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  • Does the White House Have a Response to Mexican Drug Violence?

    A Mexican Federal Police agent patrols the streets of Ciudad Juarez, Mexico during an anti-narcotic operation on March 5, 2009. Homes are being invaded by gunmen, people raped and tortured, and bodies dumped in the Arizona desert as violence from the Mexican drug wars spills into the American Southwest. Illegal immigration and drug smuggling have always been issues in this border state, but warring Mexican cartels are carrying violence to levels that have shocked law enforcement and government officials.

    Yesterday, the Obama Administration sought to quiet mounting anxiety about Mexican drug violence and border spillover when it named the nation’s next Drug Czar, Gil Kerlikowske, police chief in Seattle on March 11. The position, the Vice President noted, will no longer be considered a cabinet-level office.

    The Vice President Biden used the opportunity to offer the most extensive White House comments thus far on the Mexico situation.

    The challenges facing the Chief are going to be daunting. Nowhere is that more true than in the southwest border today. All you have to do is pick up your paper anywhere in the nation, national and local — since the beginning of last year there have been nearly 7,000 drug-related murders in Mexico. If we had said that years ago we would have looked at each other like we were crazy — but 7,000 drug-related murders in Mexico. Violent drug trafficking organizations are threatening both the United States and Mexican communities.

    And as drug czar the Chief will play a central role in developing and implementing a southwest border strategy — one that improves information sharing, harnesses the power of new technologies, strengthens federal, state and local law enforcement efforts against violent criminals, and increases the interdiction of both drugs coming into the United States and weapons and cash flowing out of the United States into Mexico. It’s a strategy that we need to bring in order to bring the situation under control, to protect our people, and to bring about the demise of the Mexican drug cartels.

    And by the way, we’ve done this before. We did it in Cartagena — I mean, excuse me, not Cartagena, we did it in Colombia, in Medellin [sic]. We’ve done it before with the help. We’ve been involved in this. So I don’t want people throwing up their hands and saying, there’s nothing we can do about this. We can — with a coordinated and consistent effort.

    Reading between the lines, it appears the Vice President called for a concerted effort against the drug cartels resembling Plan Colombia, which Congress is ramping down. On the other hand, the Vice President missed a chance to plug the critical Merida Initiative, a 3-year, $1.5 billion anti-drug program with Mexico. In fact it is impossible to find any mention of the Merida Initiative on the White House web page or in White House statements.

    President Obama meanwhile has left Americans guessing whether or not he favors sending the National Guard or other troops to the border. “We’re going to examine,” said the President, “whether and if National Guard deployments would make sense and under what circumstances they would make sense. I don’t,” he added, “have a particular tipping point in mind,” he said. “I think it’s unacceptable if you’ve got drug gangs crossing our borders and killing U.S. citizens.”

    But as Heritage’s Jim Carafano has argued, sending the military in to do law enforcements job is not particularly sound policy. “Cooperative initiatives like these are much more efficient and enduring countermeasures. Sending brigades of our already over-stretched military to the border would doubtless grab a few headlines, but it’s a less-than optimum strategy for winning the long war on our border.

    Seemingly aware of the problems along the Mexican border, the White House elects to lower the profile and access of the Drug Czar, wrestles with sending in the military, and misses an opportunity to promote the flagship cooperation program with Mexico. Not an auspicious start against a serious national security challenge.

    Posted in Security [slideshow_deploy]

    9 Responses to Does the White House Have a Response to Mexican Drug Violence?

    1. Rob, Scottsdale, Az says:

      I'm a retired L.E.O. and I spent the last eighteen of my twenty-six year career enforcing law on the border with Mexico. I am here to tell you that if you people knew only half of what I know, you'd demand that the president send troops to the border.

      There is precedent of course; prior to WWI President Woodrow Wilson (the incompetant who almost single handedly caused WWII) dispatched General Pershing on a punitive expedition into Mexico after the well known murderer and thief, Pancho Villa crossed into New Mexico and killed US citizens in the town of Columbus.

      We've had Mexican gangbangers operating on both sides of the border now for years and…..golly they've been killing, raping and maiming Americans the whole time. I believe that forty percent of the prison population in Arizona are illegal aliens. Does anyone need any more proof than that?

      So the folks in Washington (and apparently, in the Heritage Foundation) believe that spending another 1.5 billion dollars on a program with Mexico is going to solve the problem. Well, this confirms my long held suspicion that most of the decision makers inside the beltway (as well as the academics who do their research) have their heads planted firmly up their backsides.

