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lunes, 18 de noviembre de 2019

LÓPEZ OBRADOR Y LAS INSTITUCIONES


La desaseada elección de Rosario Piedra Ibarra como nueva presidenta de la Comisión Nacional de los Derechos Humanos (CNDH) en el Senado de la República, ha generado una nueva ola de críticas de la comentocracia de derecha contra López Obrador y su partido Morena.
Para los opinólogos acostumbrados a vivir bajo el paraguas de los poderes fácticos tradicionales, el que la hija de una luchadora social de izquierda, sin ninguna experiencia en materia burocrática y política, llegue a presidir un órgano autónomo como la CNDH, a través de un proceso pésimamente mal manejado por el líder de la mayoría de Morena en el Senado, Ricardo Monreal, significa una afrenta intolerable para los cánones establecidos durante el periodo de los gobiernos neoliberales; durante los cuales los tres partidos de derecha (PRI, PAN y el pseudo izquierdista PRD), se repartían las posiciones de los organismos autónomos, creados para defender los intereses de los poderes fácticos y el statu quo.
Es lógico que si un partido de izquierda (es un decir) como Morena, con un líder identificado con la izquierda (al menos durante su período de opositor), llega al poder político, desee transformar las instituciones creadas por gobiernos de derecha, las cuáles están encargadas de defender los intereses de los oligarcas, de la potencia hegemónica y de grupos de poder político regional o nacional; y por lo mismo, sea indispensable cambiar a los dirigentes de esas instituciones con personas identificadas con la nueva ideología y el nuevo proyecto político.
La autonomía de muchas de estas instituciones, no importó en su momento a los gobiernos neoliberales, pues nombraron en ellas (mediante oscuras negociaciones) a incondicionales de la ideología prevaleciente y de las políticas públicas identificadas con la misma.
El problema es que para cambiar esas instituciones y a ese personal directivo, se requieren primero cambiar los procedimientos y las leyes mediante los cuales funcionan y son dirigidas, y ello requiere contar con mayorías en el Congreso de la Unión; y en el caso de cambios constitucionales, también contar con mayorías en los congresos estatales.
López Obrador y Morena están tratando de cambiar esos procedimientos y esas leyes, a trompicones, con aciertos y errores; y con las esperadas críticas y descalificaciones de los grupos de poder económico y de la derecha política que ven cómo el entramado legal e institucional creado durante 4 décadas para defender sus intereses y sus privilegios, comienza a ser desmantelado.
Ahí radica la indignación y la histeria de los comentócratas de derecha (a los que por cierto el gobierno de López Obrador les cortó los fondos que los gobiernos neoliberales les pagaba como consultores, asesores, etc. lo que también ha generado su ira), que en coro afirman que el actual gobierno y su partido quieren “capturar” a las instituciones autónomas y a los contrapesos del Poder Ejecutivo.
Da la casualidad qué cuando todas esas instituciones respondieron a la lógica del neoliberalismo, de la derecha y a los intereses de los oligarcas, poco dijeron o se indignaron estos “politólogos” y “analistas” (no queremos ser mal pensados, pero a lo mejor los cheques llegaban entonces puntuales para esas asesorías y consultas tan importantes que ellos hacían).
Pero es lógico esperar que mientras López Obrador (a pesar de los magros resultados que da su gobierno en economía y seguridad, por inexperiencia, ineptitud, sabotajes de supuestos “aliados” y/o por la propia obstrucción de sus muchos opositores), se inmiscuye para cortar o eliminar las rentas e ingresos de determinados grupos de poder, las exaltadas críticas, la ira y la indignación crecen en contra de su gobierno.

sábado, 16 de noviembre de 2019


The Harvard walkout: ‘Israeli officials will eventually speak to empty venues’
Dani Dayan, Israeli diplomat and former leader of the Israeli settler movement, spoke to a near-empty auditorium after students staged a dramatic walkout

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=62&v=zQfXEAVPYCE&feature=emb_title


