Politics, Foreign Policy, Current Events and Occasional Outbursts Lacking Couth

The narco-civil war continues to rage in Mexico. Via CNN:

Police have found nine more bodies dumped around the Mexican border city of Tijuana, where nearly 50 people have been killed in a week of violence related to the drug trade.Violence has soared in Mexico since officials began a crackdown on the drug trade nearly two years ago. Municipal police found five of the bodies Saturday between two small shopping centers in the eastern part of the city.

The people had been beaten, and their hands were bound. The bodies of two beheaded men were found wrapped in blankets on a road elsewhere in the city, according to the Baja California state Attorney General's Office. The heads were in black plastic bags nearby.

One of these cities borders the United States and you don't have to be Catholicgauze to realize which.

The grinning optimist might well point out that a weekly death toll in Baghdad being less than that of Tijuana is a sign of American success in Iraq. A realist might then point out that Iraq is a failed state where the government is hyper-centralized and has, at best, a loose control over vast swaths of the land within it's political boundary and is reliant upon foreign aid from a super power. A particularly astute passerby might then point out, given the discussion, how strikingly similar the two countries seem.

Neither of our Presidential candidates have appeared to notice. Which is ironic, from where I stand as each are striving to take on a position in which they will have to deal with a collapsing neighbor state, deal with the cross border bleeding in terms of increased immigration in the form of refugees, increased crime in border cities and an increasingly hazy actual border line as cartels continue to press their influence north into the land of their opportunity.

God save the Drug Czar, and God save the War on Drug's, for it has been most fortuitous.

*Death toll for Baghdad compiled from from 9/29/2008 through 10/4/2008


Anonymous said...


Then why do I see the meme that we are winning in the war in Iraq?

SnoopyTheGoon said...

I don't know whether that observant passerby must be so astute, but I am totally with him on this point.

Ottavio (Otto) Marasco said...

Snoopythegoon, who appears to be no goon, took the words straight out of my mouth, passerby's are rarely that astute... A good post on a problem deserving far greater attention...

Anonymous said...

Certainly little room for optimism here on Mexico.

You provide a much-needed dose of reality.

Understandably, it is a security situation grown terribly out of control.

What can be done by outside actors?
What role can America and other countries play to help Calderon and the Mexican government? Are there economic incentives we could look into to help boost employment? Would helping the locals defend themselves (i.e. private militias) be a useful response?

Flagg707 said...

That comparison reallys hits a nerve. There are tectonic shifts underway south of the border, and most are clueless about it.

Jay@Soob said...

glenn, winning the war is a political talking point, I suspect. This post places the situation in a more realistic semblance from an analytic stand point.

Jay@Soob said...

snoop and otto, thanks much. Perhaps if some small voices in Australia and Israel brought this to public attention?

Jay@Soob said...

eddie, yeah, the solution is a study in grand strategy by itself. Of course the initial and obvious facet is to embark upon a more reasonable and less destructive (domestically and internationally) drug policy and follow up with, perhaps, a legal pharmaceutical/commercial effort to stabilize the economic vacuum that such a violent shift in policy would create.

Of course that is at this point in time politically impossible. So what's the alternative? Phew. Off the top of my head, a very bloody bi-national military effort. If you've read Martin van Creveld's "Changing Face of War" imagine the the last chapter that entails the Hama massacre and subsequent strategies to insurgencies that cannot be dealt with in the British sphere of a concentration on law enforcement.

Jay@Soob said...

Flagg, yep and that's a sad bit that points to the pop-cultural depravity of our current political system.