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Drug War Dummies | Winter Patriot Community Blog

Drug War Dummies

In states along the Mexican border, American journalists are going crazy with fear of the drug war that rages in Mexico and, increasingly, in the United States. Today's editorial in the Tucson Citizen tells the story:

"Whether shot, beheaded, mutilated or bombed, at least 2,680 Mexicans have been slain by drug cartels this year. Citizens, law enforcement and government officials are deeply alarmed - and that's just on our side of the border. In Mexico, they're terrified.

"It's our issue, too," the writer claims, "because Mexico is our next-door neighbor and because we cannot allow its democratic form of government to be destroyed.

The writer goes on to rave about murders, beheadings, kidnappings, corruption, police murdered, hand grenades, rocket launchers, "powerful automatic weapons," and narcoterrorism generally. The writer bewails the fact that the violence is spilling over onto our side of the border and finally concludes: "Our government must do everything possible to help beat back the drug cartels - for both nations' sake."

It's all a load of manure. The Tucson writer is informed by and repeats lies about drugs, the drug market, and the drug war that have become boringly familiar to all of us who, at one time or another, were into the counterculture and the drug scene. Those lies are so boring, in fact, that I won't bother to refute them here. Instead I will only say that if you believe in capitalism and the free market and the Bill of Rights but yet support the drug war and believe our Uncle Sam can actually win it, you should go and see a psychiatrist because you have problems that logic will only aggravate. Maybe the shrink will give you some (ahem!) drugs (ahem!) that will relieve your symptoms or at least render you harmless.

Perhaps the most stupid lie in that Tucson editorial is the line about saving democratic government in Mexico. Never in all of history has Mexico been a democracy. Mexico has always been governed by the richest of its elites, who -- ever since Pancho Villa scared the dog shit out of them for 13 years (1910-23) -- act through the president of Mexico in ways that usually -- but not always -- show citizens the semblance of a democracy. For nearly the whole of the 20th century, the Mexican government held an election every six years in which Mexicans got to vote for candidates who all belonged to the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI).

That started to change in Y2K, when Vincente Fox became the first Mexican president elected from an opposition party since 1920. The current president of Mexico is Felipe Calderon. Calderon, even though he belongs to an opposition party (National Action Party, or PAN), seems a throwback to high-handed presidents "elected" by the PRI. Calderon's election in 2006 was widely regarded as fraudulent. The whiff of corruption follows Calderon wherever he goes. His government is challenged even now by opposition groups that periodically send hundreds of thousands of people into the streets to thwart one or another of his antidemocratic initiatives. Under Calderon, Mexico was all but ungovernable even before he became an ardent participant in Uncle Sam's insanely murderous and corrupt drug war.

If governments by Calderon and his ilk are governments we must save, I wonder why we didn't save the government of Mikhail Gorbachev. In Gorby's old Soviet Union, you know, citizens every few years got to vote on a slate of candidates who all belonged to the Communist Party. Speaking strictly of democratic elections, the former Soviet Union ran a system exactly like the system that the PRI ran in Mexico. Americans who claim that Mexico was a democracy must therefore allow that the former Soviet Union was a democracy. Americans who oppose George W. Bush on the grounds that he was never elected should for exactly the same reason oppose Felipe Calderon.

All of those who fear what's happening in Mexico should take note of what's happening in Colombia these days. In Medellin, Colombia -- once the cocaine capitol of the world and home to Pablo Escobar -- where in bygone days five or six hundred people were shot and killed on the streets every month, the shooting has stopped. Just last night I watched The Travel Channel's galloping hedonist, Anthony Bourdain, chomp chorizo in streetside restaurants where five years ago he'd have been shot to death inside of five minutes. How is Bourdain able to do that today?

Those who can add two and two know the answer is simple: Bourdain can do an unescorted gourmand's tour of Medellin these days because Medellin is no longer a hub of cocaine transportation. Those who made cocaine shipping their business have moved their operation to Mexico, where people now undergo torments exactly like the torments that formerly plagued the people of Colombia. And if by some miracle the crooks are driven out of Mexico, they'll simply go somewhere else. Who knows? They may even go back to Colombia now that the heat is off down there. . . .

So why should Americans save the corrupt and wildly unpopular government of Mexico? Why should we bleed more blood and spend more treasure to fight the so-called War on Drugs, which, as I've already pointed out, is both insane and unwinnable? We had better instead do all we can to end the prohibition of drugs in America. Spend all the money in the world to pay for all the cops and guns and prisons you can buy, you couldn't do nearly as much to end drug crime as that one, simple, inexpensive piece of legislation would do.


Glad to have you back

Good points. I learned about the PRI just recently, when I discovered the Mexican metal group, Brujeria, and their song Revolucion. I was a little perplex over that, until someone explained to me the background of this party.

Mexican history

Littlehorn -- Pancho Villa is my candidate for the most unjustly maligned person in Western history. Here in the states we learned in school that he was a raggedy-assed bandit who Gen. Pershing and the U.S. Army could not catch. In fact he was arguably the bravest, most romantic, most intelligent, most innovative, and ferocious revolutionary in world history. I mean Villa overthrew the established government of Mexico THREE TIMES and would have overthrown it yet again had the government not finally murdered him from ambush in Durango. His ragged cavalry, armed with lever-action, Winchester rifles defeated the same German Wehrmacht, armed with Mauser rifles and the same modern weapons that beat the crap out of the British and the French and fought the allied powers to a standstill on the Western Front.

If you never read another novel read Earl Shorris' "Under the Fifth Sun." Shorris also wrote "The Life and Times of Mexico," which is a tour de force, a fine, fabulous, lyrical history of a place most people know nothing about.

"It may be thought that I am prejudiced. Perhaps I am. I would be ashamed of myself if I were not." Mark Twain


Thankyou for that info.

I know very little about Mexico/Columbia and the cartels. But I truly believe that the 'war on drugs' is as doomed to fail as the 'war on terror'. They are just sink holes for our money/taxes. Correct me if I am wrong, but wouldn't it make sense to supply drugs, tax the shit out of them and use the money to rehabilitate if/when required. Of course that would mean a reduction in prisons and law enforcement spending that make certain peoples very wealthy. I have to laugh at the same group that constantly tells you free markets work, lets use it with education/schools, but never with drugs. Come to think of it, they use the exact same scare tactics in pursuit of both these 'wars', don't they.

I agree.

Thanks AND Good to have you back.

Good post, too.

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