California gubernatorial candidate, Chelene Nightingale, an American Constitution Independent, will walk from Fresno to Sacramento in an effort to bring attention to the unemployment and water crisis in the Central Valley region, as well as meet the people of California along the way who are enduring difficult times.
The Nightingale campaign will also be joined by supporters during the walk and will attend a kick-off rally on September 3rd at Koligian Park, in Fresno. The rally will begin at noon on Friday.
“I am looking forward to hearing from Californian’s and learn what they are worried about as we endure a long recession,” Nightingale said. “It’s going to be a long eight days, but the voters are worth it.”
The 189.2 mile walk to the State Capitol will continue for 8 days ending on Friday, September 10th in Sacramento at 2:00p.m.
The Nightingale for Governor Campaign intends to collect and deliver hardship letters from California voters to the state legislatures when the walk finishes.
The California walking destinations include Madera, Chowchilla, Merced, Turlock, Ripon, Lodi, and Elk Grove. The culmination of the 8-day walk will end every day with a rally. The expected arrival times for the daily rallies will be 7:00 p.m. Nightingale says she would like to meet as many Californians as possible during the meet and greet walk.
The walk will allow the third- party candidate to talk with voters and get them involved in California’s voting process. Currently, the state is not too friendly or inclusive of third-party candidates.
According to the California Secretary of State website, Mrs. Nightingale won a little over 58 percent of the American Independent party vote securing her place on the November midterm election ballot.
Nightingale also captured the most votes by parties voting outside the quasi-traditional Democrat or Republican organizations.
Nightingale knows that she capable of attracting a crowd with her Conservative message, and is disappointed that she hasn’t been invited to any of the debates that GOP Gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman and Democrat Jerry Brown have agreed to attend, specifically the one on September 28 at U.C. Davis.
“All candidates are supposed to be created free and equal at state institutions which University of California at Davis is, but my campaign is not giving up hope and we remain optimistic the debate organizers will change their minds and include us,” Nightingale explained.
When asked about the constant battle with establishment candidates, Nightingale laughs and says “the voters of California are the ones who should be outraged.”
The battle for Mexico’s heart and soul has risen to the highest levels- not only is the country suffering from an explosive drug cartel battle, but Mexico’s very existence is embroiled in a narco-state clash.
The soul of a country lies within its citizenry and right now Mexico is losing the mêlée to the drug cartels. President Felipe Calderon has embarked on a noble quest and has promised to dethrone the powerful drug cartels from Mexico, yet in the past three years it’s the citizens who have lost 28,000 lives (and counting) to earth-shattering barbaric violence, like beheadings, perpetrated by mafia-type drug gangs.
Gone are the days of Poncho Villa as these thugs in Mexico are gaining the upper hand. They are replacing cartel leaders who have been killed or captured by the government with a more treacherous, vicious brand of brutality. The new drug cartel leaders must prove they mean business by exacting atrocious acts to garner fear and loyalty within Mexico’s borders.
The root of this evil is money – billions are made each year in Mexico from the drug trade. In an effort to capture those billions merciless drug cartels fight (with a plethora of military-grade weapons) to establish the shrinking smuggling routes into the heart of America.
The end result is a happy American drug consumer. Currently, America is home to more than Disneyland, it provides somewhere between 75 to 80 percent of the world’s drug consumption. Something Walt would not be proud of.
As with any national epidemic a message of propaganda must circulate to reveal the hero and villain. In this case the American politician and main stream media outlets have chosen guns as the villain. By spinning the web that guns are the root and American gun manufactures supply 90 percent of the weaponry to Mexican cartels; the U.S. is hit with a double whammy- a consumer and blame for the never-ending violence.
The media got it halfway right, America is the largest consumer of drugs and the cartels wouldn’t be in business if there wasn’t a demand for narcotics, but the guns are not coming from America.
In fact, a new paper out (Spring 2010) from George Mason’s School of Public Policy dispels this myth once and for all.
According to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) only 17 percent of the guns recovered by Mexican authorities are traceable to the United States a far cry from the 90 percent perpetuated by the MSM. It is worth pointing out that the Mexican government does a good job photographing the drugs, money and weapons it seizes and releases them to the public.
Below is a recent seizure slideshow, (about a month old) near the Mexico/Arizona border and the pictures speak volumes about the arsenal drug cartels are using.
“The guns are from China, South America, Russia and the USA. However the firearms from the USA were sent via operation ‘Blue Lantern’ under the Clinton administration. If I recall correctly America gave Mexico about $6 billion worth of guns, ammo, night vision, grenades, and (my favorite) training,” said Marc Halcon a leading gun industry proprietor and federally-recognized advanced law-enforcement training expert.
“The rifles shown in the slideshow are from China (most likely) or eastern block nations. They have never been manufactured in the USA. The pistols ‘may’ have been manufactured in the USA, but I must point out that many countries make a clone of the same pistol so it is hard to say for sure,” he explained.
