Patterico's Pontifications


New Report claims the Surge isn’t Working …

Filed under: International — DRJ @ 5:54 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

… in Mexico:

“Drug-gang violence that plagues Mexico is worsening and could spill over into the United States, according to a new report by a consultant on Gov. Rick Perry’s Texas Border Security Council.

While Mexican President Felipe Calderon has deployed as many as 20,000 troops and federal police to battle the country’s powerful drug cartels, gangsters are fighting among themselves for dominance as the flow of drugs continues into America.

The 17-page document to be released today said that more than 2,100 people were killed in drug-related violence since Jan. 1, making 2007 the deadliest year yet.”

Another reason to secure the border.


33 Responses to “New Report claims the Surge isn’t Working …”

  1. And another reason to cut demand on this side.

    I just don’t get how people can be so clueless about the consequences of their habits.

    Itsme (026c18)

  2. But definitely not repeat the very successful policy of President James Polk.

    Christoph (92b8f7)

  3. Until Mexico weeds out endemic police corruption, we’re not likely to alter much on this side. Colombia took roughly $5 billion in U.S. funds the last six years to fight rebel groups and the illicit drug trade – including U.S. training of Colombian military. Felipe Calderon would never abide that.

    steve (a0c86f)

  4. As someone once said:

    Poor Mexico, So far from God, So close to the United States!

    Another Drew (8018ee)

  5. The exact same sort of thing was happening on the U.S.-Canadian border during prohibition. Except we were smart enough to end prohibition after just a few years — these gangs have had decades to evolve.

    We have created every drug-smuggling cartel, thought our drug laws.

    The demand is there. You can’t stop it by making it illegal; all you can do is create a golden money-making opportunity.

    Drug abuse is a medical problem not a criminal one. America’s failure to see that is one of the great tragedies of the last century.

    But those who love declaring “war” on anything they possibly can, unfortunately, are still infatuated with the drug war after all this time, all this violence, and all this suffering.

    Phil (aa9cba)

  6. It already has spilled over.
    National Parks Under Siege

    Patricia (4117a9)

  7. Phil – I’m not sure I follow your statement:

    Drug abuse is a medical problem not a criminal one

    People can abuse drugs which our society has deterined to classify as either legal or illegal. Depending on the form of abuse, some abuse of legal drugs can become illegal. These are choices our society has made. If you are unhappy with those choices, do something about them.

    If you are talking about addiction, why don’t you spell that out. People become addicted to both legal and illegal drugs and the second half of my paragraph above stands. The method of obtaining the drugs by the user creates criminal behavior as does the knowing provision by the supplier. Again, societally determined choices. With addiction you’ve also got physiological and psychological consequences to deal with, which I think is what you were getting at.

    Could you clarify please. How would making it a medical problem solve all our issues?

    daleyrocks (906622)

  8. Daily, I’ll clarify: Drug abuse should be only a medical problem and should not be a criminal problem. Our society has not chosen (yet) to agree with the above statements. But look at the consequences of society’s choice.

    Ending the drug war wouldn’t solve all issues with drugs, of course not. No doubt, we will always have addiction problems, and people who make bad choices. Most recently:

    obesity is more dangerous than smoking.

    We have a certain population in our country who are killing themselves with food. To me, this says that there is a certain group of people who will overdose on anything they can find that will give them pleasure. You can’t stop them by making certain sources of pleasure, like drugs, illegal. They’ll just find other sources of pleasure, like food, or alcohol, and overdose on that.

    This problem — the drive to simply drown yourself in a source of pleasure, be it food, alcohol, drugs, television, sex, or whatever, is a problem with the individual. It can only be solved by addressing that individual. Creating a law that throws people in jail doesn’t address individual problems — only doctors or other medical (or psychiatric) professionals can do that.

    But cartels, smuggling wars, and massive black markets so profitable they support murderous gangs? Such things are only caused by prohibition-like laws, such as those that support the drug war. Addicts don’t cause cartels — laws trying to stop addicts do.

    Phil (aa9cba)

  9. Phil #5:

    I have to agree that the “war on drugs” as we know it sure isn’t working, and maybe a more libertarian approach is the answer. Decriminalize, and treat addiction.

    I also want to say “regulate” just as we regulate the sale and use of alcohol, but I guess that isn’t strictly “libertarian.”

    Itsme (ac0560)

  10. DRJ, this is totally off-topic, but I came across a really interesting article on the politics of the Armenian genocide resolution:

    K Street Cashes In – Armeniapedia

    It’s a full length republishing of a TNR “subscriber-only” article.

    I thought you might be interested.

    Itsme (ac0560)

  11. Drug use isn’t a criminal problem its a medical one. I assume rape; murder; drunk driving are also medical problems using your logic.

    How long have you been using drugs and do you hear voices very often?

    Thomas Jackson (bf83e0)

  12. TJ – Absolutely. The people who commit those crimes are sick, at least that’s what I say. Those Mexican drug lords and their minions? They’re sick too.

