Skip to comments.Patrick J. Buchanan: Afghanistan South (Mexico)
Posted on 03/06/2009 6:27:54 AM PST by kellynla
Heeding the advice of Gen. David Petraeus, Barack Obama has committed 17,000 more troops to Afghanistan and will keep 50,000 in Iraq after U.S. combat operations end in August 2010.
But are U.S. vital interests more threatened by what happens in Anbar or Helmand than in the war raging along our southern border?
Prediction: After all U.S. troops in Iraq, Afghanistan and Korea have come home, there will be a U.S. army on the Mexican border. For this is where the fate of our republic will be decided, as the fate of Europe will be decided by the millions streaming north from the Maghreb and Middle East, sub-Sahara and South Asia.
Last year, 6,000 Mexicans died in drug-related killings in a war where the tactics are massacre, murder, kidnapping and beheading.
President Felipe Calderon has ordered another 5,000 troops and 1,000 police to the border. Primary target: Ciudad Juarez, across the Rio Grande from El Paso.
Some 2,500 federal troops are already in Juarez, where in 2008 there were 1,600 drug-related murders. Gun battles occur every day. Nationally, 45,000 army troops and police are committed to this war that Mexico is not winning. For, according to the March 3 Washington Times, the Pentagon now estimates the cartels field more than 100,000 foot soldiers.
The chief of police of Juarez just resigned after a cartel threatened to kill an officer every 48 hours if he did not. To prove its seriousness, the cartel murdered four cops, including the chief's deputy. Last year, 50 police officers in Juarez were murdered.
"The decision I am taking is one of life over death," said Chief Roberto Oduna. The chief would seem to have a point. In January, his predecessor's head was found in an ice cooler outside a police station. The mayor keeps his family in El Paso, as they have been threatened with decapitation.
Friday, the State Department declared, "Corruption throughout Mexico's public institutions remains a key impediment to curtailing the power of the drug cartels." Calderon retorts that, while the murders may be committed in Mexico, the cash and guns come from the United States.
With oil revenue down since the price dropped $100 a barrel, and remittances down from Mexican workers in the United States as the U.S. economy tanks, tourism, too, has begun to die. Beheadings in and around Acapulco have not helped. Warnings have been issued to U.S. college kids to avoid Mexico on spring break, as kidnappings for ransom are rampant. Restaurants and bars in Juarez that catered to folks from El Paso and soldiers from Fort Bliss are shutting down.
In February, in the resort town of Cancun, a retired army general sent to create an elite anti-crime unit was kidnapped, tortured and shot. Mexican troops raided Cancun's police headquarters and arrested the chief and dozens of his officers in connection with the murder.
Add a collapsing global economy to a losing war with drug cartels, and Mexico is at grave risk of becoming a failed state, a narco-state, with a 2,000-mile border with the United States.
How does one win a drug war when millions of Americans who use recreational drugs are financing the cartels bribing, murdering and beheading to win the war and keep self-indulgent Americans supplied with drugs?
There are two sure ways to end this war swiftly: Milton's way and Mao's way. Mao Zedong's communists killed users and suppliers alike, as social parasites. Milton Friedman's way is to decriminalize drugs and call off the war.
When Richard Nixon declared the War on Drugs in 1972, Milton, writing in Newsweek, objected on ethical grounds:
"On ethical grounds, do we have the right to use the machinery of government to prevent an individual from becoming an alcoholic or a drug addict? For children, almost everyone would answer at least a qualified yes. But for responsible adults, I, for one, would answer no. Reason with the potential addict, yes. Tell him the consequences, yes. Pray for and with him, yes. But I believe that we have no right to use force, directly or indirectly, to prevent a fellow man from committing suicide, let alone from drinking alcohol or taking drugs."
"Am I my brother's keeper?'" asked Milton, answering, "No."
Americans are never going to adopt the Maoist solution. For the users of drugs are all too often classmates, colleagues, friends, even family. Indeed, our last three presidents did not deny using drugs.
Once, a Christian America outlawed and punished homosexuality, abortion, alcohol, loan-sharking and gambling, all as criminal vice. Now, homosexuality and abortion are constitutional rights. Gambling and booze are a rich source of government revenue. And loan-sharking is done by credit-card companies, and not just the Corleones.
Will we raise the white flag in the drug war, as well?
Which is the greater evil? Legalized narcotics for America's young or a failed state of 110,000 million on our southern border?