In Halcon’s opinion the Mexican government should be more cooperative with the BATF and U.S. officials. “As we pursue the true source of the firearms in question and since we apparently can’t stop the flow of illegals into our country; how are we expected to stop the flow of firearms without the assistance from the Mexican government?”
Mexico’s President lashes out at America
Last week Mexican President Calderon took a direct shot at the U.S. for providing the guns that fuel the drug war.
“The American weapons industry is a voracious and vicious industry they create. It’s clear to me that they create a conflict in a poor country in Africa just to sell weapons. In the same way they are making money on the situation in Mexico.” He goes on to say America has not changed its yearly budget in its own battle with drug consumption.
Upon closer look at this statement it appears Mexico’s president is continuing the government propaganda that America is providing the majority of the weapons the cartels are using- again a falsehood that is repeated until many believe it to be fact.
“To fully understand what he is saying you only need to listen to one sentence where he states ‘the budget for the war on drugs has not changed,’” Halcon explains. “Essentially he is asking for the U.S. to give Mexico (him) money. This is a typical third-world shakedown in my opinion.”
Halcon continues to add that “the U.S. government has supplied billions of dollars in firearms, ammunition, training, etc to the Mexico. The real issue facing Americans is that between 120 and 150 of the Mexican military troops defect to the dark side every month. When they leave they are taking their equipment, guns and training with them.”
So far under President Calderon’s watch the government has confiscated more than 70,000 weapons from the drug cartels.
Propaganda spoken by U.S politicians and main stream media
Chris Cox, a spokesman for the National Rifle Association, blames the main stream media and uninformed politicians in the U.S. for misrepresenting where Mexican drug cartel weapons originate. “Reporter after politician after news anchor just disregards the truth on this,” Cox contends. “The numbers are intentionally used to weaken the Second Amendment.”
American talking heads are not the only members spouting incorrect numbers. Auturo Sarukhan, the Mexican ambassador to the U.S., claims Mexico seizes about 2,000 guns a day from America. However that number adds up to 730,000 a year. The ambassador misses the real number by 700,000. The real number is 30,000 for all of 2007/08, according to the Mexican attorney general’s office.
Here is what the political leaders, federal agency heads and main stream media spokespeople are saying about the war next door. The following is a list of those who repeated that 90 percent of drug cartel guns come from America;
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton repeated it to reporters on a flight to Mexico City; CBS anchorman Bob Schieffer referred to the falsehood while interviewing President Obama; Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) said 90 percent of the guns are used to kill judges, police officers and mayors at a Senate hearing; William Hoover, assistant director for field operations of ATF, testified to Congress that “there is more than enough evidence to indicate that over 90 percent of the firearms that have either been recovered in, or interdicted in transport to Mexico, originated from various sources within the United States.”
Apparently the ATF did not send out an intra-agency memo articulating that the 90 percent of traced weapons from America and that the majority of the firearms seized are clearly not even made or sold in the United States.
“Not every weapon seized in Mexico has a serial number on it that would make it traceable, and the U.S. effort to trace weapons really only extends to weapons that have been in the U.S. market,” Matt Allen, special agent of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) reported.
Furthermore Mexican officials seized more than 30,000 guns in 2007/2008, but only submitted about 11,000 to ATF for tracing. Of the 6,000 of those traced, only 5,114 were traced to US sources. That number represents 90 percent of the 6,000 traced, but represents only 17 percent of all seizures, so again, the 90 percent number is supported by empirical evidence, but is not representative of the truth that only 5,115 of the 30,000 weapons seized were traced to US sources.” The true percentage of 17 percent does not present such a compelling argument for clamping down on American gun manufacturing as does the distorted 90 percent number does.
Some weapons, firearm dealers say, are legitimately shipped to Mexico, by Colt, from the United States. These sales are approved by the U.S. government for use by the Mexican military. Clearly these guns end up in Mexico and are not smuggled in across the river.
Firearm experts contend the remainder of the weapons that find their way into the ruthless cartels come from a variety of places
The black market in Mexico is a virtual arms variety store, with grenades from South Korea, AK-47s from China, and shoulder-fired rocket launchers from Spain, Israel and former Soviet bloc manufacturers.
Another large source is the Russian crime syndicates. In fact, Interpol claims Russian Mafia are actively trafficking drugs and arms into Mexico.
And don’t forget South America. The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) established a clandestine arms smuggling and drug trafficking partnership with Mexican cartels after Pablo Escobar’s demise left a vacuum of weapons and drug addiction.
According to a 2006 Amnesty International Report, China provided arms to countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America. Of these weapons Chinese assault firearms and Korean explosives have been recovered in Mexico’s war on cartels.
Another major contributor is the Mexican military itself as more than 150,000 soldiers have deserted to the cartels in the last six years, according to Mexican Congressman Robert Badillo. Most deserters take their uniforms and weapons with them, including the standard issue M-16 assault rifles.
