Tribute to the Military

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Borders, Language, and Culture: Are we as safe as we feel?

According to a Reuters Feature Report, Mexican drug gangs are forcing Indians to grow opium and marijuana, and are taking advantage of the out-of-the-way rural landscape of the Western Sierra Madres to step up their operations. Gangs are reported to becoming increasing violent and forcing the local population into a cartel servitude. Read the details of these gangs exploiting local citizens in Reuters Featured Report.

This along with reports that Border Patrol agents stationed along the nation's southwestern frontier are encountering armed and potentially hostile military units from Mexico. WorldNetDaily reported that U.S. Department of Homeland Security has issued written orders on what to do if confronted by Mexican military units. World Net Daily alludes that some units are in the employ of powerful drug cartels. Read the details about what the agents face now at!

Our southern border with Mexico is about 2,000 miles long. It is estimated that the only "secure areas" are around out major ports of entry. Which leaves the majority of that border unprotected, open, and for the most part unguarded. Anyone can enter most often undetected.
Despite recent momentum in Washington for the construction of a physical barrier on the Mexican border to prevent illegal aliens from coming into the U.S., some of the strongest opposition is being voiced by the governor of one of the border states. Gov. Janet Napolitano, D-Ariz., is smashing the idea of a border wall, stating it would be too expensive, take too long to construct, and be ineffective once completed. "You show me a 50-foot wall and I'll show you a 51-foot ladder at the border. That's the way the border works," Napolitano told the Associated Press. Read the details of Napolitano's ideas and concerns in WorldNetDaily article.

According to a Newsmax article in November, Al-Qaeda Operative Nabbed Near Mexican Border, an al-Qaeda operative who was on the FBI's terrorist watch list was recently captured near the Mexican border, housed in a Texas jail and turned over to federal agents. This information came from Rep. John Culberson, R-Texas.

"A confirmed al-Qaeda terrorist, an Iraqi national, was held in the Brewster County jail," Rep. Culberson told ABC Radio host Sean Hannity. "He was captured in Mexico. This was within the last six weeks. He was turned over to the FBI." Link to the article

According to a recent article in Sonorannews.Com, enforcement along the southern border is worst in history. Bill King, former director of the Border Patrol Academy, opened the discussion by saying, "If this nation is truly at war, and it is, we need to secure our borders," and said the military should be assigned to assist border patrol operations. Read the Sonoran News Article.

To our north, the 4,000 mile long U.S. / Canadian border has been described as the longest undefended border in the world. Relations with the government of Canada remains cordial. The Canadians are our brothers and sisters north of the border quite similar to us in language and culture. Until 9/11 one did not realize one was crossing into a foreign country. However, Canadian immigration policy is lacks and is especially desirable for those seeking some form of asylum. The Canadian government grants permanent landed resident status easily to individuals from countries strongly suspected of supporting organized terrorism. Remember former Montreal, Canada resident Ahmed Ressam (millennium bomber) was an Algerian-born Al-Qaida operative who was arrested by U.S. Immigration Inspectors in 1999 while he attempting to bring a carload of explosives into the United States in Port Angeles, Washington. His intended target was the Los Angeles International Airport. Ressam was only caught because he attempted to smuggle his explosives through a port-of-entry.

In a Canadian Broadcasting Company article in May 2005, Al-Qaeda's Canadian recruits 'highly prized', the CBC reported that:

The majority of al-Qaeda recruits in Canada are being trained at home, not abroad, making the terror network a direct threat to Canada, according to a recently declassified intelligence report. The homegrown recruits are highly prized for their familiarity with Western societies, says the Canadian Security Intelligence Service report, obtained by the Toronto Star. The group once trained recruits in the hills of Afghanistan, but the camps were dismantled as the U.S.-led "war on terror" became Firmly established. Link to article

While the traditional mission of the Customs Border Protection has always been the detection and prevention of the illegal entry of aliens and smuggling of illegal contraband into the United States, the dawn of the age of terrorism within our nation added a new priority mission: to detect and prevent the entry of terrorists and their weapons into the United States.

Looks like we may have to go back to the drawing board to get some serious programs, policies, and plans in place to keep us safe. Of course that would require bipartisan cooperation. In a divided Senate it is unlikely. They had all they could do to squeak an extension of the Patriot Act. The pundits are too busy hating our President.

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