TWO MASSACRES. ONLY ONE MAKES THE NEWS.
The massacre at Fort Hood this week has made headlines around the world. As it should. Contrast this event, however, to the massacre of union leader Margarito Montes Parra and 14 family members and associates in Sonora, Mexico last week. The Parra event barely broke through the background news noise. The Times and some other big papers covered it but it barely caused a blip on the average American's radar screen.
We're at a point where wholesale slaughter in Mexico is the norm rather than the exception. We've slowly been de-sensitized to Mexican drug violence to a point where it will take a 9/11 type event to finally wrap the public's head around the fact that Mexico is augering in like a lawn dart. And if it goes, we'll be sharing the border with a nation that resembles Afghanistan more than it does Canada.
While the Ft. Hood killings were the product of a single whack job (motivated by a combination of Islamist ideology and mental problems) the Parra massacre was clearly an orchestrated event involving numerous shooters, surveillance, intel and communications operators. In the rural area where Parra was killed, you can't rely on cell phones to stage a tracking and ambush operation. The killers probably had military-grade comms equipment and the necessary discipline and cold-blooded determination to kill not just Parra but his wife and children.
This kind of violence speaks of organization, training and singular intent. These are skills not easily obtained and require a great deal more training than required for a drive-by shooting or a carjacking. In the spectrum of violence, the Parra massacre, as cowardly as it was, ranks fairly high - just a few shades off a political assassination.
If history is anything to go by, the investigation into the Parra massacre will yield zero results. Those ultimately responsible will never be caught, or even named. And the stage will be set for an even bigger body count.
The big fear, or course is that this level of paramilitary organized violence will eventually seep across the border. As Mexico has been de-sensitized, we're been also being immunized to body counts. Eight years after the Twin Towers fell, we've got a significant portion of the population that has already given up the fight and urging the administration to do something other than kill the Islamists responsible for 9/11. If 3,000 plus dead isn't enough to sustain a vigorous search and destroy mission, how quickly will those same people shy away from a fight when only a dozen or so civilians are cut down by a cartel assassination squad on U.S. soil?