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Author Topic: Get Ready for Plan Mexico  (Read 3486 times)
Pyperlie
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« Topic Start: September 03, 2007, 05:04:06 pm »


Sorry, couldn't think of the best catagory for it:

Get Ready for Plan Mexico

Quote
With much of our foreign policy focus on the Middle East these days, we haven’t been looking that much at what’s been happening closer to home:

Alarmed by rising threats to Mexican law and order from ever-more-brazen drug lords, the Bush administration is quietly negotiating a counternarcotics aid package with the Mexican government that would increase US involvement in a drug war south of the border.

The fact that Mexico – which has historically been averse to any assistance from the US that could be construed as a breach of its sovereignty – is seeking the increased aid shows how serious a threat President Felipe Calderón sees drug gangs posing to his country.
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« Reply #1: September 03, 2007, 06:20:58 pm »


It has gotten VERY bad in Mexico -- to the point that some of the drug gangs can easily overpower the police and have enough money to bribe just about anyone. Some of the drug lords are basically operating as warlords that practically rule some areas -- sometimes they rule by terror/fear, but other times with the tacit support of those in the area because they are more effective that the government in actually running the area.
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« Reply #2: September 03, 2007, 09:57:21 pm »


It has gotten VERY bad in Mexico -- to the point that some of the drug gangs can easily overpower the police and have enough money to bribe just about anyone. Some of the drug lords are basically operating as warlords that practically rule some areas -- sometimes they rule by terror/fear, but other times with the tacit support of those in the area because they are more effective that the government in actually running the area.

Yes, but it's been like that for as long as I can remember. 

As I recall, Calderon won by a pretty slim, and frankly questionable, margin.  It strikes me as awfully damn suspicious that he's asking for more aid money now, especially considering Obrador was talking about setting up a second government.  IMO, it's a pretty damn bad idea to send a buncha money we don't have and a buncha high-tech weaponry to a country with Mexico's political problems. They're right on our border, and I don't think a revolution right across our border would be a good thing for us, or for them.  And pumping money and weapons down there is just asking for the people still pissed about Obrador's loss to take matters into their own hands (not that I'd blame them, all things considered, but still).

And what's to keep the cartels from bribing or threatening or blackmailing the people to whom we give this money and weaponry?  Not a damn thing.  Something should be done (not that the US really has the money for anything), but this doesn't strike me as a good solution.
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"Is no one inspired by our present picture of the universe? Our poets do not write about it; our artists do not try to portray this remarkable thing. The value of science remains unsung by singers: you are reduced to hearing not a song or poem, but an evening lecture about it. This is not yet a scientific age."
              -----Richard Feynman

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               ----Sarah Williams
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« Reply #3: September 03, 2007, 10:57:28 pm »

And what's to keep the cartels from bribing or threatening or blackmailing the people to whom we give this money and weaponry?  Not a damn thing.  Something should be done (not that the US really has the money for anything), but this doesn't strike me as a good solution.

I suspect much of the aid will come with more US people actually controlling it (this is what is so unusual about this request, them seem desperate enough to to accept more US law enforcement people in Mexico). US Law Enforcement is harder to bribe and unlikely to take sides in Mexico's politics.
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« Reply #4: September 04, 2007, 12:56:40 pm »


I suspect much of the aid will come with more US people actually controlling it (this is what is so unusual about this request, them seem desperate enough to to accept more US law enforcement people in Mexico). US Law Enforcement is harder to bribe and unlikely to take sides in Mexico's politics.

I still find myself leery of the whole thing.  US interferance in S.A. tends to go very badly for the locals *coughColumbiacough*, so why should it go any better in Mexico? 

And frankly, the drugs themselves, and the market for them, isn't the real problem, anyway.  It's the legal prohibition.  Costs for illicit drugs would plummet if they were legalized, which means there would be a helluva lot less incentive for drug runners to act like warlords.

If this country could get off it's Puritanical high horse and think these things through pragmatically, our gov't wouldn't be contemplating sending a buncha stuff to other countries to combat our drug problems here. 

The kinda money they're thinking about sending would be mucher better used to help better the Mexican economy, which would substantially lessen illegal immigration, and kill 2 birds with one stone.
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~~~Pyperlie<^>

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"Is no one inspired by our present picture of the universe? Our poets do not write about it; our artists do not try to portray this remarkable thing. The value of science remains unsung by singers: you are reduced to hearing not a song or poem, but an evening lecture about it. This is not yet a scientific age."
              -----Richard Feynman

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               ----Sarah Williams
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« Reply #5: September 04, 2007, 05:20:24 pm »

I still find myself leery of the whole thing.  US interferance in S.A. tends to go very badly for the locals *coughColumbiacough*, so why should it go any better in Mexico?

The US record in Mexico is actually much better because we actually tend to care about Mexico as we share a border and a lot of common history and problems. Something that is not true about Central and South America.

Quote
And frankly, the drugs themselves, and the market for them, isn't the real problem, anyway.  It's the legal prohibition.  Costs for illicit drugs would plummet if they were legalized, which means there would be a helluva lot less incentive for drug runners to act like warlords.

I agree. I've thought the solution to the drug problem was "legalize and tax" for many years. However, that doesn't get people to give up their civil liberties the way a "War on Drugs" does.
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« Reply #6: September 07, 2007, 02:12:47 am »

I agree. I've thought the solution to the drug problem was "legalize and tax" for many years. However, that doesn't get people to give up their civil liberties the way a "War on Drugs" does.