The Mexican government reports that it has seized 2,239 grenades in the last two years, but the grenades and the rocket-propelled grenades (RPGs) confiscated are not available in U.S. gun shops. The grenades used in an attack on the U.S. Consulate in Monterrey and a TV station in January came from South Korea.
Hilary Clinton accepts responsibility for Americans
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, on a recent visit to Mexico, said that America’s inability to prevent weapons being smuggled across the border is causing the deaths of Mexican police officers, soldiers and civilians.
“I feel very strongly we have a co-responsibility,” Clinton told reporters on her Mexico City trip a day after the Obama administration implied it would send more money, technology and manpower to secure the border and assist Mexico battle the drug cartels.
“Our insatiable demand for illegal drugs fuels the drug trade,” she said. “Our inability to prevent weapons from being illegally smuggled across the border to arm these criminals causes the deaths of police officers, soldiers and civilians.”
Mexico appreciated Clinton’s admission of U.S. responsibility regarding the war on drugs.
“We want to address together the challenges that we are facing,” Foreign Minister for Mexico Patricia Espinosa said.
That being said, Mexico says it will never allow U.S. troops to operate inside the country and the fact that U.S. is deploying National Guard troops to the border is causing anxiety.
“It is seen as a very delicate issue,” said Espinosa.
Under former President Bill Clinton’s administration, an effort was also made to fight the drug cartels. It was called “Operation Blue Lantern.” In the mid 1990s, Clinton spent millions of dollars a year to curb the cartels.
In February of 1997, the Clinton Administration announced the Mexican government was a “full ally” in the war on drugs. In doing so Clinton’s Drug Czar, Army General Barry McCaffrey, described Mexican General Jesus Gutierrez Rebollo, who led the Mexican National Institute to Combat Drugs (INCD) as a “man of absolute unquestioned character.”
Shortly after McCaffrey’s announcement, Rebollo was arrested for taking bribes from one of the largest drug cartels in Mexico and he had been present at numerous secret meetings involving the White House, Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA).
The blame game continues in Mexico
Taking exception to President Calderon’s direct shot at the U.S. government and U.S. gun manufactures for promoting the drug war in Mexico is recently retired ICE agent John Sakelarides.
“In a transparent attempt to shift the blame from Mexico to the United States for cross border incursions to include the flow of drugs, weapons, humans and money, President Felipe Calderon is claiming the guns being used by the cartels are coming from the United States. As such, he is accusing the United States of interfering in Mexican internal affairs by accusing the U.S. is somehow allowing the cartels to send guns from the U.S. to Mexico arming the cartels.”
“Excuse me? Let me get this straight- President Calderon. Your countrymen are smuggling not only narcotics, but human beings into this country at an alarming rate, in violation of America’s territorial sovereignty, and your countrymen who run the cartels, are smuggling guns into your country, and somehow this is our fault? Your government, and those before yours, have repeatedly, knowingly, intentionally and maliciously, interfered in the internal affairs of the United States. So much so, Mexican citizens, both legal and illegal alike, who are not U.S. citizens are voting in American elections- violating U.S. laws.”
“You support the flow of illegal aliens and narcotics into the United States, either tacitly or openly. You deny us our sovereign right to control our borders and to enforce our laws, claiming that doing so is somehow racist. However, you certainly support the flow of American dollars into Mexico in the form or remittances. Please, have the decency to not lecture America about how to run our country given the fact that Mexico is now a defacto narco-state.”
“Perhaps this behavior is acceptable in Mexico. But this kind of anarchy will not be tolerated in America. Mexico is like the neighbor who complains about his neighbor’s children playing in their yard, while he allows his children to run amok in the neighborhood. You sir, are a hypocrite.”
The mounting problems the Mexican government and President Calderon are having in controlling the drug cartels, lawlessness, and escalating violence is forcing Mexico to look elsewhere for blame, but little of the blame rests with the U.S. government, but more directly with the insatiable appetite Americans seem to have for Mexico’s “recreational drugs.”
“Recreational drugs” are killing thousands (more than 28,000 in three years) of Mexicans, destroying the Mexican economy, and inhibiting the government’s ability to govern has forced President Calderon’s hand to explore the legalization of illegal drugs as a distinct possibly. This concept was immediately acclaimed by former Mexican President Vicente Fox as a good solution to the drug cartel lawlessness.
The collapse of the Mexican government would have disastrous effects on the US, including the unabated flow of drugs through Mexico to the US and an influx of illegal immigrants in numbers never even imagined.
As this reporter has previously written, what happens in Mexico matters.
For more stories; http://www.examiner.com/county-political-buzz-in-san-diego/obama-administration-penalizes-employer-gives-illegal-workers-a-pass
Slideshow: An example of weapons captured along the Arizona/Mexico border
Mounting pressure from rank-and-file agents at ICE and Border Patrol has led to another “no confidence’ vote over the weekend from the National Association of Former Border Patrol Officers (NAFBPO).
