Minutemen heading to back up National Guard
Everything in italics is Cowgirl's outraged - not to be confused with outrageous - commentary. I posted this story when it broke, and I, as an American citizen am outraged! I ask every one of you, What are we as Americans supposed to do when our government does not protect our country?
04:48 PM MST on Friday, January 5, 2007
By Dale Quinn / ARIZONA DAILY STAR
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. (Durn! Wish I could have been there!)
Here's the background of what happened Wednesday night:
About 11 p.m. Wednesday, soldiers with a National Guard Entry Identification Team - which provides additional eyes and ears for the U.S. Border Patrol and notifies them of suspicious activity - saw a group of armed individuals approaching them in the desert, said Mario Martinez, spokesman for the U.S. Customs and Border Protection's Border Patrol Office.
The individuals came within 100 yards of the National Guard post, so the troops moved to a safer location and notified Border Patrol agents, Martinez said.
When agents responded minutes later, the armed individuals were gone but the agents tracked their footprints to the U.S.-Mexico border, Martinez said.
The incident occurred in the west desert corridor between Nogales and Lukeville near Sasabe, which has been a busy area for marijuana seizures since last year.
Still, the Border Patrol does not know who the individuals were; why they were armed; or why they were in the United States, Martinez said. There was no verbal or physical confrontation between them and the guard troops, he said.
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." (Chris, "absurd" doesn't even begin to describe it.)
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.
The troops need to be able to apprehend and detain illegal immigrants when they encounter them, he said.
The volunteers will be armed so they can defend themselves and they won't retreat if confronted by dangerous border crossers, he said.
Major Paul Aguirre, a spokesman for the Arizona National Guard, said troops are armed and will defend themselves if their lives are in danger, but their role is to provide support for the Border Patrol.
Martinez said the National Guard has been effective in its role. The troops provide vehicle maintenance and carry out administrative duties that previously kept agents away from their work on the border. (Excuse me. Why the hell is the National Guard - remember, they are our warriors - playing mechanics and secretaries for the Border Patrol? Wouldn't it make more sense for the National Guard to defend the border, and let the Border Patrol mop up what gets past the National Guard?)
The troops also spot illegal immigrants that otherwise would go unnoticed, Martinez said.
The Border Patrol appreciates citizen involvement, but "the border is a dangerous place," Martinez said. "And we have Border Patrol agents trained specifically for that mission." (And just why is "the border a dangerous place"? Possibly because heavily armed bad guys regularly cross it into this country?)
Robin Hoover, the founder of Humane Borders and pastor of First Christian Church, said sending armed U.S. citizens to the border is "idiotic." (No Robin, you are an idiot, and a traitor!)
"It's insane for non-trained personnel to go to the border," he said. (It was insane for a bunch of farmers to go up against the British, but that turned out okay)
"You're just begging for an international incident to happen." (To quote President Bush, completely out of context, "Bring it on!!")
He also called into question how effective the National Guard troops were in their mission because they were unable to identify the armed individuals.
He pointed out that both U.S. and Mexican military personnel inadvertently cross the border without realizing it and that could have happened in this situation.
Martinez said it's important for people not to overreact to the recent incident and that the National Guard troops did exactly what they were expected to do.
"We need to make sure that people know what happened out there is serious," Martinez said. "But we don't exaggerate it." (Hey! WE get that it is serious. The problem is that WE don't think you guys understand it!!)
Contact reporter Dale Quinn at 629-9412 or email@example.com.