Obama: Mexico’s Drug War is ‘Also Ours’

March 3rd, 2011 at 3:36 pm | 6 Comments |

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ABC News reports:

Four years after Mexican President Felipe Calderon launched an aggressive campaign against the drug cartels in his country, an estimated 35,000 people have died from the fighting, including more than 2,000 law enforcement officers, and there are no signs the violence has abated.

The ambush of two U.S. special agents in Mexico last month, the December murder of a Border Patrol agent in Arizona by Mexican bandits and the beheading of a Phoenix man in October by Mexican cartel members are the latest signs that the drug-fueled violence has even become a direct threat to Americans.

Despite a renewed sense of urgency to bring the situation under control, however, neither President Obama nor congressional leaders seem prepared to offer more than reassurances to Calderon and Mexico to stay the course on a bloody campaign that’s largely their own.

“We are very mindful that the battle President Calderon is fighting inside of Mexico is not just his battle, it’s also ours,” Obama said at a news conference today. “We have to take responsibility just as he’s taken responsibility.”

But the president announced no new steps to curb more aggressively Americans’ drug addiction, which creates a lucrative market for cartels, or tighten U.S. gun laws, which provide easy access to weapons for their members.

“How long are we going to allow Mexicans to be murdered, and now Americans as well?” a member of the Mexican media asked Obama.

Obama said the United States is putting “unprecedented pressure” on the cartels but that more must be done.

“We are trying to work our way through more effective enforcement mechanisms,” he said. But “we recognize that it’s not enough and we have to do more.”

The United States is the top consumer of Mexican heroin, methamphetamine and marijuana. And as much as 90 percent of all cocaine sold in the United States enters the country through Mexico, the State Department Bureau for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs recently reported.

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6 Comments so far ↓

  • WaStateUrbanGOPer

    President Obama is correct that Mexico’s drug war is “also ours,” just not in the way he meant. It’s our war because of the black market created by our prohibitive drug laws and law enforcement regime, and also because of Americans’ demand for drugs.

    • KRH67

      What confuses me more than anything about this issue in how overwhelmingly in favor of legalization the population is by just about every poll I’ve ever seen. The numbers are more in favor of legalizing weed than, say, supporting the unions right to bargain… an issue the country is in a firestorm over!

      The economist poll recently showed a ridiculous 2 to 1 majority in favor of legalization once don’t knows are excluded. Absolutely unreal how this issue seems to never come up when the gov talks about this stupid drug war.
      http://www.economist.com/node/18118857

  • _will_

    with poll numbers like these, it truly is fascinating that no leaders with a national profile are leading the charge on legalization, or at the very least, decriminalization.

  • Crime Dog

    I think the problem with drug legalization on a practical level (and I am an advocate on a moral/legal level) is that the groups that are in favor of legalization are primarily non-voters and those who are most opposed are members of the soccer mom demographic, which is a group both parties need to court for electoral success.

  • Houndentenor

    OUR drug problem has created this mess in Mexico. The consumers are in the US. Personally I don’t care one way or the other about legalization since I don’t use them and wouldn’t even if they were legal. But what we are doing isn’t working and it’s time to try something else. At the very least we should have an open and public discussion about legalization, decriminalization or some other change in the laws.

  • Raskolnik

    I think Obama is more likely inclined to agree with the idea that it is largely the American black market which creates the (in)security situation in Mexico. But the political reality of the present moment is that he can’t say that on national television, because it plays into the talk radio narrative about how he is a Kenyan Marxist radical who hates America. So he softens it a little bit, to avoid giving them any unnecessary soundbytes.

    As for the very real security issues at stake, I am going to reiterate that we need to seriously re-evaluate the need for military bases all over the world. Particularly in places like Poland and Germany, which simply have no need for them at any strategic level–first because it is highly unlikely that Eastern Europe will suddenly erupt into a theater requiring the presene of massed ground troops, and second because NATO and the German armed forces are more than capable of dealing with such in the extremely unlikely event that it occurred.

    “Bring the Troops Back Home” and stick them in Arizona. Maybe a few MPs on the streets of Tucson could have prevented the rampage. And Mexico could certainly use the help.