Welcome to the Frontier
It wasn't my intention to live on the frontier when I moved from downtown Tucson to the edge of the metropolis some years ago. I intended getting closer to the American Southwest of decades past: the place before it became infected by industrial tourism, brown air in December, and yet one more water-starved, ecosystem-wasting 60,000 home development. All I wanted was some peace in my daily life, some relief from crime and unsavory urban elements, some real air, and a little desert around me. Ahhh,... how sometimes one's expectations can be hallucinations! Now, I must confess: I have found mostly peace and mostly quiet, pure air, and a slower pace of life. And I've found great neighbors and a holdover from a time long since vanished: the ephemeral Great American Small Town still extant in my neighborhood. But I've also found myself "embedded" --- as they call reporters among troops at the front line --- in a war zone that is the northward flood of illegal aliens and drugs, and also, perhaps, in the flow of terrorists and their weaponry. Here in the Southwestern US, at the turn of the millenium, I found myself at the frontier.
Let's push aside for a moment the ills of illegal immigration and narcotics trafficking. Everyone knows that our southwestern Border with Mexico is largely uncontrolled. Isn't it obvious that a nation cannot have national security if its borders are uncontrolled? And, if there is an unchecked flow of illegals and drugs across our borders, then doesn't that present a perfect vehicle for importing the really nasty stuff? Before the butchery of 9-11, I was sending Emails to my Governor, Congressional delegation, and the White House complaining about my first-hand experiences, begging for real Border security. I received not a single response. Not one! Was I prescient, in Spring 2001, when my Emails begged for Border enforcement, in the least, because of its potential for terrorist use? No, I don't think so; I just described some of my first-hand experiences and drew some fairly obvious conclusions. I suggested that it was really a no-brainer for terrorists to view the US-Mexico border as an ideal vehicle for importing manpower and materials into the US. Let's look at it this way: If the US Government won't enforce the border against successful breach by an some 4 million illegals and 50,000 tons of mind-rotting drugs per year, then isn't it child's play for terrorists to use the Border to import people and goods destined for truly sinister purposes?
For decades, the US Government has been mamby-pamby about quenching the flow of illegals and drugs across the US-Mexico Border. Can we permit their negligence to continue? I suggest that the only logical way to proceed is this: SHUT DOWN THE BORDER NOW to remove its potential for terrorism and, perhaps as a by-product, our Government will finally check the influx of illegals and drugs. Although the Government's actions over time show that it doesn't care about the impacts of uncontrolled immigration and drugs, I cannot say this too loudly: WAKE UP GUYS, THE STAKES ARE TOO HIGH TO LET THIS CONTINUE. START DOING YOUR JOB.
Quite frankly, crossing the Border and avoiding apprehension is so trivial that a competent 3-year-old could put forth a reasonable plan. For terrorists, both experienced and aspiring, there must be a handbook somewhere whose instructions go something like this:
- Fly the successful routes of the drugrunners and dump your cargo at the standard drop spots.
- Drive your 4-WD cross-country along the routes used by the narcotics smugglers. Backcountry (National Parks, BLM, Wilderness Areas) offer a proven record of success, so don't miss that opportunity. And don't worry about preserving the environment---no one else does. Just be successful.
- Walk the foot trails used by the successful 75% of illegal aliens. They're everywhere.
- If your luck goes bad some time and you get caught, just ditch your cargo and walk out with your hands up. Since you have no prior record, you'll just be "processed" and returned to try again. Don't make the same mistakes on future attempts! Their Government gives you up to 10 chances to re-enter and be caught and returned for another try.
- In 2005, one of you will carry the final component for completing the field-grade nuclear bomb we have assembled during the last decade using those "under the radar" routes and methods their government has never bothered to watch.
Who's fault is our porous, virtual border---this leaking, rotting sieve of non-existent national security? First, let me say who I believe is not at fault: the field agents of the Border Patrol and Customs. For years I've talked to them about it; they just enforce policies set forth by the decision makers. Rather, it is the fault of our elected US Government and their appointees: those naive, self-infatuated politico's who tolerate the status quo, who continually pursue naive or pandering policies that have little impact, and who, in the end, really don't mind placing in jeopardy the safety and quality of life for American citizens if it gets them re-elected or keeps them in the club. Tough talk but, quite honestly, what other reasons can there be? Our Government simply will not uphold the laws and the Constitution they are sworn to defend. The Preamble to the Constitution of the United States lists as one of the primary functions of [our] Federal Government "...to provide for the common defense". Indeed, it's a laudable goal---if you can stay interested in doing it. Obviously, they aren't. One can certainly interpret "defense" in a spectrum of ways, but any rational definition of defense certainly involves providing all means necessary to assure life and liberty, and hopefully also to protect the "pursuit of happiness". But maybe my thinking is in the wrong time period; perhaps such notions are just far too "retro" for today's legislator! After all, the Constitution was adopted more than 200 years ago and its Framers have mostly left the scene and can't be sound-bited or hacked by today's "focus groups".
So what do we have? Our Government has abandoned the rather quaint and parochial interests of safety and security. Our Government's actions show that it doesn't give a desert rat's batootie about what happens to Americans as a result of its policies regarding the US-Mexico Border. Instead, our Government just looks the other way while life on the new frontier collapses back to the Old West, where packing heat on your hip gave you better odds but no guarantees. It boils down to this: My Government is supposed to protect me. But in our time, Government-provided security has become a complete joke; now, the risk is mine. When an illegal approaches me, I'm forced to gamble: Is this person safe? Is he packing protection? How about that person? Or that group of 30 guys with backpacks? How about those 3 guys with the pack-mule? Those two SUV's I saw parked together when I was taking my evening walk? Or how about that big wooden crate of white-plastic wrapped loaves that my kids happened upon while playing in the wash near the house? Out here on the frontier, my Government forces me to roll the dice.