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25 December 2009

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Patrick Lang

KHarborough

That's what courts-martial are for. pl

Tyler

Clifford,

Don't forget the "La Raza" types taking a page from the Zionist handbook of painting anyone who disagrees with them with the racist brush and screaming about racial profiling whenever their political base is threatened.

The illegal immigration and drug problems from the south go hand in hand. If you can close or severely limit the one, you will do the same to the other.

I don't have anything against Mexicans or anyone else who immigrates here legally, but the fact of the matter is that we cannot pick and choose the laws we want to follow. Unfortunately, the open border types down here (mainly college students from the northeast and mid west) tend not to follow that logic. I guess when you're a daddy's money baby and not competing for jobs, you don't think these things through.

Col. Lang,

You know the Border Patrol has its own "operators" in the form of BORTAC, who have been present in Columbia and south of the line for quite some time now.

mlaw230

Interesting as usual.

I would think there would be a legal precedent for actually marching an expeditionary force into feral regions of Mexico. But if we do so, and it would be fraught with unintended consequences, we should do so in broad daylight, in uniform and without the use of "contractors."

If sovereignty is really a monopoly on the legitimate use of violence, then Mexico does not have sovereignty over these regions, but we if we just send death squads don't we subvert our own sovereignty by doing so?

Also, in a culture so clearly corrupted by narco dollars,and fear, where do you draw the line between the legitimate target and those terrified into compliance? Can that practically be done?

It seems that we would have the same problems in Mexico that we are having in Afghanistan, yet many posters here see little problem with your Swiftian proposal because you have changed the problem from stateless actors driven by religious zealotry to stateless actors driven by drug money.


curious

Thus, our fellow citizens can come into public service as what one might call "citizen-soldiers" when needed and be duly legally deputized as auxiliary forces to assist our local and state police, for example, in times of national emergency here at home.

Posted by: Clifford Kiracofe | 27 December 2009 at 08:17 PM

Katrina in New Orleans certainly proves otherwise. That citizen with guns quickly degenerate into armed mob and take away whatever order left that police can control. Without group training, people does not know what to do, gun just add unknown variable in the chaos.

In fact if I have to predict how America ends. It would be everybody starts shooting afghanistan style while zealots running around inciting commotion.

If one looks at modern history, what makes a country strong militarily/ahead of other nation is creation of national policy that tightly coupled economy, industrial innovation and maintenance of discipline arm force. not how man guns are active. Looking at top 20 biggest countries at least, nobody is allowed guns possession except for arm service or conscription (mostly smaller country).

But America takes its historical oddity as normative. a) America has no real next door rival. b) It's never been in constant war of equal. c)2nd amendment was written out of 18th century revolution and frontier live necessity, not $300 chinese made AK-47 at local gun shop, near realistic shoot em up game and mass media/internet. d)Throughout early postwar period America is pretty isolated culturally. (compared to Asia & europe where people go in and out between countries.)

So recent things like Columbine, Koresh-Waco, shoot the president-Foxnews-Glenn Beck-tea party are bigger accident waiting to happens. All those are classic modern insurgency trick. Total headshaking moment.

One crazy and charismatic zealot start hearing voice from God in the middle of national economic crash, magnified by media hysteria. It's over. It'll be free republic of Texaskistan or nation of Colorado for Jesus in a jiffy. Trifecta of gun, free speech, God.

rudolf

if the Poverty Fabrics are not shot down throughout the Americas, there will be no end for this über and growing violence

ANY teenager in Rio's favelas is ready to be the new boss. They don't care about dying. They only know this job and it's the only one there is. And killing and dying is part of their daily lives since they put feet on this world.

This is an old debate in Brasil, cause, you all must know, Rio de Janeiro is like Tijuana and New York in the same place.
So, if you really wanna go into the war path, you must end killing everybody in that hellish and impoverished communities.
In the other hand, you can incorporate those communities in a 'normal' standard of living and nobody will shoot nobody, they won't need to immigrate nowhere, much less growing or selling dope.

Maybe this sounds idealist, but money, lots of it, for the banks there was.

Vicente

A few mini-observations:

*Prior to my residence in the beltway, I bounced around the deserts of California as a reporter for a number of years - most of which was spent in the shadow of our border with Mexico. Literally. I had a nice little ranchita next to some aflalfa and asparagus fields that were less than two miles from Baja California. Tyler is right - this debate is a lot different when viewed from back here than on the line. And yes, the BP is hated on both sides... unfairly even in many cases. There is currently a fence that runs the length of Calif.'s border with Mexico. It serves as little more than a speed bump according to the BP I know and still hear from.

