Thursday, May 31, 2007


War is coming to Tucson

by Lionel Waxman

You are not going to like what I have to say today. But it must be said, out loud. People are whispering about it now, but if we don’t face up to it, it will only get worse.

The violent incident in Cananea, Sonora, has hit the consciousness of Tucson squarely between the eyes. Northern Mexico is in a state of war. Who is fighting? That’s hard to say. Officially, it is the drug- and people-traffickers against each other and the government. But in Mexico, you can’t tell the players even with a program. You cannot assume the police or the Army are loyal to their commands. Many are working on their own.

In case you were out of town two weeks ago, about 50 armed men drove into Cananea and killed five policemen and two other residents. The men fled into the hills with police and soldiers in pursuit. In subsequent gunfights, 16 more were killed.

The U.S. State Department has issued a travel announcement saying narcotics-related “violence by criminal elements affects many parts of the country.”

It is not too much to say there is a war going on right across the border. It’s not a hot war with firefights all the time. It is not a cold war, either, with posturing and press releases. Let’s call it a warm war. Violence breaks out from time to time for reasons unknown to us, but completely unpredictable.

And here’s the part you don’t want to hear. Violence has spread across the border and has resulted in several deaths of Americans residents and visitors. Most such crimes are reported as isolated incidents. But the violence in northern Mexico is not stopping at the border. It’s headed this way and a lot of Tucsonans know it.

It is crossing the border because there is little to stop it. The Border Patrol is in virtual rebellion against its supervisors. They have felt betrayed by prosecution of some of them for what they see as doing their job. Union Local 2544 of the Border Patrol has published its position of “no confidence” in supervisory and command personnel. They have called a meeting (members only) for June 13 to consider their options.

You can’t learn about it in most media, but the whispers around town are people saying they are thinking of getting out. It looks like war and it’s coming here. No government has acted to protect Americans living in Southern Arizona. Our federal government is in full collapse as far as the southern border is concerned. All we get from them is talk. The only action we see is toward integrating Mexico into the U.S. and Canada.

What will it mean when the border is actually abandoned and anybody is free to enter without inspection? It will mean that Southern Arizona, specifically Tucson, could become like Cananea and other parts of northern Mexico. Violence will overtake local police. State and federal authorities will look the other way.

Our local news media talks about growth and how we must plan for. But these events will make those plans meaningless. When Tucsonans have to risk their lives to go to work or shopping, this city will empty out. Adequate water supplies will be the least of our problems.

The federal government should put troops on the border to defend the United States and its citizens. The troops should be given orders to use as much force as necessary to accomplish that task. No soldiers should be detailed to do paperwork and forbidden to fire on violators. This is another war and if we don’t act like it, we will lose this one too.

This war isn’t on the other side of the world. This is for our homes, our homes, our homes.

But the feds do nothing. What is happening is according to their plan. Drop in on the Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America’s website n spp.gov n and read the plans. Watch discussion of the so-called immigration reform bill, which contains legislation advancing the integration of North America. It’s happening whether you like it or not. And Tucson is on the front lines.