Cartel Involvement in Failed Iranian Assassination Plot Fuels Push for Terrorist Designation

Despite objections from the Mexican government, House Republicans want to treat cartels like terrorists.

A thwarted assassination plot involving the Saudia Arabian ambassador, an Iranian used car salesman living in Texas, and a Mexican cartel member who is also a secret confidential informant for the DEA is not just good material for a spy novel. It's also fueling the push by House Republicans to designate Mexico's cartels as terrorists. Despite objections from the Mexican government and U.S. State Department, House Republicans will introduce legislation in the coming weeks designating Mexico’s drug cartels as "Foreign Terrorist Organizations" (FTOs). 

Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas), a member of the House foreign affairs committee, has been pushing for the terrorist designation for months. He's also met several times with Mexican Ambassador Arturo Sarukhan, a critic of McCaul's proposal, and informed him of his decision to push ahead with legislation designating cartels as FTOs. The recently uncovered plot to assassinate a Saudi Arabian diplomat with the help of the Los Zetas cartel has made it a top priority.

"Although the attack was thwarted, this incident implies the existence of ties between terrorists and the drug cartels," McCaul said, in a statement to Reason. “It is unlikely this sensitive Iranian mission would have been this terrorist group’s first attempted encounter with the drug cartels. Indeed, it underscores the need to examine the deteriorating situation in Mexico, our border security initiatives and the measures we have in place to combat the cartels."

The assassination plot unveiled last week was led by an Iranian used car salesman living in Texas named Mansour Arbabsiar. During taped calls and meetings with a member of the Los Zetas cartel, Arbabsiar claimed that his cousin, a member of an elite Iranian special forces group, came up with a plan to kill the Saudi ambassador to the U.S. and attack the Israeli embassy with bombs. They would pay the Los Zetas member, who was also a confidential informant for the DEA, $1.5 million for the hit. Arbabsiar was arrested after arranging a wire transfer of $100,000 to the informant’s account.

The terrorist designation, which would allow the U.S. to target the cartels more aggressively and directly, is hotly contested by both the U.S. State Department (which also has the ability to make the FTO designation, but has so far declined to do so) and the Mexican government, which condemned GOP presidential candidate Rick Perry for suggesting that destroying the cartels might require sending more U.S. troops into Mexico.

"As a practical matter, Mexico is highly resistant to the notion," says Eric Olson of the Woodrow Wilson International Center’s Mexico Institute. “The government of Mexico certainly does not describe the organizations as terrorist organizations. They're not like Al Qaeda. They're not motivated by an ideology or a religion, they don't have an intention of taking over the government and running the country. They're not enemies, you know attempting to tear down the United States. They wreak terror on civilians, there's no question about that. But they're not organized in the same fashion."

Olson, who has also worked at the Washington Office on Latin America, Amnesty International USA, and the Augsburg College's Center for Global Education in Cuernavaca, Mexico, doubts that the terrorist designation would meet with Mexico’s approval.

“The big question that the proponents of that have to answer is: Is it possible to effectively combat organized crime in Mexico without the full cooperation of Mexico, the Mexican government. If the answer is yes," he says, "then maybe it doesn't matter. My own opinion is, to do that puts at risk full cooperation of Mexico. And frankly, I don't think that you can be very effective and undermine the cartels without the government's cooperation.”

At an early October 4th hearing on the Merida Initiative, Rep. Connie Mack (R-Fla.) grilled the State Department’s William Brownfield, the mastermind behind Plan Colombia and one of the leads on the Merida Initiative, and received much the same response.

Citing the groups’ guerrilla warfare against each other and Mexican police, political assassinations, recruitment efforts, and the Monterrey casino fire that Mexican President Felipe Calderon initially called “an act of terrorism,” Mack told Brownfield that he was “having a little bit of a hard time understanding the reluctance of saying that the activities the cartels are showing do fit the CIA’s definition of insurgency.”

“I don’t question your facts, Mr. Chairman, and I don’t question your motivation,” Brownfield said. “You and I have exactly the same objective in mind here. If, on the other hand, you’re asking me do I see exactly the same thing here as I see in other parts of the world that we describe as having insurgencies—they are different.”

