Saturday, September 11, 2010

Obama and Mexico

Strange column from Georgie Anne Geyer.  She thinks the Obama administration should be doing more to combat violence in Mexico, but instead of giving specific policy prescriptions, she blames the administration for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

It does seem strange, doesn't it, that we are fighting two wars halfway across the world in countries we barely know, and yet we all but ignore this lethally dangerous situation in our backyard. But then, there is no foreign policy architecture in this administration, no decisions on what is primary and what is not, no sense of what is necessary and what is expendable.

Two big problems here.  One is that Obama did not start those two other wars and would love to be rid of them.  Two is that the administration has been focused a lot on Mexico (such as Hillary Clinton's "insurgency" comments, later contradicted by Obama).  The administration has spent hundreds of millions of dollars on the Mérida Initiative.  We can debate how much is needed, and how fast, and for what, but that is not exactly "ignoring" Mexico.


Julián Arévalo 9:36 AM  

The real thing that is needed for finishing this war is not more money. Send all the money you can and the only thing you will guarantee is more violence: either now or later.
Legalize it, and you will clear that business. Prop.19 could be the first step; one people have been talking about for decades.

Justin Delacour 10:49 PM  

Obama did not start those two other wars and would love to be rid of them.

Regardless of who started the wars in the Middle East, it's fairly obvious that the Obama Administration has just dug us in deeper in Afghanistan. One can't relieve the Administration of responsibility for its own policy choices by noting that these wars began well before Obama came to office. The buck has to stop somewhere, Greg.

I agree with Julian that the only conceivable solution to the problem of narco-trafficking is ending prohibition.

Mike Allison 10:41 AM  

I'm not sure how important it was to voters, but raising the stakes in Afghanistan was a central campaign promise of Obama and so it's his war now. During the campaign, he could have run on "our intelligence indicates that there are 200 members of Al Qaeda remaining in Afghanistan." That does not justify tens of thousands of US and international troops.

Jose Angel 10:45 AM  

First of all. You are painting a picture here as if we in Mexico are totally dependent on the 300 or 400 hundred million dollars in "help" from the US for our war on drugs here in Mexico.

We haven´t received anything yet, except for a few pieces of hardware or something like that but we don´t really care much about that. Mexico didn´t ask the US for help, we didn´t ask you for anything.

For your information, Mexico spends tens of billions of dollars, our dollars, in the fight agaisnt drug cartels, last year Mexico spent nearly 20 billion dollars in helicopters, aircrafts, radars and high tech from diverse countries, from the US, Russia, China and other countries. This investments are for defense budget and also for the war on drugs.

Please put things in the right perspective: Mexico DOES NOT receive any help from the US taxpayers. We are the 11th economy in the world and we are second trading partner of the US. We buy nearly 10% of all American exports to the world so hundreds of thousands of well paid american jobs, perhaps millions, depend of us purchasing american goods.

What we need from the US is for you to start taking down the drug lords that control de distribution networks of drugs in the US. Today, tens of millions of drug addicted americans buy their daily dosis of nasty stuff in your own streets, they don´t come down to Mexico to get them, they get them in your streets where drug gangs distribute, storage, ship and sell the nasty stuff under the very eyes of your proud police forces.

Julián Arévalo 11:06 AM  

Great comment Jose Angel; I totally agree with you.
So what do you think the consequences of legalization in California will be for your country?

Jose Angel 11:54 AM  


I think legalization in the US will definitely help the Mexican situation as it will take away the main business from drug dealers. Without the millions of dollars they get from american drug consumers, the drug dealers will be seriously imperiled to continue recruiting youngsters, arming themselves with powerful guns and machine guns and will have less money to bribe authorities here and in the US too.
However I don´t believe Mexico is ready for legalization. The US and California in particular has a very educated population that can deal with legal drugs and legal guns with maturity. Mexico has a sizable educated population but we are not there yet.

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