- The Washington Times - Saturday, April 2, 2005

Secure the Mexican border

The article “Gang will target Minuteman vigil on Mexico border” (Page 1, Monday) reports that the possibility exists that the MS-13 (Mara Salvatrucha) gang plans to teach “a lesson” to the Minuteman Project volunteers, who are planning a monthlong effort to report illegal aliens crossing the border into Arizona.

Additionally, former Mexican soldiers and federal agents are now working as mercenaries for Mexican drug traffickers and may well consider targeting the volunteers with the Minutemen.

The Minuteman Project has become necessary for one reason and one reason only. The federal government has refused for years to do anything to end this daily invasion by thousands of illegal aliens. Now, emboldened by President Bush’s guest-worker (amnesty) proposal, the flood of illegals has worsened.

It is time for the federal government to carry out its constitutional responsibility to guard our nation’s borders. It is time for Mexico to stop exporting poverty to our country. It is time for Mr. Bush to stand up to Mexican President Vicente Fox.

And it is certainly time for the federal government to provide the Border Patrol with the manpower, equipment and backing it needs to control our borders.

If one member of the Minuteman Project is hurt or killed doing the job that the federal government refuses to do, it is already too late.

LAWRENCE SCHWEINSBURG

Crofton, Md.

The article “Gang will target Minuteman vigil on Mexico border” highlights the fact that it is a sad day in America when the lawmakers side with the lawbreakers against law-abiding citizens.

President Bush recently said he considers the Minutemen to be “vigilantes.” This statement is a prescription for disaster, and a slap in the faces of all Americans.

Unfortunately, U.S. citizens feel forced into securing the borders because the federal government refuses to do its sworn duty to protect the nation.

We need to secure our borders, not merely with more technology, but with increased manpower to keep the terrorists and illegal aliens out. America doesn’t need more cheap foreign labor, and our citizens would be willing to pay higher prices. It’s a small price to pay for our freedom and security.

The Minuteman Project is equivalent to a neighborhood-watch program. Any attack by illegal gang members will result in the wrath of American citizens.

BOB ALLAN

Rochester Hills, Mich.

If the owner of a bank, realizing that government law enforcement cannot provide adequate protection, decides to hire a security guard to protect the bank, is the security guard a “vigilante”?

If the security guard observes a criminal in the process of robbing the bank, is he limited to calling law enforcement to handle the situation? If he uses a weapon to detain the bank robber, would he be charged with a crime by the government and then sued by the American Civil Liberties Union?

Why doesn’t President Bush go on a crusade to rid our society of all the “vigilante” private security guards? Every day, thousands of immigrants cross our borders illegally. Why shouldn’t private citizens be allowed to act as security guards to help law enforcement find and detain immigrants who have illegally crossed our border?

Government-provided law enforcement is not getting the job done. The Minutemen are heroes, not vigilantes.

MARK CAMPBELL

Annapolis

Donald Lambro published a column Thursday, “Sweet run hits ‘sour’ patch” (Commentary), in which he cites several potential reasons for the decline in President Bush’s approval rating. One factor he ignored, though, is the immigration situation on the southern border. This is really what is on our minds:

The Minuteman movement has been challenged by not only a Salvadoran gang of criminals, but also by the president himself, who labeled them “vigilantes.” He has rubbed a lot of staunch supporters, myself included, the wrong way. His refusal to shore up the border has earned him a drop in the ratings.

We desperately need to have the 2,000 border agents that have been promised. Sending 150 now and 350 a little (six months) later is not going to do the job. We stand a very good chance of being invaded by terrorists, if they are not already here.

I live in Texas, next door to the area in question. I don’t want to see al Qaeda members masquerading as Mexicans coming into Brownsville or Laredo. From there, it is a short hop to Houston, Dallas and points north. Something must be done now.

JACK DORWIN

Livingston, Texas

Pakistan, India and military aid

The decision to supply nuclear-capable high-performance F-16 fighter planes to Pakistan, an unstable military dictatorship, is utterly misguided, as these fighters will only be used against democratic India (“Bush irks India by selling fighters,” Page 1, March 26).

The United States has far better ways to reward Pakistan for its helpful but selective pressure on al Qaeda and the Taliban. The U.S. Congress should think hard, as Pakistan, having developed nuclear weapons, has spread nuclear-weapons technology to Iran, North Korea, Libya and perhaps others.

This includes Islamic terrorist organizations through the rogue network of its nuclear scientist, A.Q. Khan. Pakistan also continues to engage in state-sponsored terrorism in Indian Kashmir and elsewhere in India.

The United States should give Pakistan some financial and appropriate military assistance to confront Islamic terrorists in its border areas with Afghanistan, but it should not be high-tech military systems such F-16s.

Pakistan needs genuine democracy more than anything else and President Bush must ensure that there are free and fair national elections in 2007.

The United States gives precedence to its tactical needs at the cost of India’s fundamental security and development interests and American strategic interests.

India has to be able to deter Pakistan and China and the United States has to make its words good by enhancing India’s economic, military and political power.

The United States must support India’s bid for a permanent seat on the U.N. Security Council and supply civilian nuclear plants, Patriot missiles, F-16/F-18 fighter planes and other high-tech platforms to India with suitable low-cost financing, so that India is not forced to consider options which may not be in conformity with U.S. objectives.

Shortsighted U.S. policy in favor of Pakistan would also encourage other countries to develop nuclear weapons.

VIPUL THAKORE

London

Your article “Pakistani sees results from U.S. push for democracy” (Page 1, Wednesday), overlooks one fact: Pakistan is run by a military dictatorship which overthrew a democratically elected government.

Prior to the rise of this dictatorship, which shows no signs of relinquishing power in the face of the Bush White House’s lazy jawboning on spreading democracy, the people of Pakistan freely elected their leaders, including a first for the Islamic world: a female prime minister, Benazir Bhutto.

It is obvious that the Pakistani regime is glad to see democracy spreading, so long as it does not threaten its ill-gotten power.

PHIL HALL

Fairfield, Conn.

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