Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Something to keep the OROGs angry with me, and something to make up for it.


Concerning Heroes and also landing in Mexico clumsily:

      The reason Glen Beck needs to be taken in small doses is because, sometimes, his analysis and interpretation of things leaves a lot to be desired.  He leads of this morning, for instance, by picking on a cripple.  Let's beat up on Mexico for doing something dumboe like detaining one of our heroes for no good reason.
     We remember the recent case of the boy, also a recently discharged military man, who was held on the far, far other side of the frontier, over in Matamoros, Tamaulipas.   Fox News had to put up the obligatory picture of the boy "chained" to his bed in the detention in Matamoros.  He had been detained for having a 410 shotgun in his motorhome, along with a carton (20) boxes of ammunition.   We, although some might forget, gave 1% of the blame to the boy, 9% of the blame to the American customs people who told the boy that he just needed to declare the shotgun and ask for the permits and licenses as he went in to Matamoros.
     The other 90% of the blame I laid at the foot of the detaining officer in Mexico who probably received some form of insult (in his opinion) or an attempt to prevent his inspection of the vehicle (in his opinion).   That is my experience in these matters, and it traces to the point that both parties think they are totally empowered and within their authority and right.  In this case the Mexican federal customs inspector needed only to have ordered the vehicle, its contents, and the occupants to return to the American side, something they do with some frequency with those who have committed some breach of law or regulation and who avoided saying, "You can't do that to me, I'm an American citizen". 
    El Gringo Viejo is just telling the truth.  El Gringo Viejo has never been detained even in a precinct, much less a detencion or a juzgado....in Mexico.   And he has taken many, many people to Mexico with and without guns, legally.

     We were treated to the bloviating Irishman, O'Reilly who declared that he was going to get the boy out and if he wasn't out real quick then O'Reilly was going declare a boycott against all Mexican exports and on tourism to Mexico.
His bloviation was so severe that it almost derailed effective intervention that was essentially terminated, having been initiated by the Tamaulipas Chamber of Commerce and handled by a famous attorney of considerable note and of high regard in Tamaulipas and Mexico City.
     He was released.  The boy's medical conditions and temperament situation were clearly not adequate for him to have been anywhere outside the view of careful and considerate friends and relatives.   For instance, the reason he was "chained to his hospital bed" was because he had insisted on going back into the general population and reception area (not the place you would want your daughter or Mother Theresa, let us say) to settle a score with some guys with whom he had had a disagreement during his early moments under detention.   In my opinion, it was very probably better and best for his continued health to have kept him out of general population and the primary detention area.

     After the soldier's release, FOXNews junkies, of which El Gringo Viejo is a prime example, never really heard much about the boy.  Ever.  We would urge the public to think about why this is the case.  But one thing is very, very certain.   Nobody in Mexican officialdom gives a damn about what Bill O'Reilly say, thinks, or does.  Nor do they care very much about me in any way....which is the way I like it.
     And, if anyone out in OROG-land assumes that the United States State Department gives a damn about you when you have a problem in Costa Rica or Peoples' Democratic Republic of Throtekutia or even Japan or Mexico or Canada....we bid you well and a rosary.

     This new case is very similar.  And all the braying in the world will do no good.   It will be private agents...civilians, Mexican members of this Masonic Lodge, or that Lions Club or the Rotarianos  or the Damas Catolicas, or the Chamber of Commerce of the City of Tijuana and/or the State of Baja California who will do the necessary heavy lifting.  Not Glen Beck, not Bill O'Reilly....especially not.
     We need to point out two things that are being overlooked by our friends.  One is the facility where the boy is being kept.  The people in charge are from the Fuerza Civil, an elite and relatively new group established by the previous administration that has been substantially professionalised.  That portends very well for our soldier.   The other thing is that when he was calling and saying that he was surrounded by Mexican officials, he was obviously using a cellular telephone.  Normally cellular telephones from the United States do not work in Mexico, they stop working at the very inch-line of the border.  If in fact his was working in Mexico, that means it was bought there, or it was "chipped" in anticipation of needing it to work there, or he was not in Mexico when he was talking to his mother.   So, there is one enigma.
     Plus, Glen Beck reports that his people report that the prison where our new prisoner is was the scene of a group killing last year when Cartel people brought guns and dismissed the guards, went and found some of their Cartel's "soldiers" who were prisoners there and ordered them to go back inside and kill a certain nine or ten other prisoners who belonged to a different Cartel.    It is NOT the same prison.  That particular prison is the Apodaca - Cadereyta Federal Detention and Social Re-adaptation Centre almost totally towards the other side of the country....near Monterrey.  Facts are heavier than hot air, Glen. 

    Finally, on this point, it is easy to make fun and denigrate Mexico for all of this absurdity.  They deserve most of the derision.   But, remember that Hidalgo County of Texas has not had a Sheriff finish his term in office for the past three Sheriffs.  All are making licence plates or have been released after gaining a lot of experience making licence plates.  And, in terms of jail breaks and other indiscretions, the most corrupt Presidential administration in the history of the Republic, including Jackson, Grant, LBJ, and Clinton  is the one we have now.   Can anyone imagine releasing 40,000 felons including murderers, armed robbers, and all manner of cockroaches just because they are sad, depressed illegal aliens?   Ridiculous.  Preposterous.  Criminal in its own right.   And, once again, I would be glad to go and obtain the person presently detained in Tijuana, and have him in the United States in less than two weeks.....working solely for expenses. 

On Heroism and Heroes:

   On the next point, it would behove all of us to not use the term "Hero" to describe any military person, or person who has worn the uniform, or who is wearing the uniform.  A hero, by definition is someone who feels compelled by an inner force to risk his life to the point of certain death, in order to save someone, especially his buddies in the same uniform or grouping, or others in imminent danger who have no hope beyond what would be done through the intervention of one who would risk his/her life.

     One could say, perhaps, that anyone who has stood service in a combat zone that by definition has no front....no enemy lines.....when the entire place is "the front".....could be serving in a heroic way.   But it is still not the proper designation.   Hanging around in Saigon was not like slogging in the Mekong Delta.....until the Tet Offensive happened.   Heroic things happened in both places at that time, and there were heroes.

     But, if you press me, I would say that a fellow with a bronze star could well be a hero.   Someone who came back from Viet Nam or Iraq or Kuwait or Afghanistan with a chest full of medals and no bronze star or higher should be saluted and recognised as an Honourable Soldier, Sailor, Marine, or Airman.  Even the guy back in Torremolino, Spain who was loading munitions for transfer....doing what he was ordered to do....he may not be a hero, but he is an honourable military man, doing correctly what he was needed to do.

    It  is a very small point, but it is just something that grates a little.   I know a few people who did heroic things, but refused or deferred from participating in fillingout the papers and making statements of concurrence about what they felt to be just their job.   For instance, El Zorro did things(perhaps he will write up a few chapters), for which he could not be "medalled", because some of the most dangerous things done were those assignments "out of theatre" or "out of country" which required personnel to be where there wasn't....so to speak.

Thank you all for allowing me to grumble, because sometimes an old curmudgeon just has to grumble.
El Gringo Viejo