Later in the hearing, Brownfield was asked by Rep. Henry Cuellar (R-Texas) if the U.S. should be working more closely with Mexico, or “pushing them away by going into what names we ought to call [the cartels] or what groups are working there,” Brownfield said, “I would never offer an opinion, direct or indirect, on what the distinguished members of these two committees have suggested. I would say to you, as I said in my opening statement, that if we cannot reach basic agreement with the government of Mexico, our efforts will probably not succeed. It has to be cooperative, they have to agree.”

While there’s no official headcount on who in the House supports McCaul’s bill, a number of prominent House Republicans appear to already be on board. There's Mack, for one, and also Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.), chair of the House Foreign Affairs committee. 

“We must stop looking at the drug cartels today solely from a law enforcement perspective and consider designating these narco-trafficking networks as Foreign Terrorist Organizations,” Ros-Lehtinen said at an Oct. 14 hearing. “It seems that our sworn enemy Iran sees a potential kindred spirit in the drug cartels in Mexico. We see reports on the expansion of the FARC into West Africa, and its potential links with Hezbollah and Al Qaeda in the Lands of the Islamic Maghreb.”

While McCaul's office is confident that more House Republicans will voice their support for the bill, less certain is how the designation could affect U.S.-Mexico relations, and whether more violence against the cartels will lead to less violence against innocent Mexicans. 

Mike Riggs is an associate editor of Reason magazine.

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • ||

    "Despite objections from the Mexican government and U.S. State Department, House Republicans will introduce legislation in the coming weeks designating Mexico’s drug cartels as "Foreign Terrorist Organizations."

    Because Calderon just isn't doing enough? I remember when he forcibly disarmed the Tijuana police department.

    You know what's really odd about this? Is that some of these Republicans are almost certainly the same ones fretting about Mexican nationals coming here to the United States--because they don't want America to be responsible for all those Mexican nationals.

    And then, out of the other side of their mouths, they're doing everything they can to make Mexico's internal problems--a problem for the U.S. government to solve?

    At least two branches of our government are completely out of their minds. Anybody who lends legitimacy to any of them with their votes is part of the problem.

  • ||

    Only two branches, Ken?

  • ||

    Yeah. The elected branch and the unelected branch.

  • ||

    Good point.

  • SIV||

    The unelected branch is worse.

  • ||

    I figured as much.

  • ||

    Tough call.

  • ||

    That's why he said "At least two".

  • Pucifer||

    Anybody who lends legitimacy to any of them with their votes is part of the problem.

    What are you gonna do about it Kenny boy? Nothing?

    Thought so.

    Because, in reality, you're a statist bootlicker, dependent on the STATE for the aggression necessary to "protect your property."

  • ||

    actually, protecting my rights IS part of the state's function. I suppose I could do it myself; wonder how the non-staters would deal with the pile of bodies.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Yeah, White Indian... tell us how THAT would work out!

  • Trail of Tears||

    there weren't piles of bodies in NON-STATE sociopolitical societies.

    Keep bootlicking your State, Statist.

  • ||

    Trail of Tears != Pile of Bodies

  • Blight Engine||

    My old archaeology professor showed us diagrams of complex defensive structures built during paleolithic times. He said they were "largely ceremonial" despite all the (often broken) flint points and skeletal remains that were clustered in and around them, concentrated in the entrances.
    How he could not see the battlefield was beyond me. It was nakedly obvious: 14,000 years of war.

  • ||

    "Because, in reality, you're a statist bootlicker, dependent on the STATE for the aggression necessary to "protect your property."

    I would say that if there's any legitimate justification for the state at all, it's there to protect our rights.

    You seem to have a hard time understanding the difference between "aggression" and protecting my rights, though.

    People robbing me at gunpoint and the police arresting someone for robbing me--are not the same thing. ...certainly not just because you call them both "aggression".

  • ||

    "People robbing me at gunpoint and the police arresting someone for robbing me--are not the same thing. ...certainly not just because you call them both "aggression"."

