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The U.S. is scolding Mexico. Again.
Washington officials are expressing alarm that Mexico’s government is at risk of a “rapid and sudden collapse” because it is losing control of its territory to drug cartels, allowing drug-gang violence to spread out of control.
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The drug problem most certainly is real. Mexico’s cartels are now the number one suppliers of illegal drugs into our country, and the rising flow of drug money into Mexico is already the fourth largest source of that country’s income. As assorted kingpins vie for control of the trade, horrific violence has erupted, not only targeting rival gangs, but also top government officials, the military, police, businesses bystanders, and others. More than 6,000 Mexicans were gunned down in these wars last year, with many of them having been tortured, beheaded, and otherwise brutalized.
What a gruesome mess, you might say – why don’t the Mexicans clean up their drug problem?
Start with this: It’s not their problem. Americans – not Mexicans – are the ones snorting the tons of narcotics being trafficked by the gangs. Our demand drives the trade, finances the kingpins, and promotes the carnage. Yet, rather than confronting our people’s addiction for what it is – a health issue – U.S. authorities continue to pretend they can stop the supply, spending billions each year on failed police actions.
As for the hellish slaughter, where do you think the gangs get the guns? Mexico has strict gun laws, prohibiting its citizens from buying the high-powered assault weapons the cartels are using. So ninety percent of their weaponry is coming from U.S. gun dealers – more than 6,000 of which operate right along the border. With a wink and a nod, they brazenly sell tens of thousands of these guns to be smuggled across the border.
Mexico supplies the drugs, but our country supplies the customers, the money, and the guns. Their war is our war.
“Mexican president rejects ‘failed state’ label,” Austin American Statesman, February 27, 2009.
“When an ally is also an enemy,” Austin American Statesman,” January 30, 2009.
“Drug war knows no boundaries,” Austin American Statesman, December 13, 2008.
“U.S. Is a Vast Arms Bazaar for Mexican Cartels,” The New York Times, February 26, 2009.