The prelude to the Mexican criminal insurgency

Ralph Peters:

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How did it come to this bloodbath? The warning signs were there 15 years ago. In 1994, I did an on-the-ground drug-war analysis for the US Southern Command. Among the key conclusions: Mexico was headed for a crisis.

The logic was simple. For five centuries, Latin America has suffered boom-bust commodity cycles -- in gold, silver, tin, beef, rubber, oil and, last but not least, cocaine.

All booms lead the countries of origin to overproduce. The end market becomes saturated. Where does the surplus go? It's sold at discount rates in the transit countries -- which lack the infrastructure to deal with the sudden economic distortions and soaring corruption.

It was obvious that Mexico would become a market-share battleground. It was also clear that cocaine's appeal would peak and other drugs would be introduced. (Welcome to the toxic world of meth.)

The Clinton administration simply didn't care. Latin America was a backwater, and Mexico (a massive country vital to our security) was an afterthought. George W. Bush did come to office with a Latin-America agenda -- only to be consumed by 9/11.

And here we are. Mexico's border cities are killing fields, the Mexican army's in the streets (and not always winning) -- and violence is spilling north of the border.

Our bad? Thanks to political biliousness on the hard left and extreme right, weapons we sell kill Mexican cops and soldiers, while our own citizens go unprotected from ferocious criminals who enter our country illegally.

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* Create a serious paramilitary force to control our border: Expand, up-arm and legally empower our Border Patrol. Thanks to vile activists, Border Patrol agents have gone to prison for wounding drug criminals. We need to authorize deadly force and stop second-guessing those who defend us.

The political left needs to stop protecting criminal aliens. Unfortunately, the Obama administration's ballyhooed shift of several hundred Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents to the border is a phony trick to appease pro-illegal-immigrant activists: It means far less domestic enforcement of immigration law.

The political right needs to accept that, while firmly protecting the gun-owning rights of law-abiding citizens, we must crack down fiercely on the supply chain that puts automatic weapons in the claws of drug cartels. The Founding Fathers wanted to protect our rights of self-defense. They didn't intend to equip foreign thugs.

* Enforce the laws we have. And tighten those laws as necessary. Immigration is a great strength for our country, but we have every legal and moral right to decide whom we welcome as future Americans. Illegal immigration and narco- terror are inextricably intertwined.

...


I think some in the Obama administration want to ignore our immigration laws. Certainly Nancy Pelosi and other liberal Democrats talk like that is their objective. I still think we need to tighten up the cordon around the gateway cities. That will make it more difficult to get drugs through and make the cities less valuable to the cartels who are killing people to control them.

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