Are you willing to deal with the increased amount of problem with various addictions that will bring though? Because the increased ease of access will mean more use and thus more addiction. My family is currently dealing with my uncle's upcoming death, which he mostly brought upon himself after years of heroin addiction and more similar problems. He managed to kick the heroin habit and STILL couldn't function afterwards because it left him with psychotic problems, and he's currently 55 in a body that acts like at least 90yo. The Netherlands have better systems in place for these things than any other country (since we're pretty much the first to deal with 50+yo junks!), and it's still hell to deal with.

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« Reply #7: September 07, 2007, 08:28:40 am »

Are you willing to deal with the increased amount of problem with various addictions that will bring though? Because the increased ease of access will mean more use and thus more addiction.

We are already dealing with huge amounts of it. I suspect we could deal with it much better if we were not spending huge amounts of money on a "war on drugs" and keeping people who get caught in this war in prison for years.  We spend billions a year at the state and federal level trying to stop drugs (some $38 in 2000, the last year I could get reliable figures on) -- and I don't think this includes prison costs. About 25% of the people in prison in the US are there on drug charges, over 500.000 people.
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« Reply #8: September 07, 2007, 01:02:38 pm »


Are you willing to deal with the increased amount of problem with various addictions that will bring though? Because the increased ease of access will mean more use and thus more addiction.

While it may have done in the Netherlands, I honestly don't think it'll make a whole lotta difference here.  I mean, yeh, initially, but not over the long haul; in the long run it would probably decrease addiction, because drugs wouldn't have the allure of the forbidden anymore, so less people would try some of the harder ones to begin with.

Drug use and abuse here is pretty high; I wouldn't be at all surprised to find it's the highest in the industrialized world.  Everyone here knows someone who's an addict (or knew someone who was), everyone has seen crackheads and methheads, and legalizing it all and taxing, while it would still come out making it cheaper, it wouldn't change the fact that everyone knows what crack and meth can lead to. 

You also have to understand that, while illegal drugs may've been difficult to get your hands on in the Netherlands before they were legalized (I dunno, were they?), it's pretty easy to get just about any drug you want here, as long as you can pay for it.  The fact that it's illegal isn't what's stopping me from doing meth; if I really wanted to do it, I could find it with minimal difficulty and minimal to moderate risk.  Honestly, the only illicit substances I would have any real trouble getting if I really wanted it is LSD ( and that's just because you need a chemist to make it, you can't really just do it up in your bathtub (AFAIK), and from what I hear there aren't any around here) and heroin, probably because there isn't much of a market.  But even then, if I seriously wanted acid or smack, I'm almost certain I could get it; it would just be a little harder to get my hands on than most other things, but I assure you, anyone that wants it, that's not gonna stop them.

We are already dealing with huge amounts of it. I suspect we could deal with it much better if we were not spending huge amounts of money on a "war on drugs" and keeping people who get caught in this war in prison for years.  We spend billions a year at the state and federal level trying to stop drugs (some $38 in 2000, the last year I could get reliable figures on) -- and I don't think this includes prison costs. About 25% of the people in prison in the US are there on drug charges, over 500.000 people.

Precisely.  If we took that $38B (convenient enough, for a figure), and added to that the tremendous amount in tax revenue and the savings on medical care (due to exponentially decreased overdoses thanks to more standardized drug purity) and prison costs and court costs and "vice squad" costs, we could easily offer free or subsidized or pay-the-gov't-back-when-you-get-back-on-your-feet drug treatment and counseling programs, and still come out ahead financially.  Hell, we could pay for nationwide needle-exchange programs as well and come out ahead.  It would decrease gang violence, since gangs are fuelled by drug (and prostitution and gambling) money, which would save us yet more money, which could be applied to UHC, or (my pref) paying down the Iraq war debt.

And less people would die of their addictions, thanks to treatment programs and needle exchanges and more standardized drug purity, which would all result from legalization.  It's not just harm reduction, it's economic and ethical sense.
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~~~Pyperlie<^>

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"Is no one inspired by our present picture of the universe? Our poets do not write about it; our artists do not try to portray this remarkable thing. The value of science remains unsung by singers: you are reduced to hearing not a song or poem, but an evening lecture about it. This is not yet a scientific age."
              -----Richard Feynman

I have loved the stars too fondly to be fearful of the night.
               ----Sarah Williams
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« Reply #9: September 07, 2007, 05:27:26 pm »

You also have to understand that, while illegal drugs may've been difficult to get your hands on in the Netherlands before they were legalized (I dunno, were they?), it's pretty easy to get just about any drug you want here, as long as you can pay for it.

Even here in Waco where I currently know of no one directly involved in drugs, I suspect I could get anything I wanted and had money for in a few days -- and without much trouble. I have no desire to do drugs, but the fact that they are illegal doesn't make them hard to get.
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« Reply #10: September 08, 2007, 12:59:35 am »


I have no desire to do drugs, but the fact that they are illegal doesn't make them hard to get.

Totally right, man.

I just don't know if the situation in Europe is substantially different.  It almost has to be, but you never know.
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~~~Pyperlie<^>

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"Is no one inspired by our present picture of the universe? Our poets do not write about it; our artists do not try to portray this remarkable thing. The value of science remains unsung by singers: you are reduced to hearing not a song or poem, but an evening lecture about it. This is not yet a scientific age."
              -----Richard Feynman

I have loved the stars too fondly to be fearful of the night.
               ----Sarah Williams

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