It's not that I expect an orderly, predictable world. I have read enough of history to understand that the dynamics of the human personality in a world of constant change will yield radical, often chaotic upheavals.
But still and all, a chap doesn't expect to find a full-grown rhinoceros in his desk drawer, or a man-eating sparrow on his window ledge.
So you can imagine my astonishment when I picked up Tuesday's Washington Times and read on the front page the headline: "Mexican military incursions reported: U.S. Border Patrol alerts Arizona agents."
Even in a world gone mad we should not expect to see a headline that Mexico is invading (or even incursioning into) the United States -- unless it is in the entertainment section regarding a re-make of "The Mouse That Roared." But the article was on the front page, and written by Mr. Jerry Seper.
As the editorial page editor of the Washington Times, I am very familiar with Jerry Seper. Mr. Seper is no novice to Mexican American border issues. He is undoubtedly the nation's leading reporter on the subject. As a longtime reader of Mr. Seper's extraordinary border reporting, experience has taught me to reliably assume that when U.S. government officials deny or contradict Mr. Seper's reporting -- believe Mr. Seper.
Mr. Seper reports that: "The U.S. Border Patrol has warned agents in Arizona of incursions into the U.S. by [heavily armed] Mexican [military units] 'trained to escape, evade and counterambush' if detected . . . " The Border Patrol also cautioned its agents to keep "a low profile," to use "cover and concealment" in approaching the Mexican military units, and "to employ 'shadows and camouflage' to conceal themselves and 'stay as quiet as possible.'"
As a red-blooded naturalized U.S. citizen (OK, perhaps slightly bluish-red), I felt my questionably hued blood boiling at the report that our border patrol has been instructed to hide and stay as quiet as possible in the face of a foreign military incursion. It's not that I expected five U.S. Border Patrol agents to take on a heavily armed Mexican military unit a la John Wayne. (Well, actually, the thought crossed my mind.)
But I certainly expected the next line of the report to be that the Pentagon had been alerted and 10,000 Marines from nearby Camp Pendleton had been dispatched to drive the Mexican units back across the Rio Grande -- and then some. If Jimmy Polk was still president, the Marines would already be well on their way to Veracruz.
Blankley, who had been suffering from stomach cancer, died Saturday night at Sibley Memorial Hospital in Washington, his wife, Lynda Davis, said Sunday.
In his long career as a political operative and pundit, his most visible role was as a spokesman for and adviser to Gingrich from 1990 to 1997. Gingrich became House Speaker when Republicans took control of the U.S. House of Representatives following the 1994 midterm elections.
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