One of the things that drives me batty about the Bush administration is its consistent--and highly successful, I'll add--attempts to scare the hell out of us. Be afraid! The terrorists are coming! Be on alert! For what, we ask? Anything suspicious! What does that mean? Um, we aren't sure.
And I am sorry, but if you believe some of these terror alerts haven't been politically timed and motivated, then you're an idiot.
Hence, my being bothered by this week's cover story, because it is a little scary.
Leo W. Banks--one of the best journalists in the state, as far as I am concerned--decided to take a look at the "Other Than Mexicans" issue: i.e., the folks coming across the Southern Arizona border who are from places other than Mexico, including places that have been known to have terrorists. Since he started his work on the story, a number of media outlets--including, most notably, KVOA Channel 4--have done similarly themed pieces. For this week's cover story, Leo talked to all the important people and got the lowdown on the issue. And some of what he finds is, indeed, alarming. Check it out.
But what can we do? Should we be scared? Should good Samaritans stop trying to help migrants? Should we close the border completely? In all cases, I'd say the answer is no. After all, we still live in one of the safest places in the world; we're still humans; and we're still the United States.
But that doesn't mean we can't be smarter about things. And it doesn't mean we can't feel bothered.