By 
 in 
New York City
Published date: 15 November 2019 
On Wednesday, around 100 students staged a dramatic walkout during an event at the Harvard Law School, where Dani Dayan, Israel’s consul-general in New York City was scheduled to speak. 
Just as Dayan was about to begin his address, protesters who had taken up most of the mid-section of the auditorium stood up, lifted placards that read “Settlements are a war crime”, then turned their backs on Dayan, and walked out in silence.
As the venue emptied, Dayan could be heard muttering: “I remember doing this in kindergarten.” 
But it was the protesters’ silent action that carried beyond the auditorium.
Dayan was left to speak on “The Legal Strategy of Israeli Settlements" to a mostly empty venue.
On the internet, a video of the walkout went viral and words of encouragement and congratulations came pouring in for taking a stand and making Dayan uncomfortable.
To have 100 people standing up all at once and silently, did leave an impact,” Samer Hjouj, one of the organizers of the protest, told Middle East Eye. “As soon as we found out about the event, we planned and it took a lot of time but we had a team at every school in Harvard, finding people to help us make it happen.”
The former leader of Israel’s settler movement, considered to be one of the major stumbling blocks to the peace process, Dayan wrote in the New York Times in 2012 that "Israel’s settlers are here to stay". 
Around 650,000 Israelis live in settlements in the occupied West Bank.
Settlements are illegal under international law and are considered a war crime.
Menachem Butler and Noah Feldman, with the Julis-Rabinowitz Program on Jewish and Israeli Law (who co-organised the event), told MEE that while it was perfectly appropriate for students to express disagreement and disapproval in this way, they had no regrets over hosting the event. 
 “Our program invites people with very different views on Israel-Palestine. Dayan is an Israeli government diplomat who was stating Israeli government policy. International organizations do indeed deem settlements a Geneva violation. The government of Israel does not,”  said Butler, who is the program coordinator for Jewish Law Projects.
Likewise, Feldman, who had introduced Dayan moments before the walkout, said the fact “that someone has views of international law that I or my government consider wrong does not mean that the view must not be engaged”. 
“Dayan’s view on the legality of settlements is that of his government - and I am willing to host Israeli government officials, just as I am very happy to host Palestinian officials. Unless the Israeli government view is engaged in settlements, peace will be close to impossible to achieve,” Feldman, a professor at the law school, said. 
But student activists said arguments that suggested this was a matter of tolerating diverse academic views were a distortion of the truth.
Hjouj said they had decided not to engage Dayan to avoid making an untenable position any more credible.
Rami Younis, a fellow at the Harvard Divinity School, who also helped arrange the silent walkout, said that given the Israeli consul-general was someone whose entire life had revolved around dispossession and theft, he “should be tried in an international court and not brought to speak in front of a ‘liberal’ audience”.
Likewise, Amaya Arregi, a student at the Fletcher School who also took part in the walkout, argued that even if academic freedom was paramount, she wondered how the Law School could justify “inviting an Israeli politician to talk about how they go about violating international law”. 
“They gave him a big platform and he was going to speak unchallenged. The topic of the panel was precisely what legal methods Israel uses to advance its settlement project. We felt that Harvard Law was opening the door to such views to become normal in academic settings,” Arregi added.
Students also argued that Harvard was replete with Israeli viewpoints, including lectures from former Mossad operatives. 
 “Harvard brings in many Israeli speakers - from across the spectrum. But the Palestinian speakers have to be palatable to the administration. They would never bring someone like Omar Barghouti who endorses the boycott campaign,” Hjouj said.
But Hamzah Raza, a graduate student at the Harvard Divinity School, who participated in the walk-out, said that the successful action on Wednesday signaled to him that more and more young people in the US were growing supportive of Palestinian human rights.
 “The fact that virtually the entire room walked out on him says something. People who continue to take such positions will find themselves speaking to more and more empty rooms,” he said.