    See, if we legalize drugs, those drug lords and their minions won’t have any incentive to commit any more crimes. The GOVERNMENT can arrange to have drugs safely supplied to people. The GOVERNMENT will take care of people who want to use drugs. The GOVERNMENT will always help us.

    RON PAUL!!!!1!!11!

    daleyrocks (906622)

  13. Drug use is a criminal problem, because drug use is illegal.

    Addiction has a medical component to it, certainly, but that does not make the illegal activity involved any less criminal.

    JD (a481bb)

  14. phil (#5) is right. daleyrocks (#7) is a stone, blooming idiot. drug abuse is a medical problem, not a criminal one. what kind of drugs would you have to be on to say something like that? somebody around here is snorting a lot of nose candy and it isn’t me, so…wherever there is a market, entrepreneurs will fill the void to serve it, so let’s demonize them to divert attention away from our own habits, take that, mexico, you evil country! surely an intelligent, righteous christian god would never have positioned such a disorganized, immoral country like mexico adjacent to an upright, right on the money country like us, and there is only one conclusion which can be drawn from this premise!

    assistant devil's advocate (2e1b4f)

  15. Dailyrocks, even if the government simply handed any drug anyone wanted directly to addicts (which I’m not advocating), there would be less death, less suffering, and less crime associated with drug abuse than there is today. Not to mention probably less terrorism.

    Take a look at the alternative we have right now — we’re paying hundreds of private military contractors six-figure salaries to go burn down random poppy farms in afganistan, creating an ever-growing group of poor, otherwise neutral muslims who now want to kill Americans because Americans burned their crops.

    See here:

    Imagine you’re a poor Afgan farmer, and an American security contractor telling you “we’re going to burn these fields of flowers that will net you $800 per acre. We require you to grow wheat, which will net you $30 per acre. You can grow that next year; in the meantime, good luck feeding your family.”

    That’s how we’re “fighting terrorism.” So when an Afgan terorrist blows himself up somewhere in the U.S., don’t ask why he did it; it’s probably because we burned his farms.

    Phil (6d9f2f)

  16. Congratulations Phil, you discovered the root cause! We can end the war on terror now!

    daleyrocks (906622)

  17. ada – Let me know when you hit puberty. I’ll send you a card.

    daleyrocks (906622)

  18. I’ve got no problem with any addict getting any addictive substance he wants for free from the government (including tobacco and alcohol) provided he is confined and away from normal society. I mean this in all seriousness. If we had more prisons where the prisoners could drink, inject and smoke themselves to death, we would need fewer prisons.

    nk (6e4f93)

  19. P.S. Phil is a nut. A sincere nut but a nut nonetheless. Just humor him.

    nk (6e4f93)

  20. Reality is for people who can’t handle drugs!

    Rehab is for quitters!

    Will the government be open 24/7 like my drug dealers? I want choice! Don’t take away my choice!

    Phil and ada – I make the distinction between abuse and addiction. You guys seem like recreational crack smokers, so I think you can appreciate that distinction. Can’t you?

    daleyrocks (906622)

  21. P.P.S. I call my plan Slow Suicide Alternative to Street Crimes as opposed to what we have now, Treatment Alternative to Street Crimes.

    nk (6e4f93)

  22. Imagine you’re a poor Afgan farmer, and an American security contractor telling you “we’re going to burn these fields of flowers that will net you $800 per acre. We require you to grow wheat, which will net you $30 per acre.

    Phil, what makes you think that the Taliban allowed poor Afgan farmers to keep any profits?

    The Taliban funded their terrorism by the sale of those fields of flowers, using the farmers essentially as slave labor, while growing virtually no food for the region. Burning that crap to clear for vegetation that actually feeds the region is better than starving them to death funding terrorism, isn’t it?

    I thought the Left supported feeding starving children.

    Paul (d71395)

  23. This pro-war mentality I spoke of above is very strong among many people here. There’s a sad refusal on their part to even consider the possibility that perhaps “wars” on terrorism and drugs aren’t effective at doing anything but giving us a body count. This is becuse the war lovers see a body count as tangible progress all by itself, and refuse to consider the possibility that it’s not.

    So we captured X number of drug dealers today. That’s seen as “progress” — never mind the fact that you’ve just created a money-making opportunity for someone else willing to step into the drug dealer’s shoes. What is the net gain after this effect?

    So we confiscated X pounds of drugs today. That’s seen as progress, despite the fact that by reducing supply, an automatic increase in the price necessarily creates more incentive to bring more drugs to replace those confiscated. Again, what is the net gain after this effect?

    Did you kill X number of terrorists today? Again, it’s seen as “progress” — despite the fact that the terrorists’ companions will see their compatriots’ death as a rallying point, a heroic sacrifice.

    And so deaths and arrests mark “progress” to war lovers even though they are not direct progress at all. War lovers make an automatic inference that simply hurting their “enemy” is progress all by itself, without examing the reality of their accomplishments.

    Phil (6d9f2f)

  24. And another thing…

    Except for this line from steve in #3

    Until Mexico weeds out endemic police corruption, we’re not likely to alter much on this side.

    The vast corruption in the Mexican government and law enforcement agencies is completely missing in this discussion. Steve’s comment is dead on accurate.

