Sunday, November 27, 2011

Same Border. New Debate

As we continue the old debate of whether virtual fences--or any fences at all--are appropriate for our border with Mexico, we find we need a new debate of whether we need minefields and armed drones defended by heavily armed para-military forces with conventional military forces on call for help (tip to Instapundit):

Todd Staples, the Texas agriculture commissioner and a candidate for lieutenant governor, argued that many leaders in Washington, D.C., continue to ignore the violence along the border. In a recent article he wrote, "A Webb County rancher checking his cattle is shot at and barely escapes with his life; the suspects are linked to drug cartels. Workers in a Hidalgo County sugarcane field are told by cartel members to stop harvesting the crop 'or else," because the sugarcane provides coverage for cartel coyotes smuggling drugs."

Vickers said he knows ranchers who have moved their families into nearby cities for their protection and have taken other safety measures. "Everyone is packing a weapon and carrying a cell phone with them. and they're crazy if they don't," he said. "This is happening on American soil; this is a war zone here, there's no question about it."

The use of the phrase "war zone" to describe the U.S. side of the border is controversial. The report to the agriculture commissioner states, "Living and conducting business in a Texas border county is tantamount to living in a war zone in which civil authorities, law enforcement agencies as well as citizens are under attack around the clock."

We didn't decide to resolve the old debate in favore of defending our border against unarmed migrants. Eventually, the infrastructure of moving people was exploited to move drugs and the armed guards followed to escort the drugs north.

If we don't resolve this new debate, we will find another one waiting for us if this bad situation gets worse. Then we will be debating whether to conduct hot pursuit into Mexico to kill these drug cartel armed forces that are developing.