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Roadmap for America

Funding Both Sides of the War

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David P. Price, PhD is responsible for this content, which is not edited by the Wilson County News or

December 14, 2009 | 1098 views | 1 comment

While the press has been focused on Obama’s Peace Prize and the quagmire known as the War in Afghanistan, another war continues to rage closer to home; on our southern border. The legitimate government of Mexico is engaged in a war with the drug cartels and the outcome is not predictable. With thousands of troops massed along our border the government is putting on a show of force, but they are by no means in control. It is not anarchy and Mexico is not a failed state, but the drug cartels can do what they want; when they want. If they want to run a military blockade; they kill all the soldiers. If they want to take out an honest police chief; they do it. Daily assassinations between cartels occur, and often innocents are caught in the crossfire. Aside from drug violence, the police are so preoccupied, ordinary street thugs have been emboldened and kidnapping, extortion and carjacking have become an enormous threat to the honest population.

We have, of course, funded the Mexican government; providing monetary aid, helicopters, humvees and weapons. Unfortunately, we are also funding the other side, directly and indirectly.

Direct aid. In the book The (induced) Ignorance of Power we define “Ignorance of Power” as a subconscious belief that we need not understand the complexities of a problem; all we need is weapons and force. We can intimidate any foe into surrendering. Such is the case with the Drug War. Indeed, the entire 40 yr. history of the Drug War has been an example of Ignorance of Power.

We will discuss the huge overlying miscalculation in the Drug War, but for the moment let’s look at one specific example. We have always believed intimidation is the answer; so we gave Special Forces training to a portion of the Mexican Army. The idea was that they would kill or capture the drug lords. It didn’t happen. Instead, the drug lords hired them away, and now they are threatening the very government we were trying to support. Yes, they are guilty of corruption, but we (unwittingly) are guilty of corruption of the mind (Ignorance of Power).

Simple solutions to Complex Problems. We will discuss the real solution shortly, but our politicians are still offering meaningless rhetoric. Sec. Clinton told CNN guns are flowing south from the US and we need to reinstate the Assault Rifle Ban. This will deprive the cartels of weapons.

As discussed in an earlier column, we never had an Assault Rifle Ban. What we had was a hoax dreamed up by the politicians. Semi-automatic military style weapons were freely available. What the politicians called the Assault Rifle Ban only meant they couldn’t have certain accouterments such as bayonet lugs. I’ve never heard of a gangster using a bayonet.

Beyond that, the Special Forces soldiers we trained blew up the Veracruz police chief with a 40 mm grenade launcher. You don’t buy those kinds of weapons in sporting goods stores. As someone who has managed a military armory, I can tell you the dirty little secret no one wants you to know is thousands of weapons are stolen from our armed forces and law enforcement each year.

Indirect Aid. The real problem is our politicians have overlooked the most fundamental principle of business; “Rate of Return is a Function of Risk”. In ordinary terms this means an investor will require a greater return from a risky business than a blue chip. In terms of the Drug War, this means as our politicians have increased the penalties and resources to law enforcement . . . the traffickers have not gotten out of the business. Instead, they have increased their prices to compensate for their risk. This has created a vicious circle. Because of the profitability, there is an endless sea of traffickers. As soon as one is arrested, another takes his place. We have created the world’s greatest prison population with zero effect on drug use.

As a result of our misguided policy, we have put an estimated $70 to $80 million in the hands of the traffickers. Thanks to our policies, they have hired their own armies.

The solution is dealing with the real problem, drug use. This we have not done. Those who subscribe to Ignorance of Power would disagree, since we have made drug use a felony. As we discussed last week; this does not deter drug use, but creates contempt for society. We have to deal with the problem more objectively. (More to come.)
« Previous Blog Entry (December 7, 2009)

Your Opinions and Comments
Rock'n chair Rambler  
Over Taxed, TX  
December 14, 2009 10:50am
“It is not anarchy and Mexico is not a failed state, but the drug cartels can do what they want; when they want.”

Well, I guess it depends on your definition of "failed ... Read More Read More

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