Overseas/Interdiction

Mary O'Grady on Mexico and Drug War Violence

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Terrific piece by O'Grady in today's Wall Street Journal, ahead of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's meeting tomorrow with Mexican officials to discuss drug war violence.  Snippet:

The source of the problem is not Mexican supply. It is American demand coupled with prohibition.

It is doubtful that this will be acknowledged at tomorrow's meeting. The drug-warrior industry, which includes both the private-sector and a massive government bureaucracy devoted to "enforcement," has an enormous economic incentive to keep the war raging. In Washington politics both groups have substantial influence. So it is likely that we are going to get further plans to turn Juárez into a police state with the promise that more guns, tanks, helicopters and informants can stop Mexican gangsters from shoving drugs up American noses.

Last week's gangland-style slaying of an unborn baby and three adults who had ties to the U.S. Consulate in Juárez has drawn attention to Mrs. Clinton's trip. The incident stunned Americans. Yet tragic as they were, statistically those four deaths don't create even a blip on the body-count chart. The running tally of drug-trafficking linked deaths in Juárez since December 2006 is more than 5,350. There has also been a high cost to the city's economy as investors and tourists have turned away.

The astonishing argument from U.S. drug warriors to the violence in Juárez to this point has been: the bloodshed means we're winning. Or put another way, "If thousands of Mexican need to die to keep Americans from getting high, by golly I, American drug war official, am willing to step up and make that sacrifice." Now that a few Americans have been killed too, that argument will get more difficult to make.

But as O'Grady writes, don't expect that to lead to any common sense changes in policy. To this point, the Obama administration and the leadership in Congress have made it clear that the only acceptable drug policy in Mexico is more militarization, more force, and more American funding and weapons with which to do it. If thousands more Mexicans have to die on the front lines so America's politicians can make it marginally more difficult for Americans to ingest mind-altering substances, so be it.

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  1. She really undercut the rhetorical effectiveness of her own argument here:

    The source of the problem is not Mexican supply. It is American demand coupled with prohibition.

    She implies that there are two solutions for all this:

    (1) Repeal prohibition, and

    (2) Eradicate American demand.

    I liked the article, but thought it was more of a single than a home run. Missed opportunity.

    1. Right.

      And since our government is not interested in #1, they will work harder on #2.

      1. All it will take is a few more PSAs with Nancy Reagan and Mr. T. That’ll do it.

    2. Here is the accompanying video, well worth the watch:
      http://online.wsj.com/video/th…..C1223.html

      Again, I thought this was an excellent article. She does mention American demand is a problem but says “the War on Drugs” has been a “colossal failure.” I mean, hell, she even entitles the article “The War on Drugs is Doomed.” It’s a pretty straight-forward no-nonsense way of putting it to me.

      It’s true she mentions an option is to address American demand. Although, I think she knows, I know and we all know that addressing (ie. supressing) American demand for mind altering substances is about as realistic as inflating real estate values ad infinitum.

    3. So… mind control? Death camps?

  2. “”””If thousands of Mexican need to die to keep Americans from getting high, by golly I, American drug war official, am willing to step up and make that sacrifice.”””

    I know we are talking about Mexico, but the drug warriors have the same ideology with respect to the US citizen too. They have no problem killing innocent Americans in the name of the drug war.

    1. True, the drug warriors would gladly sacrifice as many people as it takes, American or Mexican, but if the body count on this side of the border got too high people might start to question their policy, not many people in El Norte care enough about dead Mexicans to do anything.

  3. How much longer do we think the gang warfare is going to stay on the Mexican side of the “border”? Already the cartels are growing dope in our own national parks. Any day now we’ll see headless bodies start stacking up in San Diego and L.A.

    1. “”How much longer do we think the gang warfare is going to stay on the Mexican side of the “border”? “”

      Drug gangs have been on this side of the border for years.

      1. Yep. Do people really think our inner-city gangs thrive on dough earned by fencing stolen TVs?

  4. What is stopping Mexico from legalizing drugs?

    1. The US Government.

    2. & the U.N.

    3. Actually, Mexico and decriminalized the possession of small amounts of drugs.

      http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08…..exico.html

  5. If thousands more Mexicans have to die on the front lines so America’s politicians can make it marginally more difficult for Americans to ingest mind-altering substances, so be it.

    I love the “maringally more difficult” part. Radely, I have co-opted that line for my arguments.

    AS for the the drug warriors, I think it is under estimated how vile, evil, manipulative, and inhumane these puppets are. I’d willing to bet that that over 1/2 of the DEA would be willing to let 100,000’s of people die to attempt to propogate their particular brand of puritanical ethics before they’d be willing to acknowledge the futility of this policy.

    1. If they admit to its futility, they have to admit that their careers, jobs, and work philosophy are futile, and actively harmful as well.

  6. If thousands more Mexicans have to die on the front lines so America’s politicians can make it marginally more difficult for Americans to ingest mind-altering substances, so be it.

    Let’s call it … the “Virtual Fence Improvement Program”.