    Just to be painfully clear, the difference between them is that one is done to violate my rights, and the other is done to protect them.

  • Trail of Tears||

    You seem to have a hard time admitting that the big government program of restricting the free movement of people to forage and hunt takes lots of government aggression to enforce.

  • ||

    We've been through this already.
    Do you have any idea how to hunt or forage?

  • KenndyBAJ||

    I do, but I am not going to do it for all of you.

  • Trail of Tears||

    protecting my rights IS part of the state's function

    How's that working out for you, Statist?

    Does the State need just a little bit more libertarian magic dust to make it work the way you think it should?

  • ||

    We're all terrorists, now.

  • ||

    Notice the "definition creep"? Drug traffickers are now "terrorists". The global war on drugs keeps expanding and expanding. Very discouraging. I hope it does not make it through, but it's just the kind of narrow-minded, expensive, pointlessly violent legislation that this administration seems to adore.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    The war on drug users isn't warry enough.

  • ||

    When something isn't working...do it harder. That's government thinking.

  • KennedyBAJ||

    That's right! Our policy remains that if it has failed in the past, then we should just keep doing it until it does work... or becomes so efficient in it's failing that it becomes another * on the budget.

  • Blight Engine||

    Yep! The war on terror and the war on drugs are now mating, trying to become pregnant with the war on Mexico.

  • ||

    yup, why do you think he's bringing the troops home from Iraq? He needs them to open a war with Mexico.

  • Blight Engine||

    I wish I had a good reason to dispute your claim.

  • Mr Whipple||

    Military Industrial Complex

    meet

    Prison Industrial Complex

    Now, all we need is a Mortuary Industrial Complex.

  • ||

    I'm sure it's been in the works for a while.

  • ||

    BigPine/Plywood™!!!

  • ||

    I don't want to live in a world which cannot ratchet up the war on terror from a fairy tail about a failed used car salesman and a confidential DEA informant.

  • Fuck...||

    Obama intends to use killer drones south of the border.

  • Dave||

    South of which border? Canada's?

  • Blight Engine||

    Operation Leafblower!

  • Mîchael S. Langston||

    It's not just mission creep, but completely counterproductivce.

    The evidence that the cartels at a high level knew and condoned this doesn't appear to be there and goes against their survival instincts.

    Their goal, is after all, trafficking to make money. & while they may hate US authorities, they would never risk escalating the US's interest in them by aiding terrorists.

    They make entirely too much money as and not stupid.

    However, if tomorrow they become treated as terrorists by default and have to operate in a more risky world, their reasoning for not helping terrorists decrease.

    Note additionally that their skill set for helping the terrorists will increase as well, They will after all, learn and adapt to the new measures once defined as terrorists.

    Short version: Man that's dumb.

  • erikjay||

    I like BOTH your versions, long and short. Here's an even shorter one: WTF?

  • Bingo||

    Yeah and when a predator strike inevitably ends up killing some narco's family you can guarantee they will be looking for ways to get back at us for it. We're basically stirring up a hornet nest in our own backyard.

  • ||

    We're basically getting involved in another war.

    Obama is shaping up to be a bigger warmonger than Bush. It's almost surreal.

  • Fly||

    Mexico has lots of oil too, doesn't it?

  • Fly||

    Currently govt controlled, but well, you take out some of the cartels and we'll cut you in on some oil, Black Gold Barry.

  • Mr Whipple||

    Mexico has lots of oil too, doesn't it?

    Yeah, and I think there was talk of them converting their currency to silver. We can't have them selling their oil for silver, anymore than we could allow Gaddafi to sell his oil for gold, or allow Saddam to sell his oil for a peanut butter sammich and a diet coke.....ahem, I meant €uros.

  • ||

    No more oil for Churros!

  • Jersey Patriot||

    Mexico has oil, but most of it is in the massive Cantarell field, and production from Cantarell has already crashed. There's not nearly enough left to worry about. Well, not enough if you're thinking rationally about it, but who knows how much of that is going on.