Recently the unions that represent Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and U.S. Border Patrol agents took part in a vote that placed “no confidence” in management leaders of Department of Homeland Security.
The new vote from NAFBPO gives a strong case against DHS and their continued inadequacies in border enforcement. “We strongly believe that with illegal aliens entrenched in every single state of our nation, interior enforcement of our immigration laws is woefully lacking,” said G. Alan Ferguson, Executive Assistant to the Chairman of NAFBPO.
NAFBPO believes the hardworking men and women within ICE and Border Patrol are doing their level best to enforce illegal immigration laws, but it is management’s unwillingness to put forth policies that will slow or deter illegals from crossing the United States border looking for work.
“NAFBPO is adamant there are two primary tasks that must be accomplished to improve our system for legal immigration while eliminating the blight of illegal immigration. These are a secured border and strong interior enforcement,” Ferguson said. “NAFBPO’s collective experience in dealing with border and immigration matters as well as an institutional knowledge dating back over a half century leads us to emphatically state that without these two tasks being implemented successfully, immigration control will never be possible.”
Buck Brandemuehl, retired Chief of the Border Patrol and a founder of NAFBPO said, “The U.S. has reached a critical crossroads in dealing with the illegal alien problem. This problem must be addressed now, as it is strangling our democracy and threatening our national security.”
America needs to realize the importance of addressing the illegal immigration issue and as such NAFBPO says they will put forth a plan for DHS management to review when they finally begin the arduous task of tackling comprehensive immigration reform.
“We will provide a common sense solution to illegal immigration and return to the rule of law,” Ferguson said.
NAFBPO was founded in 2006 by a group of retired Border Patrol Chiefs and agents in order to use their collective knowledge and experience to educate America to the realities of border and immigration issues, while actively working towards eliminating amnesty and provide effective immigration reform solutions.
“We are an organization advocating for increased homeland security through a controlled border and effective immigration enforcement policies,” Ferguson concluded.
ICE skirts immigration law and begins to release illegal immigrants who have already been arrested and are waiting to be deported.
A memo from released yesterday by John Morton of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), included a new policy change that could affect thousands awaiting deportation. Morton signed a memo that went out to agencies across the country stating any illegal immigrants who have been charged with deportation have their cases reviewed and be released or absolved of any legal issues with the federal government if they have not committed any serious crime.
However, there is a catch. The suspected illegal immigrants must be able to prove they are taking care of necessary paperwork with ICE and have not committed a felony crime.
The memo read in part; “This memorandum establishes ICE policy for the handling of removal proceedings before the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) involving applications or petitions filed by, or on behalf of, aliens in removal proceedings. This policy outlines a framework for ICE to request expedited adjudication of an application or petition for an alien in removal proceedings that is pending before U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services if the approval of such an application or petition would provide and immediate basis for relief to the alien. The policy will allow ICE and EOIR to address a major inefficiency in present practice and thereby avoid unnecessary delay and expenditure of resources.” Read the entire memo; http://graphics8.nytimes.com/packages/pdf/us/27immig_memo.pdf
This new policy at ICE comes as a major blow to agents who have already given ICE’s leader, Morton a vote of no confidence.
“It’s dispiriting for federal agents,” says Mark Krikorian of Center for Immigration Studies a Washington D.C. think tank.
While the majority of American’s don’t want amnesty given to those who entered the country illegally and have committed crimes just by crossing the border or overstaying visas the proverbial golden ticket.
Many contend management at ICE and the Obama White House has already begun a back-door amnesty process bypassing Congress.
“Is it an end run around Congress?” Krikorian asked. “In an informal sense, yes. This is a policy decision that is trying to make an end run around Congress. They are saying lets abuse our existing authority to create a defacto amnesty.”
Lamar Smith of Texas, ranking Republican on the House Judiciary Committee and a member of the House Committee on Homeland Security, told The Washington Times that the Obama administration is “simply not serious about enforcing all of our immigration laws.”
However, ICE management officials claim the new policy outlined in the memo will reduce a burgeoning court- case backlog and free up agents to focus on those in the country illegally who are involved with serious criminal matters.
Whichever way you look at it, the new ICE policy will grant thousands of illegal immigrants slated for deportation a stay- or in layman terms a chance for amnesty.
California Governor hopeful Jerry Brown slammed his GOP opponent Meg Whitman at a Local UFCW Union 135 member meeting in San Diego. Brown is vying for the state’s top post as a retread. (He served as California’s governor from 1975 to 1983)
Showing up 15 minutes late, Brown received a standing ovation from union employees looking to generate some excitement for the upcoming November election. Brown spoke with his teleprompter in place and took to bashing GOP candidate Whitman right off the bat.
“Whitman’s plans are B.S. and she’ll double the deficit with tax cuts,” Brown said about Whitman’s plan to give Californians $17 billion in tax credits. “California is a rich state…. We need to pull together and make the state great again.”
