During the Vietnam war generals and politicians complained that our military fought with a hand behind its back. Now apparently, war has come to America's borders and we're fighting at the same disadvantage.
Regarding the deployment of National Guard troops along the Arizona-Mexico border,
Arizona state Sen. Russell Pearce has been a sharp critic of the deployment and the National Guard's inability to make arrests, calling the troops a "welcome wagon" for illegal immigrants.
Pearce, a Republican, said the only way to stop illegal immigrants is to put 30,000 troops on the border with arrest power.
"They're military, and instead of letting them do their job, we let them down there with typewriter ribbon and oil cans," said Pearce, who wrote Arizona's controversial immigration legislation. "We send them overseas in harm's way but we don't let them defend our own borders in a proper manner?
"They've got political handcuffs on them," he added.
Those are no doubt the same infamous handcuffs that chafed the generals in Vietnam and Douglas MacArthur before them. Limits on force levels and tactics are always derided as "political" when, in fact, they are the constraints demanded by civilian society which the military (or these days, the Homeland Security Force) serves. Pearce complains that soldiers cannot arrest suspected illegal aliens, that the border is not fully militarized. But a militarized border is not what I want for my nation. That's more 20th century Cold War Europe than America.
A militarized border is not the boundary of an open society. I would far prefer to risk the challenges of illegal immigration than lose an open society.
But I'm not Russell Pearce and crazy-scared in Arizona.