Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Anatomy of an International Incident

Over the past couple of weeks, several factors have been working in concert that have made me more nervous to live near la frontera than any other time that I can recall. It all began on January 5th when the first news reports began circulation on an incident near Sasabe, Arizona on January 3rd:
Armed group forces Guard to flee post near Sasabe
National Guard troops working at an observatory post near Sasabe were approached by a group of armed individuals late Wednesday night and forced to flee, said Border Patrol and National Guard officials Thursday.

The event occurred about 11 p.m. Wednesday at one of the National Guard entrance identification team posts near Sasabe, said National Guard Sgt. Edward Balaban. The troops withdrew safely. No shots were fired and no one suffered injuries, he said.

"We don't know exactly how many because obviously it took place in the dark," Balaban said. "Nobody was able to get an accurate count." (emphasis)
The lack of details and unsubstantiated claims were/are mind-boggling. Of course, they did see it fit to print this hypothesis that has now become gospel truth: "Border Patrol officials say the armed group returned to Mexico."

So what did this nugget of shoddy journalism cause? Well, the harpies on the right saw three items that set their blood on fire: armed group - Mexico - National Guard troops flee. It caused an avalanche of stupidity to rain down from Mount MainStreamMedia on top of our heads:
  • Gunmen Attack National Guard Border Patrol Site in Arizona (Fox News)
  • Troops Flee From Border Outpost (Washington Times)
  • Armed Mexicans Attack Unarmed National Guard Troops On US Soil (The Post Chronicle)
  • Volunteers 'with heat' to support National Guard (WorldNetDaily)
  • Lou Dobbs' Poll Question on 1/5/07: Do you support a policy of withdrawal and retreat when our National Guardsmen are confronted with Mexican gunmen advancing across the border? Yes or no?
It's a common thing for the propaganda organs on the right to coordinate their message, even when it's deceptive, but do they realize what their irresponsible behavior leads to? Before it would be little to nothing, but now, the vigilante movement has decided that they want to play War Games in my backyard.
Minutemen heading to back up National Guard
Volunteers with the Minuteman Civil Defense Corps are headed for the Arizona-Mexico border Friday to provide backup for National Guard troops in response to an incident near Sasabe in which the approach of armed men forced soldiers to retreat.


Chris Simcox, the founder and president of the Minuteman Civil Defense Corps, said the incident shows the federal government is ineffective when it comes to protecting the border.

"The fact that National Guardsmen were forced to retreat from an armed incursion," Simcox said. "It's just absurd." The volunteer border watch organization wants to send the message that National Guard troops aren't making U.S. citizens any safer.

"The National Guard needs to be unhandcuffed and they need to be able to deal with these aggressive international incidents," Simcox said.
Have you ever seen a more offensive headline?

The clear purpose of Simcox' words are to raise the tension and spark a true war here in the southwest. These are the so-called "patriots" patrolling the homeland. Even though we are not at war with our neighbors to the south (I'll say that again: we are not at war with our neighbors to the South), these armed militias are working actively to provoke a fight that would bring about true instability to that precious safety net of sovereignty they claim to uphold.

From another article on the vigilante's deadly game of Risk:
Minutemen say Guard 'handcuffed' by current rules of engagement
Minuteman Lance Altherr said, "National Guard are under orders to not fire back or defend themselves and they basically had to run and that's unacceptable in our eyes."

The Minutemen, speaking out after the National Guard's brush with armed gunmen along the border near Sasabe.

'If we're approached by anybody like that, armed gunmen, we're not going to run. We're not going to retreat. We're going to hold our ground," Altherr said.

Let's stop any talk about the U.S./Mexico border not being militarized. And let's stop and think about who is escalating the violence.

Since the blood-lusting Minutemen didn't get to see any Mexicans strung up against a barbed-wire fence on January 3rd - it was only a matter of time before someone's sangre ran in the desert - even though the Border Patrol's internal investigation proved that the incident was handled according to policy.
The FBI said Monday it was investigating the death of a Mexican immigrant who was shot by a Border Patrol agent near the Arizona-Mexico border.

Francisco Javier Dominguez-Rivera, 22, of Puebla, Mexico, was killed Friday in a confrontation with the unidentified agent north of the U.S.-Mexico border between Bisbee and Douglas.
This has caused an uproar in the area with U.S. citizens high-five'ing the action, the Border Patrol throwing up a smokescreen on the details, the Mexican Government sending a diplomatic note of protest, and the family of Dominguez-Rivera expressing public outrage.
The mother of a Mexican migrant shot to death last week by a U.S. Border Patrol Agent asked for justice on Monday and said she would like to see the agent receive the death penalty.

"I want the death penalty for that killer, because my son was just trying to find a better opportunity," an emotional Laura Rivera told the Mexican news agency Notimex. "He was a young worker whom they simply killed in cold blood, so I want justice."


Rivera said officials told her husband that their son's body would arrive in Cuautla by Thursday at the latest.

"I want this all to be over, for them to bring the body and return my other two sons," Rivera said, weeping.

While I disagree with la Señora's calls for the death penalty, it is obvious that her grief is very real and very potent. Her son is a victim of policies that continue to end the lives of economic refugees everyday along la frontera due to everything ranging from bullet to snakebite to exposure.

As long as armed militias, bigoted lawmakers, and irresponsible journalists continue to work in unison against the reality and implications of a bi-cultural stretch of tierra - the threat of an international incident remains.

Crossposted at Booman Tribune, frontpaged at ePluribus Media

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