I haven’t heard yet any reaction from Calderon’s visit with Obama yesterday, but it doesn’t really matter. Nothing good could come from it, because neither one of them can really discuss a solution. All they can do is complain about failing to throw enough gas on the fire.
Calderon last week accused the United States of damaging efforts to beat back drug cartels, just days after one of the worst attacks on U.S. officials in Mexico left one Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agent dead and another wounded.
Instead of seeking to reassure Washington, Calderon uncharacteristically blasted the U.S. ambassador to Mexico as “ignorant”, and lashed out at ICE, the CIA, and the Drug Enforcement Administration for their role in the drugs war.
This was a calculated effort to excuse Calderon’s own failures in this drug war, since Mexico is getting tired of the violence, and despite putting his whole administration’s credibility behind attacking the drug war, he has nothing to show for it.
Mexican sensibilities also have been jangled in recent weeks by Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano’s suggestion that the drug gangs might somehow ally with Islamic terrorists. A senior official in the U.S. Department of the Army riled feelings yet again by describing Mexico’s violence as an “insurgency” that might require direct U.S. action.
And, of course, the U.S. is frustrated because they can’t do anything that would actually, you know, make a difference, because they’re stuck in the prohibition mind-set.
Whenever they’re frustrated, they play the terrorism card and try to show how big a dick they have. Direct U.S. action? The U.S. military is an anachronistic behemoth that does little today but serve the greed of the military industrial complex while bankrupting the U.S. It doesn’t even realize that it can’t effectively deploy against terrorists or drug traffickers. Sending in the U.S. military to deal with the drug traffickers in Mexico would be like sending an elephant to get rid of the moles in your garden.
In preparation for today’s talks, the Obama administration on Wednesday also sent Congress a request for $10 billion in funding for programs to reduce U.S. drug consumption, long blamed by Mexican authorities for fueling the violence.
Ah, yes. The other truly American solution. Throw money at the problem. But when the actual solution isn’t on the table, that’s all you’ve got. Either the destructive use of supply-side drug war, or the ineffective and poorly targeted demand-side efforts.
“At some point it becomes deeply frustrating on both sides,” said Eric Olson, a security analyst at the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington, D.C., where Calderon also will meet today with select members of the public. “A lot of us are scratching our heads and asking what is going on. Things were going so well.”
If that’s true, Eric, then a lot of you are idiots.
Despite the various irritations, analysts said, today’s presidential chats are unlikely to produce any fireworks, at least in public. The U.S.-Mexico relationship, and the crime crackdown, is too important for both governments.
Rather, the meetings will entail “maybe some private venting and air-clearing, public solidarity and recommitment,” predicted John Bailey, an expert on Mexican national security issues at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C.
“Sounds like the same agenda: do more about reducing drug consumption and arms trafficking,” Bailey said. “Obama can’t do much about either. But he can help Calderon’s political standing in Mexico.”