*This talk about 'spill over' is coming from people who have little to any experience living near the border. The murder rate in El Paso is a miniscule portion of Juarez's (same with the border town I lived in). This is not the days of "The Wild Bunch." There is a border, and little incentive for the narco syndicates to bring their reign of terror to the other side. Assasinations of state law enforcement officials (Baja California, not CA) while not exactly commonplace back in 2002-2004 was not a rarity. Mexicali, for all its progress, remains very much a stratified city - much like its border neighbors. I was and remain comfortable walking around it, with a modicum of common sense and staying in touch with folks. Mexico was toying with failed statehood back then (hell, it treats its poor like coal, oil and pork bellies.. a commodity to be exported) it is certainly openly flirting with it now.

*Few have mentioned the strict sovereignty issues that would have to be dealt with. Mexico has long be EXTREMELY touchy about foreign forces on their soil (quick.. any of you all recall doing exercises with the Mexican Military.. in Mexico? Probably not.). It was a big deal when they sent a few jeeps up to help out with Hurricane Katrina a few years back. In this manner, the Mexican military has more in common with our friends the Pakistanis. Sure, JSOC could probably do its business most of the time. But the Mexican military is not created equal, as we witnessed with their Navy's takedown of the kingpin last week (and the subsequent assasination of the hero's family). The possibility of any 'understandings' going sideways at any given time is extremely high dealing with these folks. Just ask the Border Patrol.. they've been harassed by Mexican military units for years.

There's no easy solution to this problem (anyone remember Pablo Escobar? This approach worked with him, but the problem just migrated...) and it has to do with our drug policy as well as our foreign policy relating to the Mexican state. We should be very concerned about state failure in Mexico - a humanitarian crisis the likes of which we can't grasp could well up in no time.

So far from god, so close to the US. Andale pues.

Perhaps Ed Abbey was right. His solution to the illegal immigration problem was to send everyone back to Mexico, with a few days food, a rifle and ammunition. "The Mexican people know who their enemies are," he wrote.

Hasta,
V

Patrick Lang

Tyler, Vicente at al

My modest proposal is directed at a situation in which the Mexican gocernment is actually in the process of collapse. If that is not so, then we do not need to recreate the situation in which we last intervened in Mexico.

Incidentally, Trooper Walter Lang rode into Chihuahua with the 6th Cavalry Regiment in 1916. He was our father. pl

Patrick Lang

Cato the Censor

We are already doing that? Maybe in the movies. Don't belief all the BS some guy in a bar tells you.

This has nothing to do with stopping people from taking drugs here. It has everything to do with reducing the flow out of Mexico and preventinh the slop-ove of chaos across the border.

It also has nothing to do with immegration.

I do get a kick out of some of you who break out in a rash at the thought of violence. Embassy marines used to say that the Foreign Service battle cry was "Don't shoot! Don't shoot! They'll kill us all." This sounds a bit like that. pl

Patrick Lang

All

For those who want to legalize hard drugs, are you also in favor of govenment issue of heroin and cocain to those who want them but can not pay? pl

Patrick Lang

Fred's Track

I couldn't stand it. I took the "mere second tier" part out. pl

William R. Cumming

Agree with PL! Mexico is a failed state. Question is whether the "failed state' syndrome now racks the US?

Of the 190 UN recognized Nation-states, even given the vast discrepancy in population numbers of the top 20, does the US rank first in anything but foreign arms sales and disposals and military related budgets? Some evidence that the Byzantine Empire fell because the Rentier/Finance class sucked it dry? HMMMMMM! Any similarities here?

mlaw230

the death of Mr. Beltran: A short happy life a s a rich powerful man versus the long misery of poverty. Which would you choose?

http://exiledonline.com/mexican-drug-war-dispatch-the-life-and-death-of-don-arturo-beltran-leyva/

Clifford Kiracofe

Tyler,

Well yes, we got called "racists" by the Left back in the 80s debates on Simpson-Mazzoli. On the other hand, Hispanic-American leaders from the lower Rio Grande Valley of Texas (and elswhere) with whom I spoke were patriotic Americans and stood for a firm policy supporting enforcement of US laws against illegal activity by foreign nationals.

The reality was/is that we were/are friends of Mexico. Personally, I have great respect for President Juarez and that tradition of reform. On one visit to Mexico, I made it a point to spend some time in Queretaro, a very fine city with stunning museums, cathedral-churches, and zocalo, etc. In Queretaro, I had the opportunity to visit the old building and room in which the "Emperor" Maximillian was held pending his well justified execution.

Patriotic and progressive reformers like President Cardenas did a lot to move Mexico forward in the difficult 1930s and the US and Mexico had very good relations from World War II down through the 1960s into the 1970s. President Miguel Aleman reached out to the US and it was reciprocated thereby benefiting both countries.

The crisis we are currently facing has its roots in the situation emerging in the 1980s with the narcos and powerful organized crime networks. Unfortunately, this criminal activity with its billions of dollars was able to make considerable inroads into Mexican political life and government. Of course, decent people opposed this but the narcos are powerful given the billions at their disposal.