  • Robert||

    But this isn't the admin., it's Congress.

  • ||

    ""It's also fueling the push by House Republicans to designate Mexico's cartels as terrorists"

    Not just Congress but the republicans. But I'm pretty sure they have some dem support somewhere.

  • Bingo||

    My big worry is that this setting the stage for military operations in Mexico. If that happens, there is a strong possibility of retaliatory attacks inside of the US from the well-funded narcos.

    Right now they are Somebody Else's Problem. There is no reason to make them our problem. Unless, of course, you are so much of a drug warrior that you will risk the same sort of depraved violence that you see in Mexico on US soil.

  • Mr. Mark||

    You eventually will see more and more narco violence here anyway. It is inevitable. As corruption and inter-cartel competition moves northward, the violence will accompany it.

    It is to our benefit to have both sides of the border free, prosperous, and peaceful. Legalization may eliminate avenues for future problems, but it won't get rid of the problems already created. Setting aside greed, people who have been involved in the kinds of violence already seen in Mexico are not going to be keen on throwing in the towel - I would think that those with blood on their hands are now in the position of having their fates permanently linked to the fates of the cartels themselves.

  • k2000k||

    Exactly Mark. Too many individuals naively think that legalizing drugs will stop this problem. While I am for legalization, the simple fact is that the drug cartels will simply move too another illegal activity such as arms smuggling or sex trafficking. Sooner or later we will have to deal with these thugs, its inevitable.

  • KennedyBAJ||

    Just like when Portugal legalized all drugs... wait... http://www.thefix.com/content/.....ears-later ... it did work.

  • Narco||

    when a predator strike inevitably ends up killing some narco's family you can guarantee they will be looking for ways to get back at us for it

    So, don't fuck with me.

  • Narco||

    when a predator strike inevitably ends up killing some narco's family you can guarantee they will be looking for ways to get back at us for it

    So, don't fuck with me.

  • ||

    I was thinking the same thing in regards to lessening the drug dealers incentives to not work with terrorists. I think it's an unhelpful distraction and a stupid political stunt.

    That being said, the drug gangs have to know that if a successful high profile attack turns out to have been aided by a drug gang, that gang and likely their rivals will be in deep doodoo.

    Think Afghanistan, Iraq, Saddam, Osama, and Khaddaffi. We don't mess around once sufficiently provoked.

  • DEAN||

    This takes a page out of Mises' Theory of Dynamic Interventionism... So, the US government empowers and indirectly finances the drug cartels through the War on Drugs, and then we decide to handle the drug cartels, which are powerful because of the black market of Drugs in the US, by deciding to label them as terrorist? Isn't this simply attacking the end result of the failed War on Drugs? We could easily cut the cartel profits and power in half by legalizing Pot, which remains their largest cash crop. Government officials try to solve a perceived market failure(drugs are bad) , and then when unintended consequences arise(drug cartels are empowered), government tries to solve this new problem with more intervention, and then the problem only compounds itself... SO stupid...

  • sevo||

    "Isn't this simply attacking the end result of the failed War on Drugs?"
    Yes, it is. Bad laws *always* need more bad laws to correct them.

  • Fly||

    Think of all of those Law Enforcement jobs created or saved by the WOD.

  • Gojira||

    OT:

    I've put this up in a few places, but it needs to be seen. This is why I'm an ancap. The political process is completely 100% unable to resist corruption, period. This idea hasn't even been around except for a few weeks, and it's already being twisted to favor certain groups.

    http://news.yahoo.com/cain-twe.....22301.html

  • Bingo||

    Seriously. You could pass a flat tax tomorrow and within 5 years it would be a maze of regulations and exemptions again.

  • Cytotoxic||

    As far as I know that hasn't been the case in other flat-tax nations like Latvia.

  • P B||

    Their politicians must be less maggoty than ours.

  • Mikheil||

    Latvia has already lived under "true" communism

  • ||

    Just imagine if you were able to see the true levels of corruption, graft, and waste that are going on. It would probably be enough to turn just about anyone into an an-cap. Except the Commodore, of course.

