Tuesday, August 12, 2008

"We Don' Need No Steenkeeng Border!"

Mexican soldiers have made yet another incursion into U.S. territory:

TUCSON, Ariz. — Four Mexican soldiers crossed into Arizona and held a U.S. Border Patrol agent at gunpoint before realizing where they were and returning to Mexico, federal authorities said Wednesday.

The confrontation occurred early Sunday on the Tohono O'odham Indian Reservation, about 85 miles southwest of Tucson, in an area fenced only with barbed wire, said Dove Crawford, a spokeswoman for the Border Patrol.

The soldiers, outfitted in desert camouflage, pointed their rifles at the agent and shouted at him not to move, Crawford said. They lowered their weapons after about four minutes when the agent convinced them of who he was and where they were, she said. The soldiers then retreated into Mexico.

And now for the U.S. government's reaction:

State Department spokesman Gonzalo Gallegos in Washington said the encounter "stemmed from a momentary misunderstanding as to the exact location of the U.S.-Mexican border."

What interests me is two aspects of stories like this: first, the frequency with which these supposed goofs occur; and second, the automatic, identical response from the Bush Administration in each instance. It seems that the federal government's standard policy entails downplaying these "accidents" and playing defense for the Mexican nationals who ended up on American turf with guns drawn. In at least one case, Mexican weaponry included a jeep-mounted .50-caliber machine gun.

How many of these violations must we endure, before the feds come to the understanding that so-called mistakes of this nature actually are messages to the effect that "you can stick your border where the sun don't shine, gringo."?

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