February 26, 2009
CONGRESS FIDDLES WHILE AMERICA BURNS By Michael Cutler
February 26, 2009
A disturbing news report appeared in today’s edition of the Washington Times on how our government may finally have no choice but to take action in response to the ever escalating violence that is taking place on a daily, if not hourly, basis in Mexico.
If you changed the name of the country from Mexico to Afghanistan, no one would be surprised. That is why the President says we need to increase the number of soldiers that we will send to Afghanistan.
During the Bush administration we heard the president and members of his cabinet often repeated the same mantra about the “War on Terror” that “We were fighting them over there so that we wouldn’t have to fight them over here!”
With that brilliant strategy, Bush left our border with Mexico largely unprotected permitting millions of illegal aliens, drugs and criminals and potentially terrorists to stream across that border.
As I pointed out within the past couple of days, there are still members of both houses of Congress who still refuse to support efforts to complete a fence to help secure our border that is supposed to separate the United States from Mexico.
This evening, President Obama included in his State of the Union the following:
Finally, because we’re also suffering from a deficit of trust, I am committed to restoring a sense of honesty and accountability to our budget. That is why this budget looks ahead ten years and accounts for spending that was left out under the old rules – and for the first time, that includes the full cost of fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan. For seven years, we have been a nation at war. No longer will we hide its price.
We are now carefully reviewing our policies in both wars, and I will soon announce a way forward in Iraq that leaves Iraq to its people and responsibly ends this war.
And with our friends and allies, we will forge a new and comprehensive strategy for Afghanistan and Pakistan to defeat al Qaeda and combat extremism. Because I will not allow terrorists to plot against the American people from safe havens half a world away.
As we meet here tonight, our men and women in uniform stand watch abroad and more are readying to deploy. To each and every one of them, and to the families who bear the quiet burden of their absence, Americans are united in sending one message: we honor your service, we are inspired by your sacrifice, and you have our unyielding support. To relieve the strain on our forces, my budget increases the number of our soldiers and Marines. And to keep our sacred trust with those who serve, we will raise their pay, and give our veterans the expanded health care and benefits that they have earned.
To overcome extremism, we must also be vigilant in upholding the values our troops defend – because there is no force in the world more powerful than the example of America. That is why I have ordered the closing of the detention center at Guantanamo Bay, and will seek swift and certain justice for captured terrorists – because living our values doesn’t make us weaker, it makes us safer and it makes us stronger. And that is why I can stand here tonight and say without exception or equivocation that the United States of America does not torture.
In words and deeds, we are showing the world that a new era of engagement has begun. For we know that America cannot meet the threats of this century alone, but the world cannot meet them without America. We cannot shun the negotiating table, nor ignore the foes or forces that could do us harm. We are instead called to move forward with the sense of confidence and candor that serious times demand.
Once again we have a president who focuses his concerns that terrorist on some distant soil might well be plotting and preparing to attack our nation. Certainly this is a real possibility and one that needs to be dealt with effectively.
However, it is absolutely vital that in searching far and wide to uncover threats to our safety that our nation’s leaders not ignore that which may be occurring up close and virtually under our noses!
There have been numerous intelligence reports about various terrorist training camps operating in the Tri-Border Region of Brazil. (I would point out that Brazil is within this hemisphere for those members of Congress who may be geographically challenged!) There have been numerous reports about illegal aliens from “Special interest countries” (countries that are associated with the state sponsorship of terrorism such as Iran, Pakistan, Afghanistan, etc) being apprehended as they attempted to enter the United States by running our nation’s borders.
Lets also not forget that whether a person is killed by a terrorist or a member of a violent gang or drug cartel, that person is no less dead! The loss to his family and friends is no less severe.
Consider this quote from the news report:
News of the plan, first revealed last week by Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, comes on the heels of the State Department warning for Americans planning to visit Mexico, and of a report from the U.S. National Drug Intelligence Center, which found that Mexican cartels “maintain drug-distribution networks or supply drugs to distributors in at least 230 U.S. cities.”
Did you notice that number of at least 230 cities? I am willing to venture a wild guess that not all of those 230 or more cities are all to be found along the Mexican border!
Here is a hypothetical analogy to the situation concerning the violence in Mexico:
The smoke detector has been ringing for quite some time. At what point should the fire department be called and the building evacuated?
Now consider how long the lunacy in Mexico has been festering and escalating. How much longer will the “Fools on the Hill” (Congress) continue to debate the completion of the fence and the need to take many additional measures to not only secure the border but to identify and weed out the members of the various violent gangs and cartels who are, no doubt, operating in cities across our nation?
There is that famous saying that “Nero fiddled while Rome burned!”
Perhaps we should come up with an appropriate award for our nation’s leaders who are so intent on not interfering with the status quo that provides so many exploitable workers and hence campaign contributions and potential voters that they are unwilling or unable to do what is absolutely vital for the security of our nation and the safety of our citizens.
Perhaps an appropriate award would be a miniature statue in the shape of a fiddle!
A final thought. Consider the final sentence in that news report:
Analysts say the extreme nature of the violence in Mexico is in part a product of the destabilizing effects of President Felipe Calderon´s use of the army and federal authorities to crack down on the cartels – which has provoked shootouts with police and escalating violence between the cartels as markets are destabilized by the removal of key players.
You have to wonder if the analysts were using some of the dope being smuggled by the cartels! The violence is a response to the efforts of the Mexican army and law enforcement to crack down on the cartels?
What is the alternative, to have President Calderon flee from Mexico and turn over the government to the cartels?
Clearly the only solution is to take on the cartels and win! There is no such thing as “second place” in the war on drugs or terror!
The large scale apathy demonstrated by citizens of this nation has emboldened elected representatives to all but ignore the needs of the average American citizen in a quest for massive campaign funds and the promises of votes to be ostensibly delivered by special interest groups. There is much that we cannot do but there is one thing that We the People absolutely must do- we must stop sitting on the sidelines!
The collective failure of We the People to get involved in make our concerns known to our politicians have nearly made the concerns of the great majority of the citizens of this nation all but irrelevant to the politicians.
I implore you to get involved! We live in a perilous world and in a perilous era. The survival of our nation and the lives of our citizens hang in the balance.
© 2009 – Michael Cutler – All Rights Reserved
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Michael W. Cutler graduated from Brooklyn College of the City University of New York in 1971 with a B.A. in Communications Arts and Sciences. Mr. Cutler began working for the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) in October 1971 when he entered on duty as an Immigration Inspector assigned to John F. Kennedy International Airport. In August 1975 he became a Criminal Investigator (Special Agent) for the INS at NYC.
He rotated through virtually every squad in the Investigations Branch. From 1988 until 1991 he was assigned as the INS representative to the Unified Intelligence Division (UID) of the DEA in New York. In 1991 he was promoted to the position of Senior Special Agent and was assigned to the Organized Crime, Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) which required that he work with members of other law enforcement agencies including the FBI, DEA, ATF, U.S. Customs and local and state police as well as law enforcement organizations of other countries including Israel, Canada, Great Britain and Japan, to conduct investigations of aliens involved in major drug trafficking organizations. He retired from the INS in February 2002, after a career that spanned some 30 years.
Finally, Michael Cutler has appeared on numerous television and radio programs including Lou Dobbs, Fox News, MSNBC and many other television and radio news-oriented programs to discuss the enforcement of immigration laws.