The So-Called War on Terror Has Killed Over 801,000 People and Cost $6.4 Trillion: New Analysis
"The numbers continue to accelerate, not only because of many wars continue to be waged, but also because wars don't end when soldiers come home."
by
The so-called War on Terror launched by the United States government in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks has cost at least 801,000 lives and $6.4 trillion according to a pair of reports published Wednesday by the Costs of War Project at Brown University's Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs.
"The numbers continue to accelerate, not only because many wars continue to be waged, but also because wars don't end when soldiers come home," said Costs of War co-director and Brown professor Catherine Lutz, who co-authored the project's report on deaths.
"These reports provide a reminder that even if fewer soldiers are dying and the U.S. is spending a little less on the immediate costs of war today, the financial impact is still as bad as, or worse than, it was 10 years ago," Lutz added. "We will still be paying the bill for these wars on terror into the 22nd century."
The new Human Cost of Post-9/11 Wars report (pdf) tallies "direct deaths" in major war zones, grouping people by civilians; humanitarian and NGO workers; journalists and media workers; U.S. military members, Department of Defense civilians, and contractors; and members of national military and police forces as well as other allied troops and opposition fighters.
The report sorts direct deaths by six categories: Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Syria/ISIS, Yemen, and "Other." The civilian death toll across all regions is up to 335,745—or nearly 42% of the total figure. Notably, the report "does not include indirect deaths, namely those caused by loss of access to food, water, and/or infrastructure, war-related disease, etc."
Indirect deaths "are generally estimated to be four times higher," Costs of War board member and American University professor David Vine wrote in an op-ed for The Hill Wednesday. "This means that total deaths during the post-2001 U.S. wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Pakistan, and Yemen is likely to reach 3.1 million or more—around 200 times the number of U.S. dead."
"Don't we have a responsibility to wrestle with our individual and collective responsibility for the destruction our government has inflicted?" Vine asked in his op-ed. "Our tax dollars and implied consent have made these wars possible. While the United States is obviously not the only actor responsible for the damage done in the post-2001 wars, U.S. leaders bear the bulk of responsibility for launching catastrophic wars that were never inevitable, that were wars of choice."
Referencing the project's second new report, United States Budgetary Costs and Obligations of Post-9/11 Wars Through FY2020: $6.4 Trillion (pdf), Vine wrote, "Consider how we could have otherwise spent that incomprehensible sum—to feed the hungry, improve schools, confront global warming, improve our transportation infrastructure, and provide healthcare."
"At a time when everyone from Donald Trump to Democratic Party candidates for president is calling for an end to these endless wars, we must push our government to use diplomacy—rather than rash withdrawals, as in northern Syria—to end these wars responsibly," he concluded. "As the new Costs of War report and 3.1 million deaths should remind us, part of our responsibility must be to repair some of the immeasurable damage was done and to ensure that wars like these never happen again."
The project's $6.4 trillion figure accounts for overseas contingency operations appropriations, interest for borrowing for OCO spending, war-related spending in the Pentagon's base budget, medical and disability care for post-9/11 veterans (including estimated future obligations through FY2059), and Department of Homeland Security spending for prevention of and response to terrorism.
Costs of War co-director and Boston University professor Neta Crawford co-authored the project's death toll report and authored the budget report. For the latter, she wrote that "the major trends in the budgetary costs of the post-9/11 wars include: less transparency in reporting costs among most major agencies; greater institutionalization of the costs of war in the DOD base budget, State Department, and DHS; and the growing budgetary burden of veterans' medical care and disability care."
Both reports were released as part of the project's new "20 Years of War" series. Crawford, Lutz, and fellow Costs of War co-director Stephanie Savell were in Washington, D.C. Wednesday to present the reports' findings at a briefing hosted by the U.S. Senate Committee on Armed Services.
We have already seen that when we go to Washington and circulate our briefings, they get used in the policymaking process," Lutz said in a news story published by Brown Wednesday. "People cite our data in speeches on the Senate floor, in proposals for legislation. The numbers have made their way into calls to put an end to the joint resolution to authorize the use of military force. They have a real impact."
Lutz pointed out that "if you count all parts of the federal budget that are military-related—including the nuclear weapons budget, the budget for fuel for military vehicles and aircraft, funds for veteran care—it makes up two-thirds of the federal budget, and it's inching toward three-quarters."
"I don't think most people realize that but it's important to know," she added. "Policymakers are concerned that the Pentagon's increased spending is crowding out other national purposes that don't war."

viernes, 15 de noviembre de 2019


U.S. Peace Council Statement
Mobilize to Stop the Imperialistic Coup and Intervention
in Bolivia and Latin America!
The U.S. Peace Council (USPC) strongly condemns the U.S.-backed military coup against the democratically elected president of Bolivia, Evo Morales, and stands in solidarity with Bolivia’s first indigenous president and the people of Bolivia. The violence unleashed by the military and members of the right-wing opposition forced the resignation of Evo Morales and his vice-president in the hope of putting an end to the foreign-induced violence and destruction in their country.
This is a coup against a president who has lifted three million Bolivians out of poverty (42% drop in the poverty rate and a 60% drop in the extreme poverty rate). He had also dared to close U.S. military bases in Bolivia and had paid to combat fires in the Amazon, actions which have undoubtedly angered the U.S. ruling circles.
This action in Bolivia is in keeping with U.S. efforts to destabilize democratically elected governments in Central and South America — Cuba, Venezuela, Nicaragua, and now Bolivia — and brutalizing and suppressing people’s movements in countries like Colombia. The orchestrated protests and violent acts of reactionary forces in the city of La Paz; the threats and attacks on politicians, the media and social movements; and the threats against embassies of Venezuela, Cuba and Mexico in La Paz, are further evidence for the true intentions of the U.S.-backed coup plotters. Since 2001, the USAID has been financing the right-wing opposition to Evo Morales and the U.S. Government has been working closely with them.
It is clear that the U.S. government is deeply concerned with the rise of the left and independent popular movements and governments in Latin America. It has been using every weapon in its arsenal — sabotages, political subversions, imposing trade blockades and killer economic sanctions, expanding the NATO presence in Latin America, and establishing new military bases — to stem the tide. The coup attempt in Bolivia is just the last imperialistic attempt in this direction.
The U.S. Peace Council vehemently opposes the U.S. imperialism’s efforts to re-establish its hegemonic domination of Latin America. We call for an end to NATO presence and closure of all U.S. military bases in Latin America, an end to the unilaterally imposed sanctions on Cuba, Venezuela, and Nicaragua, U.S. commitment to the Colombian Peace Accords and an end to U.S. regime change efforts in Latin America and throughout the world.
We call upon all peace-loving people of the United States to condemn these imperialist acts of the U.S. Government and mobilize mass protests against the coup in Bolivia and all other U.S. efforts to undermine the national sovereignty of the peoples of Latin America and the world.
Executive Committee of the U.S. Peace Council
November 11, 2019
U.S. Peace Council • PO Box 3105, New Haven, CT 06515 • (203) 387-0371

