A word of caution to my friends in El Paso and the other border towns of the Southwest: Don't schedule any weddings, wakes or family fiestas within 10 miles or so of the border.
The Feds will soon be flying two Predator drones along the border and, by the measure of our heroic actions in Pakistan, these things have an annoying habit of falling on civilian men, women and children attending weddings and other celebrations.
For each group of civilians the drones kill, at least five times as many new terrorists are created. This ratio -- which may be underestimated -- guarantees that Bush's so-called "war on terror" will blossom under Obama into the endless war that keeps our economy going. The real economy, the one for the super-rich; not the one you and I live in, where working Americans have their homes foreclosed and millions more have no jobs.
The military-industrial complex loves the Predator. The "pilot" can be thousands of miles away -- in Nebraska, perhaps, or Germany -- and is at no risk. The drones cost $4.5 million each, so there's plenty of profit for everyone. Wisconsin, for example, just got $8 million to build a new Predator base. Next in line for new drone-control facilities are Whitemnan AFB in Missouri, and Ellsworth AFB in South Dakota. The Rapid City Journal is ecstatic: "Ellsworth and its supporters in Congress have done South Dakota proud," it editorialized.
Tell it to the Pakistanis.
How great a folly is the decision to put Predators in the air over the U.S. Mexico border? All you need to know is this: It was suggested by Texas Gov. Rick Parry, the wing-nut who, in one of his saner moments, seriously proposed that Texas secede from the Union.
The Feds say these things will help the Border Patrol prevent drug-cartel violence from spilling across the border into the U.S. London bookies are taking bets on how long it will be before a drunken bodyguard of a Mexican drug lord shoots one down.
This nation desperately needs a new, humane, sane immigration policy.
Instead it's got unconstitutional racial profiling in Arizona, tea-pot crazies stirring up racial hatred everywhere, Republicans sowing fear wherever they can drum up an audience, and now, killer drones buzzing overhead.
Is this a wonderful country or what?