During the 10- minute pep rally Brown added some levity by reminding the all-union audience that he has already run for president three times and “I’ve got it out of my system. I can level with you this time,” he said about his intentions and age.
Brown pointed out that Whitman plays a great blame game and can offer California no experience, while Democratic candidates still have the ability to pull together and beat Whitman who is spending record amounts of cash to become California’s first female governor.
“This (running for governor) is like collective bargaining, we pull together,” Brown said about running against a candidate who has endless amounts of money.
The 30-year career politician clearly took aim at Whitman’s tremendous wealth. As one of the founders of eBay, Whitman secured large stock options while building the internet-resale business from the bottom up.
While Brown offered no specific plans on how he would close the state’s $20 billion shortfall he did acknowledge he would continue to push for 500,000 new “green jobs” and hold the schools to a higher standard.
California’s current Attorney General, Brown animatedly stated that “some people aren’t 10,000 times better than other people.” He went on to explain that as union workers, they worked just as hard as the so-called rich people and deserved to make a fair wage for their time.
Looking forward Brown said things could still get much worse and “they will if the other side (Republicans) get into office.”
However, in California the state is managed heavily by Democrats as they control both assembly and senate with large majorities. The current Governor, Schwarzenegger, ran as a Republican, but governed like a Democrat.
Brown finished the speech by explaining the evils of capitalism. “We have to protect California from the ravages of predatory capitalism. That’s what it is, they’re (GOP) going to rip you off if you don’t hit back and vote Democrat for the governor.”
Brown received a standing ovation as he left the room.
Ruthless Zeta cartel henchmen are allegedly the perpetrators of murdering 72 migrants trying to find work inside the United States; sadly the immigrants fell 100 miles short of their goal and became the latest victims of the warring Mexican drug cartels.
There were 58 men and 14 women murdered by the Zetas. Somehow one migrant managed to live and was able to warn Mexican authorities after the vicious attack.
This incident appears to be the worst killing in the notorious cartel world and creates another perilous obstacle for migrants to consider as they make the long trek into America.
The Associated Press reported, “The Ecuadorean migrant staggered to the checkpoint on Tuesday, with a bullet wound in his neck. He told the marines he had just escaped from gunmen at a ranch in San Fernando, a town in the northern state of Tamaulipas about 100 miles from Brownsville, Texas.”
The migrant also told Mexican authorities the murderers identified themselves as Zetas, and said the other migrants were from Brazil, Ecuador, El Salvador and Honduras.
At the gruesome scene authorities found 21 assault rifles, shotguns and detained a minor, who may have been a part of the Zeta cartel.
Authorities said the victims were most likely part of a ransom gone wrong scheme as warring cartels continue to expand their money making possibilities in Mexico. Recently these cartel gangs began to recruit migrants as foot soldiers to enter the U.S. with a passel of drugs in tow.
The National Human Rights Commission reported in a recent study that 1,600 migrants are being kidnapped in Mexico every month. However, the number is feared much higher as this report took statistics from September 2008 to February 2009.
The brutal violence along the U.S./Mexico has exploded this year when the Zetas broke with their ex-Gulf cartel employer emerging as the most violent cartel to date.
This is the third time Mexican officials have found mass graves. However, in the other to cases, authorities believe the victims were dumped at different times rather than just one mass killing spree.
In May of this year 55 bodies were found in an abandoned mine near Taxco, near a popular tourist spot in the outskirts of Mexico City.
As a result of this growing violence the U.S. Department of State has issued a stern travel warning to American citizens wanting to visit Mexico.
“U.S. citizens traveling to and living in Mexico are warned about the security situation in Mexico. The authorized departure of family members of U.S. government personnel from U.S. Consulates in the northern Mexico border cities of Tijuana, Nogales, Ciudad Juarez, Nuevo Laredo, Monterrey and Matamoros remains in place. This Travel Warning supersedes the Travel Warning for Mexico dated May 6, 2010 to note the extension of authorized departure and to update guidance on security conditions and crime. The situation in northern Mexico remains fluid; the location and timing of future armed engagements cannot be predicted. U.S. citizens are urged to exercise extreme caution when traveling throughout the region, particularly in those areas specifically mentioned in this Travel Warning,” the statement read.
The statement from the U.S. government does not come as good news for Mexico as they have seen a sharp decline in tourist dollars. Residents in Mexico believe the decline in visitors has fueled more crime.
Mexico’s brush with drugs is nothing new, online news website Politico posted a blog about the history of the drug violence and America’s attempt to assist Mexico in its ongoing drug cartel hostility. “President George W. Bush and Mexico’s President Felipe Calderon agreed, in 2007, to a three-year, $1.6-billion security cooperation program known as the Mérida Initiative. It was Washington’s biggest security agreement with Mexico, and created a framework through which both the U.S. and Mexican governments could show their commitment — through dollars and actions — to defeat the cartel threat,” the blog read.
