Shootings in Mexico have killed
three U.S. consulate officials, including two Americans, one of whom was reportedly pregnant
The attacks took place in the border city of Juarez, which has been
embroiled in violence
between the military and massive drug cartels
for three years. The attacks on Americans, the first since 2008, raise
questions about how the drug wars
escalated to such levels of violence.
- U.S. Still Not Making Difficult Choices Foreign Policy's Blake Hounshell sighs
that Obama's approach mirrors Bush's in its biggest failing: Not
dealing with America's "demand-side" contribution to the problem. "If
you ask me, it all seems like doubling down on a failed strategy
-- a typical example of trying to solve a social and political problem
through military and technical means." Obama has "zero new ideas for
addressing the demand side of the equation, and the administration's new drug budget looks a heckuva lot like Bush's drug budget, with its focus on
interdicting supplies over treating drug addicts and reducing the
secondary effects of drug use."
- Next War On Drugs Front: Corruption The Economist sounds the alarm:
Are cash-rife cartels flooding money to American border officials? Is
corruption the next front in the war on drugs? "As it becomes harder to
smuggle through the desert, the legitimate ports of entry become a more
attractive avenue. Corruption does not have to be widespread to matter.
Individual officers have enormous discretion at the ports of entry.
They make the call about whether a truck should be waved through the
lane or diverted for secondary inspection, often in a matter of seconds
and based on nothing more than a quick look and their practised
- Could Spread to U.S. The Moderate Voice's Jerry Remmers warns,
"The death toll attributed to drug cartels is more than 45,000 lives
and the battle has spread to the U.S. border cities with kidnappings
and brutal assaults. It is only a matter of time when these towns and
cities join the killing fields." Cartel-related violence sometimes
bleeds across the U.S. border (Juarez is mere miles from El Paso, for
example), but never at levels approaching those in Mexico.
- Bad News For Immigration Reform A raging debate in the comments section
at Reason Magazine foreshadows the problems that Mexican drug violence
will cause for Democratic initiatives to reform immigration. One
commenter writes, "I means surely a dramatic increase in the number of
Mexican-Americans in this nation will have some effect on our culture,
politics, etc. Effects don't run just one way. And since I vastly
prefer the US over Mexico in those areas I think that means a net loss
if it occurs."
- Poverty's Role In Drug Violence The Christian Science Monitor's Sara Miller Llana finds a feedback loop
in Juarez: More violence causes more unemployment and poverty. More
poverty makes the drug war worse, causing more violence, and repeating
the deadly cycle.
- Can Cartels Ever Be Uprooted? The Agonist's Nat Wilson Turner is hopeless.
"I certainly don't have any idea what to do," he writes. "At this point
the cartels are so entrenched, so established and so violent that they
threaten to completely swamp Mexican civil society. Don't laugh, we're
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