Mexico is our neighbor, the LAST thing we want to see is that it becomes a failed state and heads into a violent-revolutionary situation. Take a look at Mexican history. For example, how many people died in the bloody revolutionary period from 1911 to the late 1920s or so? A hundred thousand? Two hundred thousand? It was very violent down that way for a long time.

So we want Mexico to succeed economically so as to have prosperity and jobs and a future for its people. We want to see stability and democracy there. In this condition, Mexico would not pose the threat that it has with respect to illegal immigration, narcoterrorism, gangs and crime.

As far as I am concerned, we need to do everything in our power to help President Calderon, a conservatve, who is faced with a severe crisis now. I would say the same thing if a liberal would be president there today.

But as you well know working on the front line, the current situation is very challenging to say the least. It remains to be seen how the Obama Administration is going to handle this challenge.


William R. Cumming,

Prior to the Byzantines, the Romans also became corrupted as they engaged in empire building...the Byzantines allowed their "theme" system of farmer-militias on the eastern flank to breakdown as the financier-rentier class consolidated control over the former farm lands of the farmer-militia men who became impoverished and marginalized.

Eric Dönges

Colonel,

For those who want to legalize hard drugs, are you also in favor of govenment issue of heroin and cocain to those who want them but can not pay?

No. The idea is to remove the vast profits of the illegal drug trade and the criminal activity associated with it, not encourage drug abuse. Decriminalization does not equal endorsement.

Charles I

Sorry about the formatting.

'These scum bag drug lords? You don't want them dead? That I could not understand. The units I write of have suffered enormous losses in the last seven years and still there is no lack of volunteers."

Pat, talentless as I am, I understand. Try and understand this.

Perhaps America could consider that occasionally the world tires of the one-size-fits-all American response to its self-inflicted addictions to oil, dope and despots - shoot at everyone except yourselves when your dates bite you in the ass.

The drug lords and their impedimenta are the in large part creatures of the prohibition and permanent war policies of successive US governments, and when they are utile, they are used against extra-territorial American targets and collateral innocents without qualm,

The tale of cynical serial American policy is detailed and well cited by Peter Dale Scott: "Drugs, Oil And War The United States in Afghanistan, Columbia and Indochina" Rowman & Littlefield 2003. Great powers have been at it since the Opium wars, no doubt china has a few plans for the west in this regard.

Money is your problem? Get serious. Legalize and shoot the bankers. If parts of your government can create conditions whereby they can mount illegal foreign wars against the wishes of the populace why can't they crate conditions whereby banking becomes transparent, at least to your intelligence,, courts and assassins?

One may infer that its not wanted.

And nobody asked you to subsidize your poorest citizens' habits, but the notion that government welfare be directed to the citizenry to support their habits with domestic product rather than those of big oil, big pharma and big business, well, it has an appealing novelty to it.

The research to date, sadly limited by US criminalization pressures, from places like Amsterdam and Portugal - in the latter EVERY DRUG IS LEGAL - that use and addiction do not dramatically spike contrary to trite anti-legalization argument. Portugal is still there.

How on earth could things be any worse?

And since it appears that many powerful people want it that way, would prefer any excuse to keep the guns pointed outward, the US ever ready to descend into the next theatre once the previous one has been secured for, er, from, America's appetites, cynicism about American responses finds fertile ground in our mushy liberal hearts, whatever our heads and FOX tell us.

James McKenzie-Smith

Dear Sir,

Given the probable disiniterest in martyrdom among Latin American drug lords, this seems to make quite a bit of sense.

To the rest of your commentors worried about the legal aspects (the benefits of legalization of drugs, infringing on Mexican sovereignty etc.); I think that the Colonel's main issue with the cartels is that they allow their violence to spill over the border into the USA. If it were an exclusively Mexican problem, he would be perfectly content to leave it to the Mexicans to resolve (or not). However, so long as certain Mexican criminals are making it in part an American problem, and so long as the Mexican government seems to be more or less impotent when it comes to finding a solution that protects America and Americans from their criminal element, then the Colonel feels that America is within it's right to act.

Sounds reasonable to me.

Best regards,

James McKenzie-Smith

Bobo

I support the Colonel's concept of utilizing JSOC tactics against the Mexican drug lords but I also understand the main problem is the demand for drugs by US citizens. Filling our jails with drug users is not stopping demand and legalizing this stuff is not happening in my lifetime.

I travel frequently on business to one of our Caribbean territories and have seen a dramatic change through the years to what I call a semi narco state. Their police force has been decimated through arrests for bribery, drug possession and other similar crimes. How soon or when is that going to happen here or is it already.