Nevertheless, Mexican President Calderon has criticized American’s commitment to the war on drugs and challenged the U.S. to increase their spending under the Mérida Initiative. In fact a U.S. report shows that less than 20 percent of the Mérida Initiative $1.6 billion has been dispersed to assist Mexico in their fight against the drug cartels.
With the bodies piling up south of the border, America’s lack of interest in curtailing the drug cartels and bitter partisan politics in the U.S., it doesn’t appear Mexico will see any relief from the violence and brutality the cartels have levied against Mexican government and citizens. It appears a narco-state status is on the horizon for Mexico and unless a centralized government is able to root out the corruption and provide a viable economic job market America’s southern neighbor will provide more heartache and more violence.
The lack of main stream media curiosity about the narco-state war being waged in Mexico is unbelievable. More people are dying in Mexico than the war in Afghanistan as the Mexican government wages a daily battle with drug cartels for its sovereignty.
Mexico’s state of lawlessness should be of particular concern to Americans because it’s painfully clear that the porous border is supplanting free trade with drugs, money and weapons for both countries.
Recently America has stepped up its security measures on some fronts but clearly there is still much more work to be done. Much of the billion-dollar drug profits are funding corruption as well as the murders of politicians, judges, lawyers, police, soldiers and thousands of Mexican nationals.
Mexico is on the verge of a serious inflection point and clearly they are under siege from the drug cartels. There is a rapid disintegration of security even in upscale neighborhoods once thought to be secure. Kidnappings and murders are commonplace and the Mexican leadership still has no answer. Since Mexican President Felipe Calderon began his “war on drugs” more than 28,000 people have lost their lives.
And the brutal nature of the violence is spilling into the U.S. at alarming rates. On top of that the majority of the Mexican drug cartels operate freely in every major city within the United States. In the border cities of Juarez, Laredo, and Brownsville, residents complain about gunfire on a regular basis. The drug cartel’s motto of “silver or lead” is a major factor of intimidation that has become an everyday reality. The ability to induce a legitimate government to either accept the silver or risk the bullets leaves Mexico’s citizens powerless in the fight to rid the country of a multi-billion dollar drug industry.
The drug cartels should not to be tolerated; they are intent on the exploitation of drugs, human trafficking and ultimately state control. The American public must understand that the instability in Mexico directly impacts the U.S. and the lack of national security along the southern border presents a larger threat than anything happening in Iraq or Afghanistan.
Speaking of the Middle East wars, the cartels have now introduced Improvised Explosive Devices (IED) to their weapons package and have began to target police as well as federal troops with these terrorist tools of the trade.
At a recent roundtable discussion President Calderon discussed the possibility of legalizing illegal drugs in Mexico and it wasn’t long before former Mexican President Vicente Fox jumped on the bandwagon and called for the legalization of all drugs as a method to end the escalating violence. The impact on the U.S. would be the free and uninhibited movement of illegal drugs across Mexico through the U.S. ports of entry.
What’s more amazing is the President Calderon released a statement today admitting there will be more violence in the coming months. “I don’t rule out that there might be more bouts of violence we’re witnessing and what’s more, the victory we are seeking and will gain is unthinkable without more violence,” he said in a statement.
So far the Mexican government has been slow or unable to freeze cartel bank accounts or even seize the banks that “launder” billions in drug money. Many acknowledge it should be relatively easy to identify the banks providing cover for the murderous cartels as Mexico only has a GDP worth $1.465 trillion.
Bribing federal officials remains a key to the cartel’s success. All levels of government including mayors, political candidates, police, military, and high ranking politicians are extorted or bribed by the drug cartels.
The rule of law in any country is dependent upon the integrity of the system. When the integrity is compromised the entire foundation of the republic begins its inexorable decay until it collapses. Such is the case with Mexico.
The drug war is not fiction; it’s a reality that Mexico is sliding toward a Narco-State and the legalization of illicit drugs will only push that country into further civil unrest. One only needs to look at the drug war waged by the Columbian cartels under the rule of Pablo Escobar in the early 1990s for proof narco-states exist.
Mexico is not alone in the drug frenzy, American’s insatiable appetite for “harmless, recreational” illegal drugs ensures that billions of dollars exchange hands and cement violence in both countries.
Think about the tens of thousands of people who have been tortured, murdered, enslaved, or trafficked so American drug users can get high. Think of the people in Mexico who live in constant fear everyday from bombings, beheadings, kidnappings and brutality the cartel-business plan provides. The attitude or argument that many liberal-minded people invoke that “recreational” drugs are not hurting anybody need only look at the 28,000 deaths our neighbor to the south has suffered in the last four years.
Mexican citizens face gruesome headlines everyday like; “Disappearance of Mayor confirmed (a few days later he was found tortured and murdered); Cuidad Juarez records new violence record (1,852 people murdered in first half of 2010).
