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Obvious?

19 November 2010

Wayne Slater (Dallas Morning News) catches what  if it wasn’t a veiled threat — would be amusing in the twisted way that one enjoys the ravings of those “eccentric” relations yankees medicate when strangers come calling and southerners bring out as entertainment:

AUSTIN – Gov. Rick Perry said Thursday he would support sending U.S. troops into Mexico to fight the drug war.

The Republican has long urged beefed-up security on the American side of the violence-plagued border, but he said stronger tactics are needed to defeat the drug cartels.

“You have a situation on the border where American citizens are being killed, and you didn’t see that back when George Bush was the governor,” Perry said in an interview with MSNBC.

Asked whether the U.S. should consider deploying troops inside Mexico, Perry said the federal government should consider all options “including the military.”

“Obviously, Mexico has to approve any type of assistance that we can give them. But the fact of the matter is these [drug gangs] are people who are highly motivated for money, they are vicious, they are armed to the teeth. And I want to see them defeated,” he said.

“And any means we can to run these people off our border and to save Americans’ lives, we have to be engaged in.”

Covering the lunacy of Texas politicians is  best left to the pros, but a few points to consider:

  • Violence related to narcotics decreases the further one is from the U.S. population.   The worst violence is across from El Paso, which suggests the closer one is to TEXAS, the more danger there is for Mexicans.  I don’t think anyone in Mexico expects, as Perry seems to suggest, moving the good citizens of Brownsville to Corpus Cristi and everyone from El Paso pick up and flee to  Amarillo… but thanks for the good wishes. Perhaps when Perry says “any means we can to run these people off our border and to save Americans’ lives, we have to be engaged in” could be taken to mean he’s going to finally “do something” about the gun runners, drug dealers and money launderers.
  • Perry admits that violence to U.S. citizens has risen during his tenure as governor.  Is this an admission that he is not up to the job.  In Mexico, there is a legal procedure (destitucíon del oficio) for removing state governors who are unable to provide security for their own citizens. Governors have been accused of this kind of failure, but this is the first time I’ve ever seen one, anywhere, openly admit it.  I realize the U.S. has a different legal system, and different political process, but it’s refreshing to see a U.S. politico admit he’s an incompetent boob.
  • As everyone knows, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results”.  The United States has been throwing troops at the border in a small way to stop narcotics exports… and exports have risen.

They have — under the presumption that Mexico “has to approve any type of assistance” — intervened a couple of times in the past.   The 1914  Veracruz intervention got a lot of U.S. marines and sailors killed (and several Mexicans, who are now national heroes), led to anti-United States riots throughout Latin America, permanent distrust of the United States Navy in this part of the hemisphere and a very serious threat of warring Mexican political factions uniting under the common banner of beating back an intervention (including from the very people who supposedly “approved” the “assistance”).

Pershing’s “Punitive Expedition” didn’t go exactly all that well either. The only overt U.S. military operation in Mexico since then was during the “War Against Nazis and Fascism” when the United States was permitted to maintain a few small air stations — off-shore and closely watched by Mexican security.

Well, I know Perry operates under the handicap of a Texas education, but perhaps he might “remember the Alamo” when a bunch of U.S. interventionists and insurgents got themselves needlessly slaughtered under the mistaken impression that Mexicans had to “accept” their “assistance”.

  • The narcotics exporters may well be “highly motivated for money, they are vicious, they are armed to the teeth,” but then so are their buyers in the United States.  Interventions, such as that “assistance” given to Iraq a few years back certainly showed a propensity for greed.  While I wouldn’t say your average U.S. soldier is “vicious”, I would point out that U.S. intervention — as in Colombia (and Iraq) — most likely would include “vicious” people motivated by money and armed to the teeth.

What’s scary about all this is that we’ve been hearing interventionist statements not just from right-wing lunatics like Perry, but from supposedly “liberal” politicos like Hillary Clinton for the last year… basically ever since it dawned on them that Calderón is a “lame duck” and his political support has been evaporating since the 2009 congressional elections.  Where his party has done well, it has been in coalition with the left, which is willing to try a different approach to the narcotics problem (one I see as a symptom of a larger problem with the dependence on U.S. markets, but that’s another post).  And, while the PRD/leftist coalition is forming a circular firing squad, PAN is also deeply fractured.  Among those who assume the status quo will be preserved, and crave “stability” above all else, the support seems to be for a PRI president.

Maybe all that is rhetorical, but consider that although polling shows continued support within Mexico for the “anti-narco war” there isn’t any indication of any wish to escalate the conflict, nor of any call for U.S. intervention.  If anything, it’s precisely the opposite.  The budget passed by the Chamber of Deputies cut out the spending meant to escalate a military “solution” to the export problem, for the simple reason it hasn’t worked… and has only created more violence. The only people who “obviously” feel they must accept U.S. “assistance” are on their way out, and — barring covert “assistance” (as in previous elections), don’t have the support to remain in office much longer.

Obviously.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. JC Brown permalink
    20 November 2010 12:25 pm

    I had assumed that many of Mexico’s problems could be solved and many new ones avoided if the education level of the country was higher. After having read the post “Obvious”, I feel I was mistaken. An apparently well educated man,Richmx2, has allowed himself to becompletely hog-washed with the uneducated level of prejudice, bigotry, and hypocrisy that is common to the lower, uneducated, people of Mexico who are bound and determined to find a cause for their problems, outside of their own country. This attitude I’ve seen extended to revising history to support outlandish opinions and completely overlooking the facts as they themselves have lain them out. The 1914 US Expedition was ‘interventionist”. But, at the time , it seemed the only solution to a situation that was beyond the control of the inept and evil politicos in power at the time. To call “The Alamo” an intervention is ignoring history as it happened. I can’t say the Austin and his cronies were justified in what they had done that led to that event, but it wasn’t “intervention” Please note, “throwing troops at the border in a small way has been ineffective.” This statement seems to suggest a remedy in itself. To call a politian a boob because he can’t stop a Mexican from pulling a trigger is not paying attention to the facts but, again, suggests a solution to that problem. This whole confrontational attitude is WR
    ONG !!! We two countries are neighbors.. Shaking fingers at each other is not conducive to finding a solution to a problem which we share. The fact that out culture is a major market for illicit drugs is a problem that needs correcting but we have been unsuccessfull at finding a solution. However, blaming the US for the results of drug wars south of the border is like blaming the stink on the flies. I miss the opportunity to visit Mexico informally. You know, some Sunday afternoon, just stroll across the border, maybe a little shopping, a little sight-seeing, a visit to the plaza. Maybe a chance to hear some good Trio style music. Is Moctezuma beer is still available? How about the chance to sit down together and shake hands, instead of fingers, and work at find an answer to all this crap?

  2. Francisco permalink
    21 November 2010 6:15 am

    Ong,

    Don’t you know all of Mexico’s problems are the gavachos fault. The poor mexican is nothing more that a U.S. puppet.

  3. Allen permalink
    22 November 2010 11:35 am

    While reading this article I had a flash of insight regarding how to solve this problem. If we elect members of the drug cartels to the American Congress or Senate, they can, like the rest of those legislators, become rich ripping us off without having to resort to violence.

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