine gun on Texas law-enforcement officers, again in Hudspeth County. In this incident, Hudspeth County deputies were pursuing three sport utility vehicles back towards Mexico and were fired upon as the chase neared the Rio Grande. One vehicle was abandoned in the U.S. and another got stuck in the Rio Grande and was burned by the soldiers after they unloaded it. Deputies found 1,400 pounds of drugs in the abandoned SUV. There are an alarming number of other, similar reports.
El Paso, Texas itself is under siege, with hundreds of drug-related cross-border murders, and Tucson, Arizona is dealing with a rash of violent drug-related home invasions. This increase in violence by drug-cartel soldiers and enforcers is becoming commonplace all along our border with Mexico.
Civilian law enforcement resources in U.S. border cities are simply overwhelmed and under-armed to cope with an influx of narco-terrorists armed with automatic weapons and rocket-propelled grenades and other military explosives. In a February, 2009 policy analysis from the Cato institute, author Ted Galen Carpenter reports that the cartel’s enforcers, the Zetas, who are highly-trained military anti-terrorist soldiers who defected to become heavily-armed terrorist insurgents, have stockpiled enormous amounts of military weaponry inside the U.S., to be used to protect drug shipments and punish those who don’t pay up or who give information to law enforcement. They also have orders to kill U.S. law enforcement officers who interfere.
Last week protesters, thought to be shills for the drug cartels, blocked border crossings in Ciudad Juarez, Nuevo Laredo and Reynosa in protest of Mexican president Felipe Calderon’s deployment of 40,000 Mexican soldiers along the border in an attempt to destroy the drug cartels. But when the Mexican military is assisting the drug runners, and uniformed Mexican soldiers are firing on U.S. citizens and law-enforcement, they need to be taken down, using whatever force is required.
What we have on our border is a real, old-fashioned guns, bombs and bayonets war, and when war comes to our borders, the appropriate response is to deploy our military. That’s what they are there for, after all. Before they are sent overseas, their primary duty is to protect U.S. soil and its citizens against military-grade attacks by anyone.
It’s time for Congress to declare war on Mexican drug cartels and anyone else, including renegade Mexican military units, who invade our borders. President Obama should immediately send military troops to the border to prevent incursions by these well-armed terrorists. This isn’t about some abstract connection to global terrorism, these are attacks on U.S. soil and U.S. sovereignty that cannot be allowed to continue.
For the present, deploying the military along our border will begin to cut down on and violence and incursions from Mexico. This is the first step in sealing the border. The next step is to complete the border fence, and then build another one about 200 yards inside that one, and create a sterile free-fire zone between the fences. This will require the eminent domain seizure of lands from private owners to create a border zone that can be protected using military munitions and troops. This is unfortunate, but it’s a necessity and government is fully authorized to seize such property upon the payment of just compensation. It should have been done decades ago, and now we have no choice.
This is not a situation that lightly-armed Border Patrol agents and local law enforcement are suited or trained for. This calls for deployment of the regular army, including Special Forces teams, and all of the associated equipment we have at our disposal to detect and destroy armed intruders. We should be deploying troops, armor, aircraft, missile-armed Predator drones, surveillance equipment and artillery with instructions to destroy anyone crossing the border under arms, no questions asked.
President Calderon of Mexico has deployed 40,000 soldiers along the border with only limited effect, and it’s high time we secured our side of the border, which will assist him in tracking and destroying armed insurgents. Calderon has a real problem keeping his military from being corrupted by the vast sums of money and very real threats by the cartels to kill the families of anyone who oppose them. Deploying troops was his only answer to the pervasive corruption of the Mexican police in the area. The U.S. military, however, does not face the same sort of corruption and intimidation that Mexican authorities do.
The next step is to begin cross-border operations using Special Forces, Predators and military aircraft to search out and destroy the operating bases of the drug cartels along with their transportation infrastructure. We can destroy armed insurgents and their bases of operation using remote sensing and stand-off weapons, as we do in Afghanistan and Pakistan, and we should do so here. But we must be careful. The danger of working too closely with the Mexican government is that it is so pervasively corrupt. If we share sensitive operational intelligence with the Mexican government, it will certainly be leaked to the drug cartels, and American soldiers will die.
It’s time for a declaration of war, not upon Mexico, but upon the criminal, terrorist drug cartels, their military arm, the Zetas, and their supporters, and it’s time for us to destroy them, root and branch, without mercy. While it is true that demand for drugs in the U.S. drives the drug trade, this is wrongfully seen as a justification for not doing what is necessary to secure our borders against armed incursions and violence. This isn’t about drugs, it’s about open warfare on our border. The U.S. has spent more than 5 billion dollars on anti-drug efforts in South America in the last nine years, and 400 million in assistance was granted to Mexico in June, 2008 under what is called the “Merida Initiative.” All this money hasn’t done much to impede the flow of drugs. Let’s divert it to defending our border instead. If we cannot stop the flow of drugs out of South America, we can at least stop violent armed incursions and protect citizens of the border regions against narco-terrorist violence.
If the Mexican government objects, well, let it. It’s had plenty of opportunity to do the job itself, but it is so notoriously corrupt and ineffective that the U.S. need no longer consult with it before taking unilateral action to defend its borders. Mexico has a vested interest in not fighting drug importation to the U.S., because all of the billions of drug dollars that flow south support the moribund Mexican economy, and in spite of President Calderon’s protestations, the U.S. has plenty of justification for unilateral action.
Certainly Mexicans will object to U.S. military action, but they’ve had their chance and muffed it, and now it’s time for us to stand up and defend our nation. We demand that our borders be protected and respected, and we demand that our new President do whatever is necessary to ensure the safety and security of our citizens from this clear and present danger.
© 2009 Altnews