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The Latest Mexican War
Townhall ^ | 8/1/07 | Austin Bay

Posted on 08/01/2007 5:44:58 AM PDT by Valin

Mexico is at war. No, not a war with the United States over immigration, though the war for stability and modernity Mexico is waging has profound effects on that hot-button North American issue.

Let's take Mexico's figurative battle first, the "political fight for modernization." Figurative, however, doesn't mean without the threat of severe civil disorder.

Conducting legitimate elections is certainly a "front" in Mexican modernization. So is navigating the storm of post-election partisan rivalry, massive street demonstrations and threatened violence.

A retrospective look at the July 2006 presidential election and its dicey aftermath suggests Mexico is maturing as a democracy. That is good news.

The election pitted moderate-conservative National Action Party (PAN) candidate Felipe Calderon against left-wing Democratic Revolution Party (PRD) candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador. Calderon won by an angstrom -- 244,000 votes out of 41 million ballots cast.

Lopez Obrador, however, declared himself the "legitimate president" and led huge demonstrations in Mexico City that shut down businesses. International observers, however, said the vote was fairly conducted and Mexico's Federal Electoral Institute (IFE) certified the election results. In December 2006, Lopez Obrador and PRD activists tried to frustrate Calderon's inauguration.

Eight months later, Lopez Obrador continues to claim the presidency -- but last year's bellow is this year's pathetic echo. The consensus view is the IFE demonstrated real institutional integrity and ran a clean election.

President Calderon has certainly impressed the Mexican electorate. Combating corruption is another front in the fight for modernization, and Calderon is attacking that complex, debilitating and pervasive problem. Calderon is pursuing judicial and police reform. His government is reportedly in the midst of a "corruption purge" of its federal police. Two hundred eighty-four Mexican police commanders and sub-commanders will be replaced. Not all of these suspect cops will be arrested, however. An interesting policy wrinkle is a "rehabilitation" course.

Calderon's "war on the drug lords" isn't figurative -- it is a tough, bitter counter-insurgency combining classic military counter-guerrilla sweeps with special forces-type police raids and intelligence operations. It also intertwines with his political war on corruption.

Money generated by the illegal drug trade has made it very easy for the big "cartels" to buy off police and judges. The drug cartels were able to carve out "safe zones, which have been compared to quasi-independent feudal fiefs. Police corruption, vicious turf wars among drug gangs and the "safe zones" beyond federal control are key reasons Calderon decided to treat the drug war as an "insurgency" in Mexico.

A military and police offensive began in December 2006 and is still underway. At one point, around 30,000 federal troops were involved in operations.

Calderon decided to give the Mexican military a major role in the war because he considered it to be more reliable than local and state police forces. (Apparently, many Mexicans agree. A recent poll in Mexico found that the Mexican military was the second most "respected institution" in the country. The most respected is "the family.")

In April, the Mexican Army arrested over 100 local and state policemen in northern Mexico. The common charge was "linked to organized crime," which usually means the suspect is involved in the narcotics business.

Several actions are quite similar to U.S.-led counter-insurgent operations in Iraq. In April, four Mexican policeman in Sonora state died in a drug gang attack that involved 40 gunmen. The attackers struck a police station, took hostages, then committed "execution style" murders. State police and Mexican Army soldiers fought a pitched battle in the mountains outside the town and claimed to have killed 12 of the gunmen. The attack was a terrorist and insurgent tactic designed to kill local cops who oppose the gangs and cow the local populace.

Credit Calderon. He is literally attacking several of Mexico's worst problems head-on. He won't eradicate the problem of drug smuggling -- that is a U.S. problem. America creates the demand. However, he could well smash the powerful cartels that operate as criminal governments. As for his reform agenda -- the next Mexican president will also have to have Calderon's degree of commitment because it will take a decade or more to make his reforms stick.

Austin Bay Austin Bay is author of three novels. His third novel, The Wrong Side of Brightness, was published by Putnam/Jove in June 2003. He has also co-authored four non-fiction books, to include A Quick and Dirty Guide to War: Third Edition (with James Dunnigan, Morrow, 1996).

TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; Mexico
KEYWORDS: aliens; corruption; drugwars; wod

1 posted on 08/01/2007 5:45:00 AM PDT by Valin
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To: Reverend Bob


2 posted on 08/01/2007 5:55:38 AM PDT by Valin (History takes time. It is not an instant thing.)
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To: Valin

Not mentioned is Mexico needs to reform her education of citizens to include the values of capitalism and a market economy. The socialist influence in the country has to be combated and neutralized better than today. All countries have a similar problem as we see in the various protests and violence around the world on occasion.

3 posted on 08/01/2007 6:03:03 AM PDT by Morgan in Denver
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To: Valin
Mexico is at war. No, not a war with the United States

This statement is entirely false.

