Monday, April 5, 2010

end of mexico? by zenpudit

….Last week, at least 30 Mexicans from the town of El Porvenir walked to the border crossing post at Fort Hancock, Texas, and asked for political asylum. Ordinarily, their claim would be denied as groundless, and they would be turned back. Instead, they were taken to El Paso, where they expect to have their cases heard.

No one doubts that they have a strong claim. Their town on the Mexican side of the border is under siege by one or more drug cartels battling for control of the key border crossing. According to Mike Doyle, the chief deputy sheriff of Hudspeth County, Texas, one of the cartels has ordered all residents of the town of 10,000 to abandon the city within the next month.

“They came in and put up a sign in the plaza telling everyone to leave or pay with their own blood,” Doyle said. Since then there has been a steady stream of El Porvenir residents seeking safety on the American side of the border, both legally and illegally. Among them are the 30 who are seeking political asylum.

In recent days the situation in the impoverished, dusty border town has grown worse. According to Jose Franco, the superintendent of schools in Fort Hancock, the cartels have threatened to execute children in school unless parents pay 5000 pesos in protection money.

And on Wednesday night, according to Doyle, several houses in El Porvenir were set on fire, and there were reports of cars loaded with furniture leaving the town.

I saw this coming. I’m sure that so has anyone else studying insurgency or military history who stopped to give the matter five minutes of serious thought. There’s nothing magical about geographic proximity to the United States that would prevent this tactic, if applied widely and backed by lethal examples, from working. What has been done in the villages of Bosnia or Dar Fur can be done in towns of northern Mexico.

Foresight, apparently, does not include governmental officials though:

Authorities fear that an incident might spark a mass exodus by the residents of El Porvenir that might cause them all to surge across the border at once.

Doyle says there are no plans yet to set up camps for an influx of refugees. “There is just no way to plan for that,” he said. “We are waiting to see what happens. We will use the standard natural disaster procedures if it happens — the Red Cross and housing at the schools, and if it gets worse, the state and the federal government will have to step in.”

I would not bet my mortgage that the Feds would step in – at least not until the situation became an unmitigated, if entirely avoidable, humanitarian disaster. Here’s a hint: Very large numbers of people + a desert + no planning – Food – Shelter – Water = Dead children on CNN. Human physiology is the same on the Rio Grande or in Arizona as in Sudan.

“No way to plan for that”? WTF? There’s no examples of handling influxes of war refugees anywhere in world history? Give me a break. What they really meant is that this kind of contingency planning is politically unacceptable to national security officials because it would offend the Mexican government, a few members of Congress and some activist constituencies in the Democratic Party’s base.

Political Correctness in national security affairs is the autoimmune disease of our body politic.

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