  • tarran||

    Hey, be nice to Tulpa. Life is scary without a big, strong, wise daddy to protect one.

  • Blight Engine||

    Had to look up ancap.
    Australasian New Car Assessment Program... Nope.
    Something in Uruguay... probably not.
    Anarcho-capitalist... Is it telling that's what struck me as normal?

  • Mr Whipple||

    Is this your first visit to Ancapistan?

  • Pucifer||

    I'm an ancap

    You're a walking contradiction.

    Capitalism requires the State. Always has. Always will, (if it's around much longer; seems it's going the way of Soviet communism these days.)

  • Mr. Mark||

    P.J. O'Rourke made a good illustration of that in his comparison of Albania immediately following the collapse of the nationwide Ponzi scheme there and economic growth of Hong Kong.

  • rather||

    According to the ex-business partner, Mansour Arbabsiar could not run his business, and personally doubts he has the ability to participate in an International conspiracy to murder a public official.

    I had a feeling about the veracity/timing of this story, and if his partner says he couldn't order a car part, a plot would be a stretch

  • Alan||

    The whole Iranian-cartel plot sounds like fantasy fiction to me. Probably the "informant" suggested it to the Iranian guy he knew in the first place - or the $100,000 payment was for something else ... like drugs? and the informant just wanted a good story that he could sell in a book deal to make his retirement comfortable.

    It's all nonsense, of course. It's what our government specializes in.

  • Pucifer||

    It's all nonsense, of course. It's what [Liberarianism] specializes in.

  • Mr. Mark||

    The cartels are engaged in narcoterrorism within Mexico. Whether or not the Mexican government wants to call it that is up to them. The cartels have not conducted a terror campaign in the United States. This whole thing, however, comes down to what you call terrorism, one of the most poorly defined terms in the English language.

    When a narcotrafficking organization commits acts of violence in order to subvert the rule of law and the willingness of the population to cooperate with the government, then it has been generally acknowledged that such an organization is engaged in terrorism. Pablo Escobar's bombing campaign in Colombia is an example.

    In Mexico, the cartels have engaged in attacks that appear to be geared to intimidate the police, prosecutors, judges, and politicians directly, and the general public in Mexico indirectly. This differs from a gang fighting a turf war over a neighborhood in terms of scale and willingness to directly and violently confront authorities.

    The story about the Iranian plot against the Saudi Ambassador is bizarre. Regardless of what is/was going on with that thing, the cartels' efforts to subvert the rule of law in Mexico (already precarious on its own) affects us here in the United States.

    The most important thing for a national government facing a violent internal threat is to govern with legitimacy and competence. Legitimacy primarily takes the form of rule of law. Competency primarily takes the form of civil security (preservation of law and order, protection of the rights of individuals from abuse by government itself and from abuse by criminals). If Mexico were on the other side of the world, it wouldn't be our problem - but they aren't on the other side of the world. Assisting the Mexican government with legitimacy and competency makes sense - more sense than nation-building in Afghanistan.

    (And I don't think that drug legalization in the United States - an unlikely thing in any case - would do much about this problem. Once organizations like the cartels form, they don't just go away. They would seek other means getting easy money.)

  • Kolohe||

    This is a good comment, though I disagree with your last parenthetical. The *problem* of American gangs in the 20's went away when Prohibition did (though not necessarily the gangs themselves) - and were reborn when the drug war kicked off in the early 70's.

  • Robert||

    It didn't. They went into the extortion business, and it took decades to whittle them down. The drug gangs were new gangs.

  • ||

    I don't see it that way Robert. I see a huge difference between extortion and drug dealing. Extortion victims are very interested in stopping the criminals. Drug dealing occurs between two willing parties. Drugs also pay WAY better. This makes drug gangs bigger and better armed.

  • k2000k||

    The problem didn't go away, we also have to realize that once prohibition ended there was another racket for the gangs to get involved in, union government contracts, among many other things. Ended the drug war, which we should do, will do little to stop the Mexican Cartels. The fundamental fact is these guys are thugs they will simply continue their activities in another form.