We have danced around this problem for too many years and until we get off our rear ends and do something about our drug using neighbors we will be awaiting the inevitable narco state to creep in. Maybe JSOC should be sent out in the US to reduce demand.

bth

I was down in El Paso for the first time in 25 years this month. In the 80s I traversed all along the border looking for cell radio tower sites. Loved the experience and the people. Going back I was struck this time by the fear level, the no go areas, the loss of middle class confidence in their own safety by all concerned.

Second, I was having lunch with law enforcement folks this week in Mass. and was told that heroin prices are so low on the east coast that crack and coke have a difficult time competing. So why the hell aren't we defoliating the opium fields in Afghanistan if we really wanted to get serious on drugs?

Third, perhaps our best strategy is the strengthen our friends south of the border rather than replace them. The law enforcement folks in Mexico are dealing with something like "High Noon". Police, forensics specialists, judges, prosecutors are dealing with a level of terror we haven't ever seen in the US. How can we support those institutions and people.

My family was very involved with the rangers and early Texas history and what has always struck me in researching that era is that order came before law, not law before order. To the colonels point, we have to weigh in enough to tip the balance of power back to a normal civil experience south of the border.

But is our military really discriminating enough to do this on a large scale? And if they were, wouldn't we be doing that in Afghanistan where we virtually supply security for heroin producing drug lords?

Mark Logan

My local rag had a write up about the Mata-Zetas (Zeta Killers) that I think bears on a discussion about our direct-action guys jumping in there. Haven't seen much national press about it, so here it is:

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/nationworld/2016564032_veracruz21.html

"Renegade" Mexican Marines?

graywolf

"Decriminalization does not equal endorsement."
Didn't do well in logic class did you?

If I arrest you for an action, then decide to NOT arrest you for the same action the next day, that says the action is OK....ie ENDORSEMENT.

William R. Cumming

Again suggest DEA be moved to DHS! Drug enforcement is a criminal justice and internal civil security issue. DOJ is too big and too poorly administered to be effective in drug enforcement. The FBI continues to have little or no interest in drug enforcement issues.

Grimgrin

PL: Heroin yes, register 'em, take away their drivers license, give 'em one sealed dose in a syringe with an automatically retracting needle a day. Cheaper than prison or treatment for hepatitis or AIDS, and they're not going to be stealing to fund their habit. You could even source the heroin from Afghanistan, maybe bring a few farmers on side.

Cocaine's more problematic because the different consumption pattern of the drug means that it'd be impossible to implement a similar scheme. If it were possible I'd say yes to that as well.

Cold War Zoomie

I think this is feasible. We have ways of "helping" ($$$) the Mexican federal government shine to our idea and set up some sort of legal "joint" operation...joint only in the sense that some Mexican liaison sits with some US liaison back in Mexico City to write status reports and handle the paperwork while the all-American force wreaks havoc on the drug gangs 100s of miles away. And I would think that many higher ups in the Mexican government want these drug gangs eradicated so the more traditional means of graft and corruption can be reinstated!

As for cross-border asymmetric retaliation. HA! There will be no concerted effort by the druggies since they will be in disarray. Plus, deep down they know we have the training, technology and firepower to turn up the heat at will. Would some lone wolf go nuts and cause trouble? Maybe. But as others have said here, they already are.

And if the Mexicans say no to our idea, do it anyway. What are they going to do about it? They have an obligation to control the violence and crime that originates in their country and seeps over the border.

They have a choice. Do it with us or without us. They will make the right choice!

Cold War Zoomie

As for legalizing drugs here in the USA. Forget about it in the short term. Whenever these important problems crop up that need immediate solutions, the dreamers and idealists come out in droves talking about the impossibility of legalizing drugs in this country.

Don't get me wrong. I love the dreamers and idealists - they are the folks who help move society forward. We just need some realists and pragmatists to deal with current problems like these.

markfromireland

As you "go after" the drug lords south of your border what are you going to do to reduce the demand for their product? As long as there is a demand there will be people willing to supply.

Are you going to go after the American banks who provide financial services to the traffickers? If so what penalties - confiscation of the cash certainly but you will need to cause a very very serious level of financial pain to those banks swinging painful crippling fines both to the corporation and levied against its directors and managers personally. Take away their homes. What will you do when you discover that one of your "too big to fail" banks is up to its neck in drug money? Are you going to go after the major shareholders in those banks? If not why not? I was of the impression that in American law a criminal was nit allowed to profit from their crime. What about the drug gangs legal advisers - do you go after them too?

By all means go after the drug gangs and their leaders but that in and of itself is not enough. You need to make it a losing proposition to be involved with trading narcotics, producing them, transporting them, financing thems, helping to "wash" the proceeds of their sale anybody who profits - anybody and no matter at what remove - from drugs needs to suffer massive financial pain as a result. That, plus your suggestion coupled with reducing demand might do it.

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