When a nation sends hordes of people to invade another nation, striping that nation of its resources (money) and killing that nations citizens, the nation encouraging or sending those people is at war with the nation being invaded. According to the body count the invaders from south-of-the-border are winning.

Mexico is acting just as Cuba did, and moving its criminal element north. Mexico is at war with the United States, but a majority of our politicians in D.C. believe Americans being killed and money being stolen from the citizens by those from south-of-the-border as no big deal.

This is a global war America finds herself in. The invasion from south-of-the-border is only one front of this global war against America. The invaders are in control thanks to people in D.C., who do not care. How long these invaders are allowed to bleed America and her citizens is anyones guess.

4 posted on 08/01/2007 6:03:58 AM PDT by From One - Many (Trust the Old Media At Your Own Risk)
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To: Valin

“He won’t eradicate the problem of drug smuggling — that is a U.S. problem.” Yep. Legalize it for adults and tax it. It’s not hard to fix folks. And yest there will be other consequences. Still in all, we’d be better off.

5 posted on 08/01/2007 6:15:45 AM PDT by RKV (He who has the guns makes the rules)
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Sounds like another (By the People) government financed boonoggle to me.

6 posted on 08/01/2007 6:21:39 AM PDT by From One - Many (Trust the Old Media At Your Own Risk)
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To: Valin

More Americans killed by illegal aliens than Iraq war, study says

When you start digging into the numbers the only ones that can be sourced with the feds are the number of American murdered in 2005: 16692
I have seen federal numbers for illegals held in jail ranging from 19.3% to 27% of the federal prison population.

Here's a sampling of USA cities wanted for murder. What you'll see is that in big USA cities like LA or NYC most of the murderers are Hispanic. Unknown are the % of illegals. In smaller cities the FBI will post the nationalities of the murderers. About 25% of the most wanted are illegals wanted for murder. This number agrees with the percentage of illegals incarcerated in federal prisons. +-25%

Pictures of top 10 most wanted in LA. Up until recent stories about crime in LA posted by the LA Times--the pictures included the nationality of the murderers. They were all foreign nationals and mostly Mexican.

Wanted for Murder in New York City.

Chicago wanted for Murder

Philadelphia wanted for murder

San Francisco wanted for Murder

New Orleans wanted for Murder

Pictures of suspects wanted for murder in Washington DC

FBI USA 10 most wanted. (two of 10 are Mexican nationals)

There are currently no exact numbers on the number of Americans killed by illegals. Part of the reason is that the government deliberately obscures the number. I talked on the phone with the head of statistics for the US Bureau of Prisons. He said his office wasn't allowed to publish the number of illegal alien murderers. Rather they were forced to put legal and non legal residents in the same category. I talked to ICE. They put out detailed numbers on illegal child molestors. However, they put out nothing on illegal murderers.

Part of the reason for the silence on the matter is that there is evidence to suggest that most Americans being killed by illegals are black--as is the suggestion in this LA Times Article.

All that said, it could be argued that if you include the number of illegals in state and local prisons the number of illegals in jail shrinks to 6% of the total prison population. Never the less if you multiply 16692 (the number of americans murdered in 2005) * .06 (illegal alien percent of total prison population) * 4 (the number of years the US has been in Iraq). The result is that more americans (4006) have been killed by illegals than have been killed in the Iraq war.

This point needs to be hammered home. Just as the liberals have hammered home the point about americans killed in Iraq.

To look at other USA cities go here and replace stlouis with the city you want.

7 posted on 08/01/2007 8:01:55 AM PDT by ckilmer
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To: ckilmer

Thank you.

Your point?

8 posted on 08/01/2007 8:12:07 AM PDT by Valin (History takes time. It is not an instant thing.)
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To: Valin; NoTaxTexas; RGVTx; notaliberal; 19th LA Inf; ImpBill; captjanaway; DrewsMum; iopscusa; ...


If you want on, or off this S. Texas/Mexico ping list, please FReepMail me.

9 posted on 08/01/2007 8:27:41 AM PDT by SwinneySwitch (US Constitution Article 4 Section 4..shall protect each of them against Invasion...domestic Violence)
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To: Valin

Mexico has a long, long (and I mean long) way to go to reach “modernity.” I don’t mean this as a criticism of the country, but there are genuinely severe (read: possibly insurmountable) cultural hurdles ahead of them to them reaching what the west considers “modern.”

10 posted on 08/01/2007 9:27:03 AM PDT by ruination
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To: Valin

Interesting story. Thanks for posting.

11 posted on 08/01/2007 3:02:52 PM PDT by Liberty Valance (Keep a simple manner for a happy life :o)
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To: Valin

Thank you.

Your point?
their war has jumped the border. the author’s premise is not correct.

12 posted on 08/01/2007 8:22:25 PM PDT by ckilmer
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