  • Apatheist||

    barf

  • ||

    "When a narcotrafficking organization commits acts of violence in order to subvert the rule of law and the willingness of the population to cooperate with the government, then it has been generally acknowledged that such an organization is engaged in terrorism."

    But are you assuming that the United States needs to get involved in anything and everything that qualifies as terrorism?

    When deciding whether the U.S. should get involved, I think there are a lot of other factors to consider--not just whether what's happening qualifies as terrorism.

  • Mr. Mark||

    If Mexico were on the other side of the world, it wouldn't be our problem - but they aren't on the other side of the world. Assisting the Mexican government with legitimacy and competency makes sense - more sense than nation-building in Afghanistan.

  • ||

    Well, I did live in Mexico for more than a year, but I can't claim to speak for the people of Mexico.

    Still, my impression was that involvement with the U.S. government doesn't help any politicians in Mexico who wants more legitimacy.

    Quite the opposite.

    The more you're seen as working for the Americans, the less legitimate you're probably considered as a politician.

  • k2000k||

    Too be frank I couldn't care less whether or not it helps Mexico, I care if it helps us. Whatever problems our involvement adds to the mix it is dwarfed by the fundamental problems of corruption that plague mexico

  • Jaunty WarLord Barack--||

    I don't want legitimacy and competency -- I want regime change and instability, Just check my record in the rest of the world.

  • Linus||

    "Subverting the rule of law" could mean anything. Isn't robbing a bank committing violence in order to subvert the rule of law.

    It's generally accepted that terrorism requires a political motivation and the targeting of noncombatants.

    The motivation of the cartels is clearly economic. The only way you could claim it's political is that they want the government to leave them alone. Noncombatants are being killed, but they are not being targeted (other than maybe a few isolated incidents).

  • SxCx||

    Those incidents, isolated or otherwise, are public and fucking terrifying. Getting beheaded for blogging is right up there with the worst of state terrorism. The effect on the community at large is exactly the same: fear, apprehension, and yes -- chilled speech.

    The cartels may not be a government (yet), but that doesn't mean their capacity to intimidate should be dismissed. Any sort of cohesive, well-armed group is enough to oppress. I wish libertarians would acknowledge this more often.

    That said, I would not advocate invading the country.

  • Linus||

    You are correct, the cartels are oppressive and fucking terrifying. And the effect can be the same on the community. However, labeling is important. Calling what is happening in Mexico terrorism is an attempt to hide the fact that it's an economic crime and that the solution to this problem is not military or political. We don't need to win the hearts and minds of the drug cartels. We don't need to convince them that the noncombatants are good people. We just need to take away the drug business (legalization) from them and the problem will eventually go away.

  • SxCx||

    Man, I hope so. Although I fear they won't cope well with the dramatic loss of income. But that's the next problem...

  • Mr. Mark||

    No, robbing a bank is not subverting the rule of law.

    No, subverting the rule of law does not mean "anything."

    Rather, subverting the rule of law refers to actions designed to cause systemic failure of a government's formal system of government - particularly its judicial aspects. With regard to Mexico, it can be seen in attacks designed to intimidate police, prosecutors, judges, people in political office, and civilian witnesses - on a large scale.

  • Fly||

    Remember when BushPig Senior invaded Panama and kidnapped Panama's President Noriega? -- he listed the following as reasons: saving lives of Americans, defending democracy and human rights [???], war on drugs, etc. Sound like anyone else?

  • Mr Whipple||

    Isn't Noriega still in prison on a drug conviction?

  • Binky||

    I believe he was extradited to Panama, but not sure for what.

  • Mr. Mark||

    "Remember when BushPig Senior invaded Panama and kidnapped Panama's President Noriega? -- he listed the following as reasons: saving lives of Americans, defending democracy and human rights [???], war on drugs, etc. Sound like anyone else?"

    Security of the Panama Canal and crimes committed against U.S. citizens...

