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

Via Zenpundit who introduces his analysis with this fictional thought experiment:

WASHINGTON, DC - Flanked by the embattled President of Mexico, Felipe Calderon and the Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano, a weary looking President Barack Obama used a press conference to angrily denounce as “Alarmist and inflammatory” a recent report issued by the conservative Heritage Foundation that declared the massive chain of UN administered Mexican Refugee camps in Arizona, New Mexico and Texas as ”a bottomless well for narco-insurgency” and “a threat to the territorial integrity of the United States”. The camps, home to at least 2.5 million Mexican nationals, are dominated by the “Zetas Confederales”, a loose and ultraviolent umbrella militia aligned with the feuding Mexican drug cartels that now control upwards of 80 % of Mexico.

President Obama’s political fortunes have been reeling recently in the wake of high profile incidents that include the kidnapping of his Special Envoy for Transborder Issues, former New Mexico governor Bill Richardson, and the car bombing assassination of popular California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger that killed 353 people in Sacramento last month. Both events have been tied directly to factions of Zetas “hardliners” who operate with impunity on both sides of the US-Mexican border. President Obama used the conference to point to the “clear and hold” COIN strategy that has recently restored order and even a degree of tourism to Las Vegas, once the scene of bloody street battles between Zetas, local street gangs and right-wing American paramilitary groups, as a sign of the success for his administration. Democratic leaders on Capitol Hill remain skeptical and say that it is likely that President Obama will face a primary challenge next year from Senator Jim Webb (D- Va), a former Secretary of the Navy in the Reagan administration, who called the president’s COIN strategy “The right course of action” but ” Two years too late”….
Yes it's extreme but it's not fantastic nor beyond the realm of not too distant reality.
The number one threat to American national security has finally found front burner status. That's the good news. The bad news is the Obama administration seems to consider US/Mexico trade on par with the looming threat to American security. Hence the cosmetic policy promises and sickly sweet, ego assuaging "atta boy, Calderon" rhetoric Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton has been heaping on with a snow shovel.

Responding to the SecState's assertion that Mexico's problems are merely a "public safety challenge" (It's just a flesh wound!) Zenpundit speaketh sagely:
This line that Mexico is fundamentally sound, while helpful to President Calderon’s political standing when expressed in public, is analytically speaking, sheer nonsense, and if enforced in private, counterproductive to having sober USG interagency planning sessions to make certain that worst case scenarios, like the one imagined above, never come close to materializing. Such politicized groupthink also interferes with effective cooperation with Mexico to address a 4GW type problem that has already mestastasized to a dangerous degree into American territory.
Good stuff. Read the whole shebang here.


The Red Son said...

I am glad that you are so passionate about Mexican politics. Most American are too worried about immigration to stop and think about what conditions lead to such mass exoduses and how regional instability affects the U.S.

I disagree that the scenario described above is not "beyond the realm of not too distant reality." I suppose it depends on what you consider not too distant. I would like to think that out LE agencies would be able to stop an narco-insurgency on our soil, but then again they clearly haven't stop gang violence which is obviously driven by the drug trade. Damn it maybe you are right...

I don't think that Civil War is the right term. Perhaps I am mistaken but are the cartels fighting for state power or to establish a new state? Or do they simply want to continue to run drugs, humans, and making money illegally?

I was recently talking with a friend from Mexico city about the current security situation. She said that the gun battles with police and narcos didn't really scare her, as they only ones who dies were either cops/soldiers and narcos. What scared/scares her is the rise in kidnappings, which target anyone and everyone, that she no longer feels safe walking around upscale, formerly peaceful and safe neighborhoods such as Coyoacan, former home of Frida Khalo and Leo Trotsky.

J. said...

Hmmmm, I forget, please remind me on whose watch this pot has boiled over. Mark could only hope for such an administration's incompetent response to these troubles. It would cheer him up that the Bush administration was not such a loser.