Ever hear of a place called Candelaria, Texas? Few have, but it’s the most recent battleground in the escalating border war between Mexico and the United States – the one officials on both sides of the Rio Grande try desperately to ignore, even as their own citizens become further entangled in a mess that gets worse by the month.

Details are sketchy, but they are clear enough to know that essentially this is what happened.

According to law-enforcement sources I spoke with, a squad of armed Mexican paramilitary police or soldiers crossed into the U.S. near Candelaria Nov. 24 around 5 p.m. and took a five-member family – a husband, a wife and three minor children – captive at gunpoint. The Mexicans then brought the American family back across the border into Mexico, where they held them for several hours.

Eventually the wife and children were released and the following day they reported the incident to local authorities, who then passed the buck to Washington, via the FBI. As of Dec. 3, sources say, the husband was still being held in Mexico.

Bear in mind this family was on their own property and were well inside the boundaries of the United States. They were shooting rabbits on their own land and, according to those in the know, were not threatening any Mexican military or police units and did not fire their weapons across the border.

Getting local authorities or the FBI to talk about this incident was virtually impossible, and that in an of itself should be an affront to every American, no matter where you live. That an entire family can be captured on U.S. soil by armed foreign insurgents is an outrage that should elicit threats of retaliation from the Oval Office all the way down to the park benches, barber shops and living rooms in every city across this great land.

But instead of outrage and threats of retaliation, our government and the useful idiots who serve Washington on the local level are instead harassing and arresting American landowners and volunteers who are furiously trying to stem the tide of illegal aliens, and now foreign incursions, into our country – a job Washington should be doing in their place.

Why did Mexican forces even cross into the U.S. and kidnap an American family? Maybe the answer is simple: Because they can.

Why are hundreds of thousands of U.S. troops overseas instead of on our borders, when we have foreign troops invading our soil and kidnapping our people? Maybe the answer is simple: Because few American powerbrokers give a hoot about the sanctity of U.S. borders.

Why are we not stomping the goose feathers out of Mexican President Vicente Fox for allowing these invasions to take place on a regular basis? Maybe the answer is simple: Because we’d have to stomp President Bush’s behind as well – U.S. and Mexican leaders are equally responsible for neglecting borders and the conditions along them.

It should be noted this latest Mexican incursion was no accident. Mexican military and police cross into the United States all the time, according to federal and local authorities, as well as border residents. On occasion, Mexican forces have even fired upon easily recognizable U.S. Border Patrol agents along the border. Other times, U.S. authorities have simply spotted Mexican military and police personnel inside the United States.

Instead of arresting American volunteers who are working without assistance, without pay, without the luxury of government benefits, and with almost no support, Washington should be encouraging, supplying and training Americans willing to grab a rifle and stand a post on the border to prevent further outrages like this.

The same goes for tyrannical local authorities who retaliate against duty-bound Americans trying to stem this invasion. There is no way a three- or four-man sheriff’s department can effectively serve the vast counties bordering Mexico, let alone spare personnel to intercept well-armed Mexican soldiers. Yet plenty of local yokels get upset when some “damned volunteer” shows up to help the very community the locals are there to serve. They should be organizing and managing these “posse” volunteers, not running them off or jailing them.

There was a time when Americans were expected to take up arms to defend themselves. If armed kidnappings and incursions by foreign personnel are being sanctioned by our own government, we’ve got enemies on both sides of the border.

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