Nuevo Leon, is a northern state where both Monterrey and Santiago upscale communities are located, unfortunately they have seen a sharp increase in crime due to the fact that the most violent drug cartel, Los Zetas, moved into the region. For Mexico the safe zones are rapidly disappearing.
As a result, transnational citizens are purchasing U.S. property along the southern border to insure safe passage of drugs into the American market, making billions and sending satchels of money back to Mexico where the country continues to teeter on the brink of poverty and all out war.
During this time of incredible violence President Calderon is blaming America for not increasing its drug interdiction budget-this amounts to a typical third world shake down for U.S. money.
Mexico exports millions of tons of cocaine, marijuana and meth across, under and around its border with the U.S. and then Mexican citizens send billions of dollars per year in illegal currency via wire transfers from the U.S. to Mexico to further exploit its citizens.
Now leadership in Mexico wants America to stop the flow of weapons and money that flows south. Currently the average wait to enter the U.S. via car from Mexico is well over an hour and for those heading south into Mexico it’s 5 minutes at best. Mexico doesn’t provide much border security at the ports of entry as well as the fence structures are provided and maintained by the U.S.
There is no question our neighbor to the south is literally fighting for its life, but it’s up to Mexico to control its drug cartel problem. Equally important is the U.S. federal government’s responsibility to secure the nation’s borders and stop the northward flow of illegal drugs.
In order to move forward the Mexican government needs to offer more economic security to its citizens so they can turn their backs on the drug pushers and move towards a strong trade partnership similar to the one America enjoys with Canada our neighbor to the north.
The Mexican cartel wars cannot be won without a concerted effort by both Mexico and the U.S. The myth that these illegal drugs are “recreational” and harmless must be confronted as forcefully as possible by America through awareness and enforcement.
The U.S. must close the border and force individuals and cargoes to pass through inspection sites at ports-of-entry. Mexico must guard its own ports-of-entry to reduce the flow of weapons and cash into Mexico.
Cash is king for a reason, it provides access and enforcement. Mexico must seize laundered money being sanitized for entry back into the legitimate marketplace. Without cash the cartels cannot operate, but conversely, with the volumes of cash being generated, it is impossible to hide the hundreds of billions moving through Mexican banks each year.
Perhaps Mexico could declare martial law for a few years to root-out the cartels and destroy them. The alternative of legalizing these drugs by Mexico would result in catastrophic results for America and would immediately expand the reach of the cartels into the U.S. A failure to act and to act in a rigorous effort will merely force the cartels into new sanctuaries in Central and South America and continue to expand the lure of human traffickers into the North.
New illegal immigration numbers reveal that the Obama administration is targeting employers who hire illegal immigrants with substantial fines while letting the illegal employees walk out the door, free to get a job elsewhere.
Opponents contend that many of these illegal immigrants use fraudulent or stolen identification to procure jobs that could be going to legal residents or U.S. citizens.
New numbers from the Department of Homeland Security indicates in FY2007 former President George W. Bush arrested 4,077 illegals during a raid of 863 employers and in FY2008 the Bush White House arrested 5,184 illegal immigrants while targeting 1,103 businesses.
Compare those numbers to President Obama and there is a big difference. In FY 2009 410 businesses were successfully raided and 1,644 illegal immigrants arrested and so far FY 2010 has seen 181 businesses raided and only 603 illegal immigrants taken into custody.
Critics say many of these illegal immigrants commit a couple of crimes by illegally entering the country as well as obtaining a job using fraudulent identification and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) should be arresting all parties involved or face another magnet for illegal immigrants to obtain employment.
John Morton, ICE’s top dog has already come under fire for implementing a “catch and release” policy, where ICE agents catch removable illegal immigrants through local arrests, and then releases all except the serious offenders from custody.
“Making matters worse, ICE agents are now defaulting to the most time-consuming deportation process – even obviously removable aliens are routinely dumped on the overloaded immigration court dockets to await hearings before an immigration judge – instead of using the perfectly legal and more efficient administrative procedures available to them to remove an illegal alien,” according to Center for Immigration Studies.
The troops have arrived. The Governor of California Arnold Schwarzenegger announced 224 National Guard troops have reported for duty along the California/Mexico border and will assist Border Patrol in the San Diego region.
Many critics say the 1,200 National Guard troops sent to four southern states’ 2,000 miles zigzagging U.S./Mexico border is completely inadequate for a number of reasons. First, the National Guard will not be making any arrests and will be slotted with Border Patrol agents off the front lines acting more like “spotters,” operate as a visible deterrent and assist with additional eyes and ears in the field, a National Guard spokeswoman said.
Not only will the Guard members be hanging in the background, but many will be taken from their families and real-world jobs. This isn’t the first time a president has sent troops to protect the porous borders. President Bush sent troops to the border in 2006-2008 during the country’s last attempt to fix the immigration laws.
