Oh, Texas. Haven’t you ever seen the movie “Blue Thunder?” Sure, it wasn’t the finest of cinematic creations, but it still had a very clear message about police, civil rights, violence, and the use of force.
Perhaps it’s time we refresh the premise with a remake, just to remind them that there are no foreign Armys preparing to cross the Rio Grande. Via CNN.
Next month, the state’s Department of Public Safety will deploy the first of a fleet of six gunboats on the Rio Grande, the river that forms the border between the state and Mexico, CNN affiliate WFAA-TV reports.
The 34-foot-long boats, each powered by three, 300-horsepower outboard engines, will have bulletproof plating and six machine guns apiece, not unlike the river patrol boats the U.S. Navy used during the Vietnam War.
OK, Vietnam was a war (thought not officially declared). The US faced both non-unifomed insurgents and an opposing, organized military force. This is for something far more sinister, that War on Drugs. The best defense against drugs? Evidently three 300-horsepower engines. One or two 300-horsepower engines would mean certain failure in this war.
So, overall, what is the rationale?
“If you’re trying to suppress organized smuggling activity, there’s no substitute for putting people on the ground,” Texas Department of Public Safety Director Steven C. McCraw said at the December ceremony. “The way they’re operating right now, you need them on the water as well.”
Wow, ummm, good for you guys. Those machine guns should be handy, but aren’t you leaving a lot to chance by not throwing-in a few anti-armor missiles? After all, putting people on the ground means nothing if they aren’t capable of creating large craters in that same ground.
Fine. Let’s get to the bottom line. Overall, what is the message they’re sending?
“It sends a message: Don’t mess with Texas,” Jose Rodriguez, a regional commander of the Texas Department of Safety, told WFAA.