Some choice. Some country we've become.
With Obama as our leader, the war for the southern border is already lost.
Being neighbors with a corrupt 3rd world country of 110,000,000 people realy sucks...
Our new Homeland Security chief thinks its not a problemo yet
Bush, McCain, Perry, Richardson, The Terminator and the rest of congress are to blame as well.
“With Obama as our leader, the war for the southern border is already lost.”
With our ex leader who was not a leader and at best a poor manager, the war for the southern border was already lost a few years back.
That crazy old uncle Pat in the attic isn’t so crazy anymore....
Or, to quote the lady from New Orleans, "Shut up white boy!"
This is one of those times Pat is pretty much right on.
It’s not the drugs that fuels criminal behavior- it’s the criminals. We ended prohibition- the criminals turned to gambling. We built Las Vegas and other gambling outlets- the criminals turned to drugs. If we legalize drugs, the criminals will turn to something else. Given the growing sex slavery and human trafficing business- I shudder to think what that will look like.
He is absolutely right about that. He's also right in saying that Americans will never go for Mao's way. All we will see are half measures that are bound to be costly and doomed to fail. The “total war” necessary to win or at least cut drug use down substantially and therefore shrink the black market for drugs and the illegals drugs industry down to a fraction of what it is will never be fought here. You can't have that in a free society.
I don't know about Milton Friedman's way either though. Do we really want to legalize drugs like meth and heroin? I don't, but we can make the illegal drug trade much less of a problem simply by legalizing marijuana and only marijuana. That's the drug that most all drug users use. Americans consume more pot than all other illegal drugs combined. We have a huge black market for drugs, but mostly that black market is a black market for marijuana. Most of the participants, users and sellers, are involved with marijuana. If we regulate production and sales and take it out of the black market the black market for illegal drugs will shrink to something much more manageable. There will be far fewer participants in the black market for drugs, fewer users, fewer sellers, and a whole lot less money.
If you look at production estimates, estimates on the value of the market for drugs, for this country and the world over, marijuana is number one. No other illegal drug comes close in the number of users or the amount of money being generated in the market. And specifically when we talk about Mexican drug cartels, marijuana is their cash cow. ONDCP head John Walters said that marijuana is their bread and butter, “the center of gravity” for Mexican drug cartels. The ONDCP estimated that about 62% of the money the Mexican cartels gross from drugs bound for the U.S. comes from marijuana. About 28% comes from cocaine, but they are only the middlemen for cocaine which must first be purchased and smuggled from South America before it can be smuggled into this country. Marijuana may very well provide these organizations with more than 62% of their net proceeds from drug sales to Americans.
I think we do have some success with the war on drugs but mostly it's with drugs other than marijuana. We're able to keep drugs like cocaine, meth and heroin expensive and to varying degrees we're able to make them not so easy to come by. We're not even accomplishing that with marijuana. It's cheap on a per use basis and almost as easy to get as beer. We're failing miserably with marijuana. We're blowing a fortune trying in vain to keep up the ban. We're enriching organized crime to the tune of many billions of dollars a year. We're creating a situation where corruption is rampant, where millions of people have disrespect for law enforcement and the rule of law in general. We're doing a lot more harm than good in so many ways. We'd be much better off if we just regulated the production and sales of marijuana, tax it and use our money, efforts and resources fighting more pressing battles. Marijuana is just not such a threat that it is worth it to keep this incredibly costly battle going.
“It is astonishing how much flak Pat Buchanan will receive as a result of this article. How little credit he will get when his prediction proves out.”
You got that right.
Sometimes it seems there’s a democrat party, actually running the Republican party.
“keeping out those poor Mexicans is inhuman and politically incorrect. If you support an actual border, you are a racist”.”
I never considered myself a racist. I live amongst all kinds of folks of different skin tones here in Panama City, (R of P). It is the education level (a lot of times but not always. I know wonderful, smart, hard working folks who have not been through college) plus our common philosophy with whom I affiliate and not color...with the exceptions of Muslims. But then, Muslims and I do not have a common philosophy. If that is the case, I am then the biggest racist in the world. Good! I will wear that badge with honor.
PJB has been Cicero on the topics of Illegals and Demographics yet he his hated. Sometimes you have to acknowledge when people are correct and try to fix the problem.
The fact that the R's and D's haven't, implies they like the status quo.
To hell with the Mexicans.
I don't know about where you live but in CA we already have legal "medical" marijuana.
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