The California Governator cautioned lawmakers that this temporary fix should not be seen as an alternative to comprehensive immigration reform.
“We must find a permanent solution to our broken immigration system,” Schwarzenegger said. “We need the federal government to step up with even more manpower and funding, and I will continue to push President Obama and Congress for action.”
“Our soldiers and airmen are true action heroes who respond to disasters at home and overseas. Today, our National Guard has been called to help secure the border and protect the safety of the American people, and I am proud that we are the first state to have our troops trained and operational for this mission,” Schwarzenegger said.
In an effort to appear tough on border issues for the upcoming midterms the Obama administration has stepped up its commitment to border security, something Republicans fiercely want in order to cooperate with any comprehensive immigration reform plans.
A $600 million border security bill passed through Congress last week and politicians are hoping this money will be enough to address the country’s burgeoning illegal immigration problem and secure the borders from the war on drugs that Mexico is fighting that has led to more than 28,000 deaths in the past couple years.
But so far Republicans are complaining that much more needs to be done at the border before any talks of immigration reform begin. The mood in the country also seems to be on the side of securing the borders, deporting all criminal aliens and adding many provisions before illegal immigrants are put on a pathway to citizenship.
There hasn’t been any timetable for withdrawal of National Guard along the border and the governor told reporters that they will stay as long as necessary and are trained to take a more active role if need be.
A new report titled “Warlord, Inc., Extortion and Corruption along the U.S. Supply Chain in Afghanistan” was published by Congressman John Tierney (D-MA) in June. The report details the millions of dollars spent to protect U.S. military supply convoys in Afghanistan- the majority of the money is paid out from the Department of Defense through the use of defense contractors and often finds its way into the hands of shady characters.
The eye-opening report comes at a time when Afghan President Hamid Karzi is making a stink about U.S. private contractors operating in the warzone and has now set a four-month timetable for their withdrawal.
The dilemma for the private contractors is that U.S. and NATO members operating in Afghanistan, as well as civilian organizations and news media, use private contractors to get around a country with little infrastructure.
But according to the Congressional report, there are only 114 U.S. citizens (Department of Defense Private Contractors) inside Afghanistan – the remaining private contractor personnel is 13,916 from local or host country and 409 are various third country nationals.
If the Karzi government really wants the U.S. contractors out of the country they could load them up on a single plane in a couple of hours, says a former DoD contractor. Karzi complains that private contractors travel throughout the country with guns prominently displayed and disrupting traffic, yet the majority of the security detail comes from Afghanis the president is complaining about.
One must also look to the reason why U.S. and NATO allies require protection in the first place. Taliban fighters and tribal leaders look to the supply line convoys as a source of income; however outsourcing to these contractors has significant unintended consequences.
The Host Nation Trucking (HNT) contract fuels warlordism, extortion, and corruption, and it may be a significant source of funding for insurgents. In other words, the logistics contract has an outsized strategic impact on U.S. objectives in Afghanistan, according to the Congressional report.
The report also contends that the “Department of Defense has been blind to the potential strategic consequences of its supply chain contingency contracting. U.S. military logisticians have little visibility into what happens to their trucks on the road and virtually no understanding of how security is actually provided. When HNT contractors self-reported to the military that they were being extorted by warlords for protection payments for safe passage and that these payments were ‘funding the insurgency,’ they were largely met with indifference and inaction.”
Even Secretary of State Hilary Clinton acknowledged the supply line corruption activity during a December, 2009 Senate Foreign Relations Committee meeting and said, “One of the major sources of funding for the Taliban is the protection money.”
According to the report, the principal private security subcontractors on the HNT contract are warlords, strongmen, commanders, and militia leaders who compete with the Afghan central government for power and authority.
“Providing ‘protection’ services for the U.S. supply chain empowers these warlords with money, legitimacy, and a raison d’etre for their private armies. Although many of these warlords nominally operate under private security companies licensed by the Afghan Ministry of Interior, they thrive in a vacuum of government authority and their interests are in fundamental conflict with U.S. aims to build a strong Afghan government,” the Congressional inquiry explains.
Currently the HNT contracts are a $2.16 billion dollar boondoggle that provides indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity (IDIQ) contracts to provide ground transportation in Afghanistan for over 70 percent of Department of Defense goods and materiel, including food, water, fuel, equipment, and ammunition.
The large infusion of U.S. cash into Afghanistan should raise eyebrows because a good number of these warlords and Taliban fighters are also connected to the production of poppies (the illicit opium trade). And according to recently leaked documents from WikiLeaks there are billions of dollars flowing out of Afghanistan that remains unaccounted for due the country’s rudimentary banking practices.
This reporter will begin a series of stories delving into the black-ops, shady bookkeeping and misused money the war in Afghanistan is guilty of and hopes to shed some light on a very unpopular war.
For more stories; http://www.examiner.com/county-political-buzz-in-san-diego