  7. The source of the problem is not Mexican supply. It is American demand coupled with prohibition.

    Everybody, fucking EVERYBODY, knows this, yet the idiotic War On Dogs continues apace.

  8. So are we getting a blog post/article on google.cn?

  9. well, yeah. why wouldn’t we control what people are ingesting? after all, we are paying for everyone’s healthcare now… it only makes sense that the majority gets a say in what you take in.

    thanks for legitimizing all the violence, obama! we’ve been waiting for a good reason to stay the course on the drug war!

    1. And you know that this sentiment underlies the health care bill. Now they have the justification for dictating everything we put into or use our bodies for. This has been one of driving forces all along.

      1. It should be noted that this rationale doesn’t necessarily mean that the government is interested in keeping you healthy.

  10. The CIA kills journalist that talk about them shipping drugs so I don’t blame you guys for not bringing that up.

    1. Brave of you to post that and include your email address. The CIA kills commenters that mention it too, and traces your posts.

  11. Does anyone have solid data on a) how much prohibition costs and b) how much revenue a legalized intoxicant industry could generate?

    I think it’s relevant given that we’re on a fast track to insolvency and we just passed a huge new entitlement program.

    1. “Does anyone have solid data on (…) how much revenue a legalized intoxicant industry could generate?”

      Yes I do

  12. One thing that was left out in this piece is this: where do the drug lords get their staff given the risks of the job? The answer in Mexico’s case is NAFTA, the bogus “free trade” agreement that forbids that country from restricting imports of subsidized US corn, forcing millions off the land. The choices they face are pretty stark- live in poverty, emigrate illegally to the US, or join a drug gang. No explanation of the drug violence there is complete without mentioning this.

    1. The answer in Mexico’s case is subsidized US corn, NAFTA, the bogus “free trade” agreement that forbids that country from restricting imports of subsidized US corn, forcing millions off the land.

      Fixed.

      1. BRAVO ON THE FIX BRAVO !!!! the rest of it was making dizzy.

  13. It’s a shame that drugs are killing all these Mexicans. You know what I bet will stop this scourge? A few more PSAs.

    1. Drugs don’t kill Mexicans. You do. Because I learned it from watching you!

      Also, my dog talks to me and tells me how disappointed in me he is, but then I remind him that he doesn’t have a soul and he shuts up.

      1. After you run over a little girl in the drive-thru, naturally.

        And don’t start pretending that ugly guineas like you have souls, Luigi. Just how stupid do you think we are?

        1. I never said I have a soul, you superstitious jackanape. I just remind the dog that he definitely doesn’t have one. He’s not the brightest, so he doesn’t call me on it.

          Besides, he’s just a figment of my imagination, like you.

          1. “It is true, that which I have revealed to you; there is no God, no universe, no human race, no earthly life, no heaven, no hell. It is all a dream – a grotesque and foolish dream. Nothing exists but you. And you are but a thought – a vagrant thought, a useless thought, a homeless thought, wandering forlorn among the empty eternities!”

            He vanished, and left me appalled; for I knew, and realized, that all he had said was true.

            1. Damn. Satan’s a dick.

          2. I thought that was you in Summer of Sam Epi.

            Heh, explains A LOT!

  14. The drug war is working exactly as it is intended to work. Anyone who thinks it’s about curtailing recreational drug use is a fool. Its purpose is to reelect politicians and line the pockets of criminals on both sides of the law. or maybe it should be “on all sides” of the law.

  15. The running tally of drug-trafficking linked deaths in Ju?rez since December 2006 is more than 5,350.

    That’s 5,350 Mexicans that won’t be jumping the US border.

    1. There is always a bright side.

  16. Where the fuck is Old Mexican? His calming presence is needed in these dark times.
    If you are out there OM, drop a comment.

  17. Great SITE for documentaries check it out, knowledge is power

    http://freeviewdocumentaries.com

  18. Dude, its getting downright crazy down there in Mexico man, I mean seriously.

    JE
    http://www.fbi-watching.se.tc

    1. Crazy enough to get you to quit your job as a drug mule, anonymity bot?

  19. Liberaltarian
    Function: noun
    1 : someone who believes that Obama will end the war on drugs
    Synonyms : blockhead, cretin, dolt, dope, dunce, goon, idiot, ignoramus, imbecile, nincompoop, ninny, nitwit, pinhead, simpleton

    1. You forgot: rube, mark,and fool.

      Can also function as an adjective:

      “The Liberaltarian idea that…(insert whatever pie-in-the-sky scheme espoused)…will (insert wishful thinking antithetical to logical and actual outcome).”

    2. One more synonym –

      Stupak – someone who will sell out their principles for transparently obvious lies from Our Masters.

    3. Yeah let a black man get elected presidient and the first thing you want him to do is legalize drugs…you racist s.o.b. :- )

  20. .It’s true she mentions an option is to address American demand. Although, I think she knows, I know we are talking about Mexico, but the drug warriors have the same ideology with respect to the US citizen too.

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