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11 May 2011

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The Twisted Genius

COIN in Mexico? I'd rather see the resources spent on political action+economic development here in the United States. Just can the counter insurgency ops. The COIN crowd can go scratch, at least until we are rolling in dough again. Once before I suggested that a sizable chunk of our military be converted into a border guard force. This would not be the Border Patrol and not law enforcement. For the overarching problems of narcotics, immigration and increasing violence south of our border... I got nothing beyond this admittedly flawed solution.

Phil Cattar

I have never tried pot but I find it hard to believe that it would do tremendous harm to this country.If it is accurate that 80% of the money the narcos make comes from pot than I think it certainly would be worth a try to legalize it.Idoubt if legalizing it would cause anywhere even remotely near the damage we cause each other by our driving habits.Death and injury on the highway etc.Which we could drastically curtail if we were a more sane society.I also doubt if pot would cause as much harm as many legal things we do now,such as smoking,drinking,eating way too much animal saturated fat,trans fat or just eating too much period.All this has to be balanced against the cost ,both money wise and human misery,of our war on drugs.Make pot available and cheap there is going to be only a certain number of people who will use it enough to do any real harm.

Michael Brenner

I guess we've concluded that COIN is an amalgam of base metals.

Grimgrin

Do Mexicans still remember the US intervention during the revolution and the Mexican-American War?

I'm hardly an expert, but it seems like the constant brutal violence from Cartels are doing a very good job of turning the public against them as it stands, and it might not be a good idea to let them play Pancho Villa against US soldiers.

arbogast

"I have never tried pot..."

Gosh, at least do yourself the favor of knowing what you're talking about. Oh, and ask a high school teacher how kids do in school who smoke pot.

In the case of gun control, there is an argument, that is actually moderately persuasive...or could be, that owning guns makes it harder for the central government to take away our rights. The price we pay for lack of gun control is some number of deaths and maimings each year as a result of easy access to guns.

No such argument exists for pot. More pot, less government control? Really? How about, more pot, more food stamps.

Psychoactive drugs simply don't help the human condition.

Police the borders. I swear it can be done. It is, ultimately, a technological problem.

If this country can help the Egyptians find tunnels under the border with Gaza, then it can stop drugs coming into the United States.

Patrick Lang

grimgrin

Maybe we should have kept the whole place in 1848. pl

Medicine Man

I really don't want to touch the topic of marijuana. Really not my business telling Americans what their laws should be. That said...

Arbogast: Subjective judgments about what "doesn't help the human condition" is a lousy way of making laws. You literally could come to the same conclusion about anything that serves no utilitarian purpose and is not suitable for minors. Casual sex? Sky diving? Good Lord.

Its no coincidence you thought of gun control. While guns and weed are very different topics, the evangelical fervor of the prohibitionists in each case is strikingly similar. A subset of the population decides that some tool/substance isn't needed, by anyone, seems threatening, and by God they'll use federal power to make is so. Another striking similarity is the level of police power required to enforce such laws, aimed at the American public of course. Thankfully we'll likely never see what law enforcement would cook up for gun prohibition in the US, but guys like Radley Balko have done a good job documenting what marijuana prohibition has done to the relationship between citizens and the law in some states.

Grimgrin

If you'd kept it, I suspect you'd either have your own Quebec or your own Northern Ireland by now. Also, interesting to wonder how the prospective Mexican States would have jumped in the War Between the States.

arbogast: Might also be worth asking the teacher which of the kids smoke pot, and then asking the kids themselves. Given the number of pot smokers I've known who quite happily got good grades and held down jobs, they may be confusing 'addicts and those with judgment so poor they show up for class stones' with the population of pot smokers in general.

As for it being a technological problem, that wisdom cuts both ways.

arbogast

Although it is, I pray, off topic (it would become on topic quickly if Obama decided to send troops to Mexico), the key to Obama's "personality" is that he wants to become a member of the nobility.

His military exploits, and they are numerous, are part of this atavistic trait.

It certainly would be well within his nature to attempt to become the hero of the Mexican American War.

Charles I

"The American drug addiction is the source of Mexico's violent narco-culture. . . ."

Well, Colin, No

Americans are addicted, inter alia, to fat, to t to their obvious detriment and someone's enrichment. Yet no violent fat or tv cartels have arisen to exploit the incredible opportunities that hunger for diversion affords.

What might the difference in the substances be then?

Hint: the answer lies in Congress and its pockets, not in some southern opportunists who couldn't make it to hollywood or as a fry cook.

optimax

Operation Mañana. We might invade tomorrow or we might not. We'll get back to you.

Human beinz have been altering their consciousness forever. Controlling human nature, when it harms no one else, is authoritarian.

VietnamVet

Colonel,

I won’t be here but our younger Vets will be when one or more Southwestern States turns majority Hispanic. There will be intense political pressure to open the Mexican border. Our current elites will be desperately trying to hold on to what power they have left. One solution would gerrymander the Hispanic population into two or three Nuevo States including the border towns from Juarez to Rio Bravo.

