William Von-Raab

Mexistan

It’s high time the US ended its ‘see no evil’ approach to Mexico

It’s high time the US ended its ‘see no evil’ approach to Mexico

More dead bodies found in Mexico this week. As we all focus on Libya and Afghanistan, the cartels keep stepping up the violence just over the border — so perhaps the time has come for America to take a really objective look at our neighbours to the south. We could start with a quick rereading of Alan Riding’s rather good book on Mexico, Distant Neighbors. The picture is not comforting. Parts of it, near the border, are more like Afghanistan than America. There is unbridled violence, financing of corrupt activities through drug trafficking, control of what should be governmental authority by brigands or worse, and corruption all the way through the social and political hierarchy. It is North America’s own terrorist camp across the Rio Grande. It is time that we stopped thinking of Mexico just as a friendly trading partner and began to assess her potential as another terrorist breeding ground.

Are there practical differences between al-Qa’eda cells and Mexican/Colombian cartels? Fortunately some fundamental differences do exist. Militant Islam is an ideology of global conquest, whereas the cartels have no coherent ideology beyond some Hobbesian free for all — a kind of primitive social Darwinism. Most ordinary Mexicans do not identify with drug terrorism, because they are its chief victims. These factors should make the cartels easier to beat, but so far very little progress has been made.

I often think back to how all this happened. Back in the 1980s our country was poised to wage a serious battle against drugs. We actually drove air and sea smuggling traffic out of the south-eastern United States. The cartels, however, were undaunted. They moved their landing areas to northern Mexico and began to develop systems to smuggle drugs across the entire land border with the United States.

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