      Of course there are idiots here in Arizona too, they permitted an equestrian statue of General Francisco Villa to be erected in a Tucson Park. It was a gift from the President of Mexico to the people of Arizona. It is an honor to be held in such high regard; maybe we should erect an equestrian statue of General John Joseph Pershing in the village square of Hermosillo.

    2. Harry, NY says:

      Plan Colombia is not model for anything but devastation. More cocoa production and more violence and 4 million Internally Displaced Persons.

      Plan Mexico, aka the Merida Initiative needs to be ramped down to $0 too.

    3. Jennifer, Austin says:

      How an you call the Merida Initiative a "flagship" effort of the White House when it is a leftover from the Bush Administration?

    4. Gary, Michigan says:

      It seems the only thing that gets fast tracked with this president is government spending. National security apparently isn't important enough to get more than "examine it".

      Conservatives have been screaming about this brewing issue for years. Now it's here, and guess who doesn't have a clue!

    5. Coral Wallace says:

      One need not be Jewish to draw a direct comparison between our rapidly growing government control movement, Zars included, and that of the advancement of the Nazi take over. That should not only send shivers down the leg of Chris Mathews, but require the need for new undies. (Hope that was okay Mom). There's alot more at steak here than just money.


      C. Wallace

    6. mark elder says:

      Washington is never going to do anyhting! I grew up in west Texas and we have been complaining for years and nothing ever gets done and all along have had racial tensions and arguments of illegals and drugs in our country. The only undocumented thing that comes out of Mexico is trouble. If they want to come here legally and contribute as Americans that is fine and dandy but other wise it is cancer!

      This is exactly what will happen. Washington will do nothing to fix the problem Rick Perry does not have the will or nerve to go ahead and fix the problem thus the American people are going to get so fed up that it will come down to Americans and mexicans fighting in the streets of America. Sooner or later something will happen and full blown civil war will be the end means. Washington is so incredibly crimminal in their all out assault to do nothing. Good hard working Americans (Blacks, Whites, Mexicans, Oriental) get harrassed day after day by these wortless cock roach thugs coming up from Mexico and Washington and Austin turn a blind eye on the crimes that take place against us citizens yet use the problem as an excuse to tax us and build up law enforcment to come down on Americans and build big government. That is as crimminal as the drug gangs themselves. Folks I am sick of debating it! How about you?

    7. Larry, New Mexico says:

      I have lived in border states (TX, AZ, NM)for 45 years and have seen nothing but deteriorating conditions the whole time. When I was still in junior high, 9seems like eons ago, now) our family went to Nuevo Laredo. A little messy, but the shops, restaurants and people were wonderful. Today? The good people are fearful, the town makes me think of Beirut or Mozambique and I see no improvement in the near future.

      Conditions have also deteriorated on the US side of the border. Acts of lawlessness, destruction of property and wildlife areas and a sense of dispair have grown. I cried when I saw the condition of Big Bend NWR (TX) and Organ Pipe Natl. Monument (AZ); they have devolved to traxh dumps with all the refuse left by invaders of our country.

      Yes, I said invaders. Not 'illegal aliens', not 'undocumented workers'… invaders. An invader enters another country to do harm to the nation being entered. Consuming our school, medical, social services and creating criminal acts is harm to us, in my book.

      Those who we have elected all swore an oath to protect and defend this country and it's constitution or at the state level, the same. Little has been done. Now it is high time for something to be done.

      The National Guard is trying, but there are only so many of them. They need the assistance of the active-duty forces as well. Deploy our troops to the border; let them truly do what Department of Defense is supposed to do… defend this country!

    8. Carol, AZ says:

      The only way America is going to understand this crisis regarding this problem is for all border state residence continue to write about this problem as many have done here already.

      Americans who live in non-border states just don't get it.

      There are no secure borders in America .

      For the men and women who are now deployed to our borders doing the difficult job they do every day I wish wish to thank you.

    9. Tony, illinois says:

      Illegals are destroying Illinois as well.. drug dealing, whore houses at back of the yards and that rat bastard luiz guiterrez congressman IL 'traitor' is still preaching his BS about legalizing these future democrat gangbanger pieces of garbage. Chicago is a warzone, handguns are banned unless you are the two six, latin kings, satan deciples, ms13 or richard daley.. This is a total disgrace and the dems, libs and RINO's are making it all happen.. gangbangers WILL threaten to rob you, or burn you out if you are white.. IT IS A FACT wake up people!!! push back at obama, make the AZ law concrete in every state, and rachel maddow why don't you live in the bario for a while you democrat LIAR! we need to drive these mexican invaders back to their 3rd world communist hell hole!!!

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