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Ending the Mexican Civil War

I have written so much regarding the “war on drugs” that I was surprised this morning to find none of it here. I’ll have to remedy that someday. My first step is to share a great article I found today at Downsize DC.

All prohibitions are transfers of money and power. Granting exclusive markets to big pharma and powerful drug lords are no different. Huge profits buy politicians, police, military, judges and support great crime families. The losers are the drug users, their families and communities. For the winners, those are small prices to pay.

The article I read this morning is another ‘tip of the iceberg’ thing. The US politicians’ manipulation of drug markets has destroyed cultures around the world and Mexico is certainly one of their major victims. I’ll stop the preliminaries now and let Downsize DC take over. Since their website was sluggish when I went to read it, I’ll reproduce the article here, but you should go there for the hot links within the article and “take action” links at the end.

Subject: Mexican Civil War could spill over into U.S.

You’re not hearing about it yet, but a civil war is raging in Mexico — between drug lords and the government. The Mexican government deployed 36,000 troops to fight this war in 2006, but the problem is getting worse. Here are the disconcerting results . . .

* There have been more kidnappings in Mexico than Iraq! 1,000 have been officially reported, but human rights groups estimate the real number at 3,000.

* Despite high-profile arrests but the bloodshed has doubled from 2007 to 2008, with between 5,300 and 5,700 dead in the past year from attacks related to the drug trade.

* The city of Ciudad Juárez ended the year with 1,600 of those deaths

Now this violence is threatening to spill across our border!

* The violence is so bad in Ciudad Juárez that the mayor and other elected officials have moved to El Paso, Texas, and commute to work from there.

* In October, Hidalgo County, Texas officials issued fully automatic weapons to deputies patrolling the river in the Rio Grande Valley. Sheriff Lupe Trevino has authorized his deputies to return fire across the border if smugglers or other criminals take aim at them.

* According to the Dallas Morning News, “A U.S. intelligence official based along the Texas border (has) warned that U.S. officials, American businessmen and journalists will ‘become targets.'”

* Mexican gangs have begun to expand their operations into several states, including some in the northern tier, such as Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, and South Dakota.

* Outgoing Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff has ordered plans for a “surge” of civilian and perhaps even military law enforcement. Even Chertoff concedes that his plan could cause the bloodshed to spill over into our country.

Why is this happening, and how can we stop it?

The politicians have their typical answer, which is to do more of what hasn’t worked. They want to spend more of your tax money trying to keep drugs out of the U.S. We’ve been doing this for nearly half a century, and it hasn’t worked. Even people inside the government admit this.

On top of that, a government plan called the Mérida Initiative is sending $400 million to help the Mexican government fight this war. The details of this plan are still incomplete, but the total projected cost over the next 3 – 6 years is $1.4 billion. This is yet another foreign war, on top of Iraq and Afghanistan, at a time of severe economic stress.

The U.S. intelligence official quoted above by the Dallas Morning News provides the key to solving this problem when he says, “. . . you can’t really do that (stop the fighting) until you weaken (the) drug traffickers . . .”

How do you weaken the drug traffickers? You take away their obscene black-market profits.

Al Capone and the mafia got rich running alcohol during Prohibition. When Prohibition ended the violence ended too. Jim Beam distributors don’t do drive-by shootings on outlets that sell Jack Daniels. And neither Jim Beam nor Jack Daniels are killing politicians, policemen, journalists, and private citizens.

Black-market drug profits fund criminal enterprises that threaten your safety, not only at home and in Mexico, but around the world. Taliban warlords in Afghanistan and Pakistan fund much of their operations through the illicit drug trade.

The solution to the coming spillover of the Mexican Drug War is simple: Stop doing the same failed thing over and over again. Do something different. End drug prohibition in the United States, and thereby defuse the Mexican Civil War and defund the terrorists in Afghanistan.