    "Increased tension between U.S. and PDF forces culminated in provocative declarations by the Panamanian leadership. On Friday, 15 December, the [Panamanian] National Assembly passed a resolution stating that "owing to U.S. aggression,” a state of war existed with the United States. That same day Noriega named himself the Maximum Leader and publicly speculated that someday the 'bodies of our enemies' would float down the Panama Canal and the people of Panama would win complete control over the waterway."

  • CIA||

    Alas, he used to be one of ours. Dear me.

  • cynical||

    The whole Iranian plot still smells to me, especially in the light of the ongoing F&F coverup and related potential scandals like the alleged sale of arms to the Zetas via a State Department program. The U.S. is already deeply enmeshed in cartel politics in a manner that seems calculated to create chaos, misery, and paranoid right wing conspiracy theories.

    Still, I don't really see the problem in labeling the cartels terrorist -- they operate by deliberately sowing terror among the civilian population, without a doubt. However, they are domestic terrorists, at the moment. As an American, I'd prefer to keep it that way.

  • Paulnut Allergy||

    Great... No-knock raids with Hellfire missiles.

  • ||

    You and your dog with one shot!

  • ||

    Team Red trying to out-war-monger Obama is all this is. They're afraid his bloodlust is going to win him some voters they thought they had in their pocket.

    Notice none of them, with the exception of the Pauls, have condemned the murder of al Awlaki or our direct assistance in the killing of a head of state (Qua, Kad or Gadaffi, whatever the fuck the guy from Libya was named).

    These fucktards are simply afraid Obama is going to take Team Blue and turn them into the saber-rattling hawks that Team Red has been able to claim ownership to for quite some time.

    Shit, motherfucker gets to wave his Nobel Peace Prize and the scalps of bin Ladin, al Awlaki and now Colonel K in their faces on the campaign trail...and the dumbasses on the other side can't stand it.

  • ||

    Don't forget Bin Laden's scalp.

  • ||

    That cartels use terrorism, ( I mean how else is cutting people fucking heads off with notes that say 'don't fuck with us' to be interpreted.), IMHO, is beyond dispute.

    So if the drug cartels are de jure labled terrorists, so what? Are the fed pigs going to start another front in a real war? Are the federal pigs gonna lock up more drug users? Are the federal pigs gonna send drones with missiles?

    Look stupid federal pigs. I'm not giving up my weed. That you are willing to let a few brown people die, that is on you, not me. I think you federal pigs don't seem to understand that this country is close to some sort of civil war. There are all these spoiled as progressive fucks that are talking about taking their share of the pie that you didn't distribute to them. There are what, a few thousand of you federal pigs.

    Let me give some advice. There are millions of people that fucking hate you. Whether it is a spoilied hipster that didn't get his bail out, or a Montana freeman hiding off the grid afraid your gonna takes his guns, or some pathetic teamster that is now watching mexican trucks drive into the good ole USA, to libertarians that fucking hate you for a plethora of reasons, you are starting to being despised from both the left and right.

    And it just isn't Americans that fucking hate your guts. People around the world are tired of carrying your water. Whether it is the bankers in Germany and France, or the municipalities of Guatamala, or Al Qaida operatives hiding out in Pakistan, you are out numbered.

    A tipping point seems to be on the horizon. And when the flood gates open, and your bodies are being drug around like that rag doll Gadaffi, don't expect me to lift a finger to assuage your bloody carcass.

  • ||

    Good rant. But I think you need more to drink. And smoke.

  • ||

    Between the wall the U.S. wants to build between the U.S. and Mexicon and the clear intent to start using drone strikes in Mexico as soon as possible, the recent film "Sleep Dealer" is coming truer by the minute.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tNdzzG41tZc

  • Billy Joel||

    This shit wasn't supposed to happen for another six years!

  • MNG||

    I don't think it is nuts-per-se to think of the narco-cartels as terrorist groups, after all they are groups that often committ violence against officials and civilians in order to inspire fear and terror in the general populace. Where they are different is they don't seem to have a political cause but an economic one, but groups like the FARC have blurred that line.

    To me the nutty thing is, if we hate this group and what it does so bad why not deal it a certain death blow: legalize drugs. If we hate them thats the worst thing we could do to them.

