'IN THE LINE OF FIRE'
WOLF ON U.S. SIDE OF
BORDER SAYS: 'CRISIS IN THE U.S.'
WOLVES ON MEXICO SIDE SAY: 'MISERY,' 'UNEMPLOYMENT'
La Jornada, Mexico
Mexican Weakness in Meeting With Obama
"To take up the 'war on
terror' pursued by the Bush Administration as our own, and to make matters
worse, offer Obama the drafting of Mexican society into the enterprise, is a
dual mistake … why involve Mexico in a 'war on terror' that has been completely
alien to Obama?"
Translated By Paula van de Werken
January 13, 2008
- La Jornada - Original Article (Spanish)
The interest President-elect
Barack Obama has shown in Mexico and its affairs is encouraging - interest that
was expressed yesterday during a meeting held with the chief of the federal executive
[President], Felipe Calderon Hinojosa. Certainly, there are reasons to believe
that relations with our northern neighbor will see an improvement, especially
if a less destructive foreign policy is established toward the rest of the
world, our country included, than the one supported during the eight years of
George W. Bush’s government. The change, even if only nuanced, offers a
valuable opportunity that Mexican authorities must take full advantage of, in
order to introduce factors of rationality and mutual benefit to a bilateral
relationship that is invariably dominated by the geostrategic and electoral
interests of Washington’s political class and the transnational conglomerates
of our neighboring nation.
One factor to consider in this
analysis is the undeniable position of weakness of the Mexican government when
holding a dialogue with the United States. There is a lack of legitimacy on the
part of the Calderon administration as a result of its failure to ensure public
safety and to battle crime. In addition, there has been a lack of foresight and
a slow reaction by the president in confronting the current economic crisis.
And after two years in office, there is an absence of significant reforms to
address national disgraces like inequality, extreme poverty and corruption.
Obama and Mexican President Felipe Calderon:
off to a good start, Jan. 12. WATCH
Some of these weaknesses have
led to such vulnerabilities that over recent days, members of the outgoing
government of our neighboring country [the Bush Government] have referred to
Mexico, with obvious exaggeration and bad faith, as a “failed state,”
comparable to Pakistan in terms of violence and instability.
[Editor's Note: The author
refers to the report Joint Operating Environment, 2008 by the U.S. Joint
Forces Command. In regard to Mexico, the report says in part:
terms of worst-case scenarios for the Joint Force and indeed the world, two
large and important states bear consideration for a rapid and sudden collapse:
Pakistan and Mexico.
Mexican possibility may seem less likely, but the government, its politicians,
police, and judicial infrastructure are all under sustained assault and
pressure by criminal gangs and drug cartels. How that internal conflict turns
out over the next several years will have a major impact on the stability of
the Mexican state. Any descent by Mexico into chaos would demand an American
response based on the serious implications for homeland security alone.
The section on Weak and Failed States begins on
page 35 ].
The reality is different:
Ours is a country with two centuries of institutional independence that has
woven a tight web of identity, territory, social fabric and customs, and which
looks to the future - notwithstanding the destruction inflicted on this
framework by politicians of the ruling PRI (Institutional Revolutionary Party)
and the previous eight years of “Panistas” (National
Action Party) administration. By this logic, one could speak of failed
governments, at most, by the degree that they have left intact or made worse
national problems that they should have resolved: inequality, misery, corruption,
impunity, the destruction of farmland and our productive base due to unfair
terms of global trade, and the growth of powers, legal or not, that have
infiltrated and eroded our society at an alarming rate.
Posted by WORLDMEETS.US
Whether by geographic
proximity or political design, the United States has been and remains a driving
force behind several aspects of this problem. A clear example is the rise in
drug trafficking to that country’s market and the immense criminal power
accrued by its protagonists.
Considering all of this, it's
surprising and worrisome that Calderon, instead of approaching Obama about the
distortions and problems with the bilateral agenda, has offered him that which
George W. Bush demanded of Mexico but failed to acquire for lack of time: a
“strategic alliance” between the two countries to confront the “shared problem
There is now, however, no
such “common problem.” The political class in Washington seems to equate the
level of danger from undocumented immigrants with that from drug trafficking,
and although it has made considerable investments in combating and persecuting
the first, who are largely Mexican, it has been more than indolent in combating
narco-trafficking. While Latin American nations like
Mexico and Colombia bleed themselves to death fighting “wars on drugs” driven
by the United States, the U.S. strives to deny the criminal problem on its own
territory, and, despite its high-tech systems and powerful military and police,
the illicit narcotics continue to pass through its borders on a massive scale.
Meanwhile, U.S. authorities have been invariably slow to combat the voluminous
trafficking in weapons toward the south of the Rio Bravo - benefiting one of
its principal industries.
'THE CONTRABAND ANT'
ANTEATER'S SHIRT SAYS: 'ARMS TRAFFICKERS'
ANTHILL SAYS: 'MEXICAN CARTELS'
ON THE GROUND THE WORDS SAY: 'U.S.-MEXICAN BORDER'
ANT TUNNELS READ: 'ROUTE FOR CONTRABAND'
With regard to terrorism and
the major attacks planned by a range of fundamentalists which hold historic
resentments against the United States, this has nothing to do with the criminal
grenade attack that occurred on September 15 in Morelia [In Morelia, Michoacan, on September 15, two grenades were detonated
amidst a crowd that was celebrating Independence Day in the town square. The
attack left eight dead and over 100 wounded ]. To take up
the “war on terror” pursued by the Bush Administration as our own and, to make
matters worse, offer Obama the drafting of Mexican society into the enterprise,
is a dual mistake, because it ignores the differences between the
President-elect and his predecessor. Why unnecessarily involve the country in a
conflict that has been completely alien to Obama? There is no need to conflate
the acute public security crisis Mexico confronts with U.S. obsessions (or more
precisely those of Bush) with national security.
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[Posted by WORLDMEETS.US January 15, 8:47pm]