Comments on: Afghanistan and America’s troubled backyard Thu, 21 Jul 2016 07:57:19 +0000 hourly 1 By: gAnton Mon, 02 Aug 2010 18:02:17 +0000 What Mexican president Felipe Calderon has done (mostly as a result of US pressure and bribes) is turn a police action into a gorilla war that he cannot win. His famous quote, that the Mexican Federal government is much stronger than organized crime, may or may not be true, but it is irrealevant. The Mexican government at all levels is completely incapable of protecting its citizens, its police officers, and its newspaper reporters.

There are 150,000 vacant houses in Ciudad Juarez, and so many people are killed each day that the morgue is overflowing, and it is not possible to do any investigations of the deaths, have autopsies, etc.

Most of the people are afraid to answer their telephone for fear that it’s an extortionist, and if they don’t pay their 200 pesos every week, they will be killed. The neighborhood grocery stores are open only a few hours a day, and only through the back door for their neighbors in an effort to avoid extortion.

It used to be that when passing from Juarez to El Paso on foot, one to wait in a line which extended over the Santa Fe international bridge and well down the streets of Juarez, I passed through there a couple of weeks ago, and there was no line–just eight or ten US immigration and customs officials sitting around doing nothing. The Mexicans that worked in El Paso and crossed to work every day with a border crossing pass are either (illegally) are staying in El Paso, or they have moved back to their origins in the interior.

Calderon has also involved the Mexican army in the “war on drugs” and the result has been an uncountable multitude of human rights violations by military parsonal. The soldiers are immuned from prosecutiuon. There is talk about referring these human rights cases to civil courts, but it’s just talk.

I could go on and on, but I won’t. I could also tell you what the average Mexican would tell a US politician what he could do with his dollars, but I won’t do that either. But what US politicians to do is keep their money and stop interfering with internal Mexican affairs. Of course, Mexican politicians say “keep on sending the money–the more, the better”.

But anyway, my point is that in most cases, “gifted” US dollars is often not the solution of the problem, but rather its cause. And more US money will just agravate these problems.

By: Soothsayer Sat, 31 Jul 2010 16:23:56 +0000 When mexico and central American nations learns to tax their people and use the proceeds to insitutionalize functional government and establish a strong police force to uphold the law, then conditions there will improve. As it is, they give their people a free ride, and rely on the United States to support their institutions. They get what they pay for.

We (the United States) should legalize marijuana and other soft, non-lethal drugs to help ease the pressure on our end.

We love the military industrial complex here. Afghanistan is nothing more than the most recent poster boy for the United States’ post-WWII policy of permanant warfare. The US: Leading the World in Invasions, Killing, and Illegal Warfare Since 1945!

By: jayfro21 Sat, 31 Jul 2010 14:10:47 +0000 The problem with Afghanistan is that our mere presence breeds more violence. Terrorists use our response against us to mire us in a situation where we slowly bleed out of money, lives, influence, and political will. Is it heresy to suggest that maybe we should not have responded to the terrorist attacks on 9-11? Just a hypothetical. . . After all, bin Laden’s stated goals were to lure us into a conflict that would squander our money and blood until we either give up or or economy collapses. He’s succeeded thus far, mostly because we let him. . .

Over the course of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, there have been several troubling developments in our own hemisphere, many of which are not mentioned in this article. Obviously, the narco-terrorism in Mexico is a serious problem — and it’s been spreading. If people think northern Mexico is bad, Guatemala is essentially a failed state. Honduras isn’t much better. Meanwhile, Colombia and Venezuela are on a collision course over Venezuelan-funded terrorists groups operating within Colombia. In Mexico and other Latin American countries, Chinese is starting to replace english as the second language of choice. While we’ve chased an elusive enemy in the deserts of the Middle East, China has stepped into our hemisphere as a major economic player.

I feel that in the post Cold War era, we have neglected a massive opportunity to solidify our relationships in the Americas and create the most peaceful, free, and prosperous region of the world.

We’ve missed that opportunity precisely because we disproportionally turned our attention to the Middle East. I think the author was absolutely correct in drawing a connection between what we spend in Afghanistan and our aid to Central America and Mexico. It is important to recognize, however, that military expenditures alone will not fix the problems in Mexico, Guatemala, etc.

By: sonomes222 Sat, 31 Jul 2010 13:09:08 +0000 hey news flash you want to stop drug related violence on both sides of the border then get ur head out of the sand and legalize drugs bloody cartels wont be able to compete with American Pharms companys will out produce them in a day drugs gangs and dealers will be forced to get real jobs hahaha

By: oldnewyork Sat, 31 Jul 2010 11:59:57 +0000 Thank you Mr. Debusmann for letting me know that the United States of America is very generous with its money and with good intentions,like a drunk on a spree. You give in the hope we will control their economy and politics. I think we should learn to recoil our wallets and keep our mouths shut for awhile.
I agree with you, though we should place our military energy and money on the borders of our neighbors, Mexico,El Salvador, Guatemala,etc. with at least 25-35% of our forces in Afghanistan ,just to investigate,and stop, the flow of drugs into our nation;also, use some of that money to educate our children about all aspects of substance abuse and addictions at the earliest age possible, i suspect we have a greater problem with people at the South of the Border,which is a Hispanic manifest destiny. The Americas is their land too. As it is happening now we will become a bi-lingual nation and Major US corporation encourages it.
Governments of the South of the Boarder know it is easier to convince the population to work up north and send the money home. They do not have to deal with a lifetime of free-market economy there, we also will supply the healthcare too.We give them loans while Mexico could care less for their poor, and allow the wealthy never to give them title to any property and water supply. They come here to get that money. The population down there will not work for america business for 50 cents an hour like the chinese, but come here.
O! boy I’m getting out of control here. I gotta go.

By: marknick Sat, 31 Jul 2010 03:18:04 +0000 While I agree that the US support to her southern neighbors is inadequate, I’m not sure I can agree to draw such a linear connection between the expenditure in Afghanistan and what is spent in Central America. Not only is the nature of the conflict vastly different but the potential for danger to American citizens is fairly divergent as well.

To the first point, what we have in Afghanistan is a qausi-invasion force sent in to topple one government and install another as opposed to the Central American policy of support for existing regimes and greater sensitivity to local sentiment towards armed Americans roaming their streets.

To the second point the safe haven for terrorists that was the Taliban controlled Afghanistan represents a completely different sort of danger than the persistent corruption and violence of Mexico. Is that danger 150 times greater? I can’t answer that but clearly someone in Washington believes it to be so.

I think we can all agree that we want our troops out of Afghanistan sooner than soon and that we should have a greater sense of obligation and priority in establishing safety and security in our own neighborhood, but the political reality is that violent crime in Mexico which has a knock-on effect of violent crime in the US doesn’t get nearly as many headlines (and thus not nearly as many demands for action) as a single act of planned large scale terrorism on US property. Until Americans better understand just exactly how Central American instability can have the same effect as a plane flying into the side of a building, they will not make it a priority.