Mexico City elites would object.

This is all speculation. But, the drug wars, the rising Hispanic population and American’s tradition of incursions and wars for profit all but guarantees that the next generation of Vets will have an intimate knowledge of how well the soils of Northern Mexico fill sandbags.

Roy G

How about some state's rights on this issue? California has taken reasonable steps toward decriminalization and medicinal marijuana usage, yet the feds still feel it is in their purview to sweep in and make drug busts on activities that are legal according to CA law. There is a big case going on right now where they are taking down a MD in the Sacramento area because she was dispensing medical marijuana. Why is that? Does Nancy Reagan still make drug policy?

Medical mmj is proven to be a very effective painkiller for many ailments, with less side effects than pharmaceutical company alternatives. This fact is obscured by the Cheech and Chong stereotypes that predominate, and continues to be subliminated, because, as Hilary Clinton herself recently admitted in a moment of inadvertent candor, 'there's too much money in drugs to decriminalize them.'

The history of demonizing drugs in America is replete with racism and authoritarian power grabbing. Harry Anslinger is the J. Edgar Hoover clone who started the original drug war, back in the 1930s. Incidentally, you can thank him for the fact that cannabis is commonly called marijuana – the Mexican term for cannabis, chosen specifically to invoke and inflame racial stereotypes against Mexicans, and not coincidentally, mainly about a law enforcement power grab.

Byron Raum

If the Mexican elite can use the US as a pressure valve for their excess labor force and to avoid reform, why can't we use Mexico as a pressure valve for our excess neocons and avoid real reform at home?

The Twisted Genius

I spent my formative years as an infantry lieutenant in the 1/35th Infantry Battalion. The regiment is known as "The Cacti" because it was formed to guard our border with Mexico. Here's the story of the regiment's baptism of fire.

"On 25 August 1918 a skirmish occurred at Nogales. It started when a U.S. Customs inspector and a 35th Infantry soldier attempted to stop a Mexican national believed to be a smuggler from crossing into the U.S. A Mexican guard shot and killed both Americans and a U.S. Customs official then shot and killed the Mexican guard. The firing then became general with both military and civilians on both sides of the border participating. Four companies of the 35th Infantry and two troops of the 10th Cavalry were rushed to the border and engaged the Mexicans. The firing continued all day. At sundown the Mexicans raised a white flag and firing ceased. The 35th Infantry suffered one officer and one soldier killed and sixteen soldiers wounded. A meeting between American and Mexican senior officers resulted in regrets expressed by both sides and the border was reopened."

I can certainly see history repeating itself. Can you imagine the narcocorridos that our application of COIN in Mexico would inspire?

Mark Logan

Humor alert.

COIN may not be viable in Mexico, but how about Salinas?

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/11/14/AR2009111400915.html

On topic, removing the laws against Mary Jane would put a dent in the revenues of the Cartels, and removing the profit motive may be the only way we can truly break the gangs here. Other than that I can't picture much else working, except a massive effort to seal the border. Would take a whole lot of people to do that.

omen

i've read suggestions before, even one put forth by a congressman, that blackwater is planning operations in mexico.

the prison industry complex has too much profit at stake to allow the decriminalization of marijuana.

steve

@clifford kiracofe

"The Mexican oligarchy since the 1980s has used the US as a dumping ground for their unemployed. We are a political safety valve for the Mexican oligarchy. On the other hand, cynical American interests are all too happy and eager to exploit the illegal immigrants coming northward."

Absolutely agree with the mutual "benefits" illegal immigration has bestowed on both nations' elites.

While I don't think that unrestrained immigration is at all the sole cause of the dissipation of the American middle class, I am aware of towns in rural Iowa that 20 years ago had thriving economies based on good paying jobs in meat packing plants. Those jobs are long gone or, I should say, the good pay and benefits are gone replaced by docile and non-union immigrant labor.

Additionally, Nafta has wrecked Mexico's small farmer agriculture sector--hence, even more flood north.

Finally, in furtherance of the elites' quid pro quo, I suspect that certain US interests get preferential treatment in the extraction of Mexico's natural resources.

mbrenner

A survey pertinent to this discussion has come to my attention. It polled a cross section of Texans and found a high correlation (.96) between attitudes toward illegal immigrants and mowing your own lawn

Mark Logan


If only they just mowed lawns..

As Ike found out in operation Wetback 60 years ago, business interests present a much more formidable barrier to meaningful immigration reform than even the "bleeding hearts" do.

The diversity of the opponents to E-Verify listed here is most telling. I would venture to guess a meaningful effort to seal the border will meet about as much resistance now as it did during Ikes days.

http://volokh.com/2011/05/10/dont-tell-anyone-but-the-administration-just-solved-the-immigration-enforcement-problem/

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