Thursday, November 12, 2009

When the Mexican toilet flushes . . .

FABIUS MAXIMUS is an American who has an eponymous blog which is "a discussion about geopolitics, broadly defined, from an American's perspective". Over the years, I have found a sage perspective.

Anyway, Fabius has a page on the current debacle that is Mexico, leading with the comment, "Mexico continues to fall apart in slow-mo. There seems to be little we can do to help, so our government pretends all is fine — rather than take defensive measures." Fabius is not given to hyperbole, so, just how bad is it?

He cites an article in THE ATLANTIC, by Philip Caputo, titled "The Fall of Mexico":

In the almost three years since President Felipe Calderón launched a war on drug cartels, border towns in Mexico have turned into halls of mirrors where no one knows who is on which side or what chance remark could get you murdered. Some 14,000 people have been killed in that time—the worst carnage since the Mexican Revolution—and part of the country is effectively under martial law. Is this evidence of a creeping coup by the military? A war between drug cartels? Between the president and his opposition? Or just collateral damage from the (U.S.-supported) war on drugs? Nobody knows: Mexico is where facts, like people, simply disappear. The stakes for the U.S. are high, especially as the prospect of a failed state on our southern border begins to seem all too real.

14,000 people killed in 3 years? Wow. Here there be dragons. As well, the Fabius page has links to other articles about this festering problem. As Pete De Lorenzo says at Autoextremist, "a heaping, steaming bowl of Not Good".

Others concur. William S. Lind is what you could call a "paleoconservative", which seems somewhat whacko to my milquetoast weltanschauung, but, Willie is something of an avant-garde theorist, when it comes to things military. His take is that La Familia, one of the Mexican drug outfits, is different from the rest, in that it is the acquiring the shape of a "4GW" entity. That's 4th Generation Warfare. He is a major contributor to Defense and the National Interest, and what he has to say is worthy of attention:

An article in the October 23 Washington Times points to what I think may be the next important evolution in Fourth Generation war. The piece concerns Mexico’s third-largest drug gang, La Familia. La Familia is best known for beheading people it does not like. But according to the article, its real claim to fame may be as a pioneer in seizing the mantle of legitimacy previously worn by the state.

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