Let’s ponder this situation: The Sinaloa Cartel, the largest and most powerful drug cartel in Mexico, has decided to launch a war on the United States. They can afford it; the net worth of their leader, Joaquin Guzman, has been estimated by Forbes at a billion dollars, making him the 63rd most powerful man in the world.
For months he has been stockpiling more and more powerful weapons through rogue states such as Venezuela. They are arrayed in major population areas, in churches and schoolyards and hospitals, in areas where the people are terrified to resist. And, unbeknownst to US border agents, his minions have been digging deep and elaborate labyrinths of tunnels that lead miles into US territory. The tunnels are ostensibly to smuggle drugs – Sinaloa distributes drugs all over the US – but they also serve a second insidious purpose. Despite the fact that the US is his biggest collective client, Guzman loathes the US for putting a multi-million dollar bounty on his head; he has designed a terrorist attack in which hundreds of his minions will come out of the tunnels at once, set siege to a half-dozen US border towns, slaughter hundreds of their citizens and kidnap others to use as ransom bait to get his mules released from US prisons.
As a preliminary show of his power, Guzman – whose cartel is largely responsible for 10,000 deaths in Ciudad Juarez in the last four years – orders the kidnapping and murder of three teenage boys in El Paso, Texas, leaving their bodies buried in a shallow grave. The rockets follow – volleys of hundreds and hundreds of rockets directed at a dozen US cities and towns, some of which sit miles from the Mexican border. The purpose is terror and death.
What would you do, Mr. President? What would you do?
The White House has castigated Israel for its use of force in Gaza in similar circumstances. The President has emboldened Hamas by laying the blame at Israel for attacking UN schools and hospitals that double as terrorist hangouts and rocket launchers. But what would our own government do if El Paso started to look like S’derot, a ghost town abandoned due to fear of constant rocket attacks from across the border? What would our own government do if the rockets became powerful enough to hit not just Nogales and Juarez but Tuscon and Phoenix and San Diego?
What would you do?
The American people would rise up as one, even those safely away from the border, and demand that the attacks stop by all means possible. They would demand the American military cross into Mexico, lay waste to the Cartel’s arsenal, blow up the tunnels, and accept civilian casualties in Mexico as the cost of keeping our country safe.
It is time for the US, but not just the US, to acknowledge that Israel is uniquely and perpetually at risk for its very existence because Hamas has been given free reign by the international community to build a network of terror instead of an infrastructure of prosperity. It is time to stop blaming the victims for standing up to a violent and bloody bully – one that the US itself acknowledges as a terrorist organization. It is time for our leaders to acknowledge that they would, given circumstances like this, do exactly what Israel has done. It is time.
©2014 Audrey R. Korotkin