There has been intense media focus on the controversial Arizona illegal immigrant law, much of which conveniently omits the adjective "illegal". The strategy of the protestors is obviously to lump Arizona's attempt to deal with its illegal immigrant problems with generic (legal) immigration. I am not going to discuss the Arizona situation any further except to observe that there does not seem to be any intent other than to deal with a very difficult, dangerous and costly problem with illegal immigrants entering Arizona from Mexico.
Lost in the sturm und drang is the wider issue of very real danger from a ridiculously leaky border with Mexico. The very violent drug war under way in Mexico has already cost the lives of Americans in border cities like Laredo (Nuevo Laredo), El Paso (Juarez) and Nogales (Nogales). The problem is that the Mexican government, while ostensibly fighting the drug cartels, is in fact simply supporting one cartel against another.
There is a major drug war under way between the Juarez and Sinaloa drug cartels. The Mexican government is alledgedly militarily supporting the Sinaloa cartel and its leader Joaquin Guzman Loera ("El Chapo") against the Juarez folks. Most of the fighting is focused on the Juarez organization which is becoming desperate because they are losing. In fact, the lucrative drug flow through our porous border from Juarez into Texas/New Mexico is now largely controlled by the Sinaloa cartel.
O.K., you say, at least the Mexican government is reducing the influence of a major drug cartel. Problem is there is really big money at stake and the Juarez folks aren't going down quietly. Since they can't beat the Sinaloa-government alliance, in desperation they are trying to draw the U.S. into the conflict through intimidation. In March of this year, three U.S. Consulate employees (two American) in Juarez were murdered. A member of the Los Aztecas street gang--a Juarez ally--has been arrested.
The well-fortified U.S. Consulate in Juarez was closed for a few days at the end of July in response to a threat from an enforcement arm of the Juarez cartel to blow it up with a VBIED (vehicle-borne improvised explosive device) unless the U.S. forced out the head of a Mexican government intelligence agency they said was working with Sinaloa. The enforcement arm--La Linea--successfully killed two Mexican federal police in July with a small IED, demonstrating the ability to carry out their threat. Obviously, the U.S. considered the threat credible, although it was not carried out.
In case you think this is just a Mexican problem, recall that Juarez is 7 miles from central El Paso, TX. Also, Los Aztecas has a U.S. branch, Barrio Azteca. Grenade and IED attacks have been made against U.S. Consulates in Monterrey and Nuevo Laredo. The Juarez cartel is desperate and, with the huge amount of money at stake, could do something very drastic and foolish to attempt to get the U.S. involved, which to date it has refused to do.
The virtually unfettered drug traffic and the easy transit from Mexico into the U.S. pose a major threat to not only border cities but major drug distribution points withing the continental U.S. The complicity of the corrupt Mexican government in facilitating a major drug war is a continuing danger. The longer we close our eyes to this threat, the greater the possibility of it spilling into our backyard.
Sadly, the once great nation of Mexico is today a drug-infested corrupt battleground of powerful criminal organizations that dwarf the Mafia at its peak, fighting over billions in drug traffic to the U.S. through a joke of a border. The Mexican government is inept and riddled with corruption purchased with cartel money, with its military co-opted by drug money. Its economy is in shambles, dependent for survival on wages sent home by illegal aliens working illegally in the U.S.
This is the national boundary the present and previous administrations refuse to enforce for self-serving political reasons, creating an increasingly dangerous situation for border states that threatens to spread like a cancer throughout our nation. We have our own little war on terror here at home, the very existence of which which our esteemed leaders consciously refuse to acknowledge. Instead, our government goes after a hapless border state for taking matters into its own hands out of desperation and frustration.
Extinction, thy name is complacency.
(NOTE: This post incorporates information from a STRATFOR (stratfor.com) newsletter.)