  • ||

    ""legalize drugs. If we hate them thats the worst thing we could do to them.""

    Yeah, but that damages much of the industry that benefits from the drug war.

  • MNG||

    One positive thing that might come from this is that given Obama's announcement on Iraq yesterday our resident warmongerers will need something to drum up the next war about. Mexican drug cartels could divert them from their usual target, Iran, and hopefully in splitting their efforts get neither done.

    Yesterday was F-U-N fun. Two foriegn policy developments occurred that had Obama haters absolutely terrified that he would politically benefit from (Gaddaffi's death and Iraq withdrawal). The sheer number of posts and scrambling from our more right-leaning Obama haters yesterday was incredible, they were terrified that Obama may look good from these two things and were bringing the memes out with FORCE. It was fun to see I tells ya, fun to see.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Why should we LIKE Obama, MNG?

  • I support evil||

    With the war on terror people suspected of being enemy can get taken or even killed, no trial. This is obviously going to be applied to the WOD.

  • $6M RoboTorso||

    So now the Obama admin is arming terrorists thru "Fast and Furious"?

  • cynical||

    It would be hilarious if team red's agenda wasn't attacking the cartels, but setting up to go after the administration for treason.

  • ||

    It's bedtime in the dorm boys. Lights out and sleep tight.

  • ||

    Nice Galil. Heavy but much more reliable than the M16.

  • Patton||

    This drug business is looking more like a war everyday. I love a god damn war!

  • 15W||

    I for one welcome a war in Mexico, it would sure beat deployment to Afghanistan lol. If its gonna happen anyways it might as well be closer to home.

  • Jaunty WarLord Barack--||

    Cheaper to wage a Mexican war also -- we could base all the killer drones in TX, AZ and Cali.

  • Texan||

    Now I REALLY want to secede from the union.

  • NotSure||

    The drug cartels have already assassinated very senior Mexican officials without any fear. The drug cartels have well organised connections with gangs in America, if the US really does launch drones on Mexico, I would not be surprised if US officials are targeted or even their family member.

  • Jordan Elliot||

    This is the best argument for us to kick start this program as soon as we possibly can.

    Or course, the more likely happening would be that attacks would be made against regular US citizens. Thus making it a priority that we get a wall built on the border and have more security here.

    Hmm, if I were more conspiracy minded, I'd... nevermind.

  • SxCx||

    Anyone else think it's entirely plausible that the cartels will one day eclipse the Mexican state itself, and go from being its de facto authority to just plain facto? They seem to already have the prerequisite monopoly on violence.

  • SxCx||

    Come to think of it: doesn't every government start out as a murderous cabal? Some just adopt an ideology to seem smart.

    Give them time: those underpass scare banners will start quoting Marx.

  • SxCx||

    "Oh, they're not crazy -- they're just egalitarian!"

  • SxCx||

    And I don't really get this banter about political cause/economic cause. Everyone here certainly knows that political power can be used to rig economic prosperity. The cartels already know the first lesson of authority, that is "Make people fear dissent". Their political cause is securing their economic cause: it doesn't have to be any more complicated than that.

  • ||

    ...love the halloween costumes. Where can I get one?

  • Some Guy||

    Pablo Escobar was a terrorist. These guys are plain old organized crime (that we created and subsidize with our drug laws.)

  • Trapdoor||

    We need to treat this like a war.

    We should start using Predator drones and F117 Stealth Fighters to bomb drug cartel bosses homes and known installations. Killing the bosses and their families would send a message.

    Showing them the same "mercy" we showed to Nazi Germany in WWII would send a message.

    That is what war is about.

  • bottes ugg||

    up!

  • ||

    "...Rick Perry for suggesting that destroying the cartels might require sending more U.S. troops into Mexico."

    MORE troops in Mexico?? You mean we already have troops there? how many? WTF?

    FUCK EVERYTHING ABOUT THIS.

  • ||

    The drug warriors just need to hang on until govenment gets full control of our medical services. Drug screenings will be mandatory.

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