Our troops need to surge to the U.S.-Mexico border
By James P. Pinkerton

So American troops are surging in Iraq, and withdrawing along our own border. What's wrong with this picture? Nothing, say the journalistic and political elites.

Yet, before anything else, what we need is a surge of troops on the U.S.-Mexican border, which is a lot closer to home than Baghdad. On Jan. 6, the Arizona Republic reported that a small team of National Guard troops "abandoned their post near the border southwest of Tucson as four gunmen approached from Mexico." American authorities assured the newspaper that this was all fine, all part of the plan.

It seems that the National Guard, which President Bush sent to the border with great fanfare last year, is on guard only to perform administrative and logistical functions - it's not supposed to do any actual border enforcement.

In the supposed-to-be-soothing words of Border Patrol spokesman Mario Martinez, "There was no attack" against the Americans in uniform. Why not? "In order to not be detected, they moved to a safer location," Martinez cooed. "That's exactly what we want them to do."

That's one way to avoid confrontation: Just keep retreating. Works for a while.

Amazingly, this border incident, or lack thereof, has received almost no attention from the mainstream media. The New York Times, for example, has not mentioned it. The Washington Post ran a 42-word item on the Tucson non-incident, but the Powertown paper doesn't really care about border security, either.

Indeed, the Post made its journalistic priorities manifest this week when it published a 1,500-word, multiple-handkerchief story on illegal immigrants who don't get lawyers as they face deportation hearings. The clear point of the article was to encourage more lawyers to take up the cases of illegals on a pro-bono basis. And, no doubt, some lawyers will do just that, confident they will be earning brownie points with the Post and its readership.

But in fairness to the mainstream media, the journo-establishment would cover this Mexican invasion of America - the larger story, of course, is the millions of illegals traveling across the border every year - if it were ever to get the signal that the American government took this under-covered onslaught seriously.

In a different era, the American commander in chief took seriously his constitutional oath to "preserve, protect and defend" these United States. In 1916, after the terroristic forces of Pancho Villa crossed into American territory, President Woodrow Wilson sent Gen. John "Black Jack" Pershing and the U.S. Army into Mexico on a punitive retaliatory expedition. That's how a country convinces outsiders that it cares about its own national sovereignty.

But, in contrast to the 28th president, the 43d president seems to be preoccupied with Iraq, not Arizona; extra U.S. troops are going to go 7,000 miles from home even as our own homes are unguarded.

Indeed, Bush and the Democrats who now control Congress seem to agree that there should be less enforcement along the U.S.-Mexico border. So, in 2007, we can expect a cancelation of the once-promised border wall. We also can expect a guest-worker/ slow-motion-amnesty deal.

Bush and his new best friend forever, Sen. John McCain (R., Ariz.), are eager for such a deal to show the D.C. establishment that they can work with Democrats at least some of the time - even as they seek to jam the Dems on Iraq.

But, of course, both parties in Washington are experts at the game of selling out ordinary Americans - in the name of foggy abstractions such as "bipartisanship" and "nation building." What Americans on the southwestern border need is political leadership that will stand up for them, not ignore them. And soon enough, as the immigration invasion continues, all Americans will figure out that they, too, need border protection.

And one day, even the mainstream media will realize that the impending demographic transformation and dissolution of America is a big story. Maybe.

James P. Pinkerton ( is a columnist for Newsday. ... 441038.htm