    Paul (d71395)

  25. Phil, you really are tiresome. At least Staunch Brayer is entertaining.

    Paul (d71395)

  26. And so deaths and arrests mark “progress” to war lovers even though they are not direct progress at all. War lovers make an automatic inference that simply hurting their “enemy” is progress all by itself, without examing the reality of their accomplishments.

    All right Phil, what does history show? Allow me to quote Bill Whittle:

    I cannot think of a single example where appeasement – giving in to an aggressive adversary in the hope that it will convince them to become peaceful themselves – has provided any lasting peace or security. I can say in complete honesty that I look forward to hearing of any historical example that shows it does.

    What I do see are barbarian forces closing in and sacking Rome because the Romans no longer had the will to defend themselves. Payments of tribute to the barbarian hordes only funded the creation of larger and better-armed hordes. The depredations of Viking Raiders throughout Northern Europe produced much in the way of ransom payments. The more ransom that was paid, the more aggressive and warlike the Vikings became. Why? Because it was working, that’s why. And why not? Bluster costs nothing. If you can scare a person into giving you his hard-earned wealth, and suffer no loss in return, well then you my friend have hit the Vandal Jackpot.

    On the other hand, if you are, say, the Barbary Pirates, raiding and looting and having a grand time of it all, and across the world sits a [Thomas] Jefferson – you know, Mr. Liberty and Restraint – who has decided he has had enough and sends out an actual Navy to track these bastards down and sink them all… well, suddenly raiding and piracy is not such a lucrative occupation. So, contrary to doomsayers throughout history, the destruction of the Barbary Pirates did not result in the recruitment of more Pirates. The destruction of the Barbary Pirates resulted in the destruction of the Barbary Pirates.

    Paul (d71395)

  27. Bill Whittle wasn’t talking about wars on things like “terror” and “drugs.” He was talking about the relationship between nations.

    The problem I’m pointing to with “war lovers” is that they want to declare war on problems, rather than actual nations — and then act like casualties in their “war” are solving the problems.

    War against a nation is at least simple — right or wrong, you go in there fight the war, beat the enemy, and move on. But you don’t win a “war on drugs” or a “war on terror” the way you win a war against a nation.

    So I think it’s wrong that the people I call “war lovers” want us to declare war on these things, and keep fighting despite lack of any observable reduction in the problem, because they view the casualties in the “war” as progress in and of themselves. As though there was a finite number of “terrorists” or “drug dealers” and if we kill the majority of them, the rest will surrender.

    That’s true when you fight a war against a nation. Not true when you fight a war against a general problem, like drugs or terrorism.

    So while the general climate that caused terorism has actually, in my opinion, vastly increased as a result of the “war on terror,” the war lovers think we’re making progress against terrorism because we’ve successfully invaded and occupied two nations, and are preparing to do so with a third. As though the Islamic community doesn’t see the U.S. as more of a meddler and tyrant now than they did before we started our “war,” thus creating a boiling pot of angry people ready to step up and replace the terrorists we’ve killed.

    Likewise with drugs — while the problems now associated with drugs (organized crime, mostly) wouldn’t even exist without the war on drugs, war lovers think we’re actually making progress in the war on drugs just because we capture specific drug dealers or loads of drugs. As if there’s a finite number of drugs and drug dealers, and not a supply that with re-expand to meet an ever-present demand, no matter how many drug dealers we capture, or drugs we confiscate.

    Phil (6d9f2f)

  28. So Phil, what do you suggest? Folding up like a cheap card table and let it run rampant?

    What kind of mewling, spineless wimp are you?

    Paul (d71395)

  29. Whatever, Paul. That’s a standard dismissive statement from war lovers. If we don’t agree that the “war” should continue, causing the much-desired casualties and screwing things up worse, we’re just cowards.

    There’s no point in talking if you aren’t listening. Might as well just let you go on out there and keep cheering war, any war. Yay war!

    Phil (6d9f2f)

  30. That’s a standard dismissive statement

    It’s a line of questioning, Phil, not a statement.

    And you haven’t answered by suggesting an alternative.

    Instead you yourself posted a standard dismissive statement.

    Paul (d71395)

  31. It wasn’t a line of questioning, it was hyperbole. Your questions did not seek to elicit responses, but rather were assertions couched as questions.

    It would be like me asking you “so how long do you want to continue this mindless, pointless, useless war?”

    Is that really a question?

    By the form of your question, you had already dismissed any alternative to continuing the war as “folding like a cheap card table,” and anything other than total support of your war as being a ” mewling, spineless wimp.”

    My possible responses (if I was to pander to your questions) were to say “yes, I want to fold and let it go on forever, in xxxx manner” and “I’m xxxx kind of a mewling, spineless wimp.”

    There were no other alternatives for me to talk about in response to your questions; I could only point out that you weren’t really asking me a question at all.

    Phil (6d9f2f)

  32. Phil:

    I see you’re just another case of brains on drugs. Its rare to see such an obvious case as yours.

    Thomas Jackson (bf83e0)

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