jueves, 14 de noviembre de 2019


Evo, el golpe y México
Ángel Guerra Cabrera

El recibimiento de Evo Morales como refugiado político por el gobierno de AMLO hace resplandecer la política exterior mexicana de soberanía, autodeterminación y asilo a los perseguidos políticos en proceso de rescate por el tabasqueño. Fue emotivo escuchar a Evo expresar: López Obrador me salvó la vida. Y es que en realidad, su vida pendió de un hilo desde que los principales jefes militares y policiales golpistas de Bolivia le sugirieron renunciar, hasta que pudo abordar el avión de la Fuerza Aérea Mexicana que lo trajo al Anáhuac. Durante las décadas neoliberales la diplomacia de México fue gradualmente perdiendo independencia y se subordinó a los designios de Washington. Sobresalen en aquella época las desleales actitudes del presidente Ernesto Zedillo en relación con Cuba, antes y durante la novena Cumbre Iberoamericana celebrada en La Habana (1999); el grotesco comes y te vas del presidente Vicente Fox a Fidel Castro, que puso en el más absoluto ridículo al guanajuatense (2002). Luego vendría el triste papel, otra vez de Fox, de enfrentarse junto con Bush a la mayoría de América Latina y el Caribe en un desafortunado intento de defender el neoliberal Acuerdo de Libre Comercio para las Américas (ALCA), derrotado ignominiosamente en Mar del Plata (2005) por una insubordinación de los presidentes progresistas dentro de la Cumbre de las Américas, principalmente Néstor Kirchner, Hugo Chávez, Lula da Silva y Tabaré Vázquez. Mientras, en las calles, protestaba contra el intento bushista una gran movilización convocada por los movimientos populares, cuyo líder más notable era Evo Morales, entonces por llegar a la presidencia de Bolivia. Pero tal vez nada colocó al Estado mexicano en una tesitura tan bochornosa y obsequiosa hacia Washington como su ingreso al Grupo de Lima (2017) y el haber asumido una actitud de abierta hostilidad hacia Venezuela bolivariana durante el gobierno de Enrique Peña Nieto.
El golpe de Estado contra Evo va dirigido a liquidar un proyecto social extraordinariamente exitoso en nuestra región por sus logros de participación política democrática, cuya expresión más elevada es la creación del Estado Plurinacional de Bolivia, el que acogió en su seno a todos los pueblos originarios de Bolivia. Añádase el fin del analfabetismo, la igualdad de derechos para las mujeres, que ocupan la mitad de los cargos de elección popular, incluyendo entre ellas 63 por ciento de indígenas. Sorprendente, en los 14 años de Evo, Bolivia, de ser el país más pobre de América del Sur, pasó a lograr la mayor tasa de crecimiento económico de toda América, aunada a una inigualable reducción de la desigualdad, la pobreza extrema y la pobreza. El gran desempeño económico, social y de estabilidad de este modelo, a contramano del neoliberal, ha sido una pesadilla para Estados Unidos y las derechas locales. Ello explica que el golpe se haya planeado con más de un año de antelación y puestas en marcha sus distintas fases desde entonces. Evo expulsó de Bolivia a la DEA, a la AID y al embajador Phillip Golberg, pero el personal de la CIA estacionado en la embajada continuó atando los hilos de una conspiración muy abarcadora, que va desde políticos genocidas y ladrones como Carlos Mesa y Jorge Quiroga (exiliado en Estados Unidos para escapar a la justicia boliviana), hasta los ricos empresarios fascistas, separatistas y racistas de Santa Cruz de la Sierra, herederos ideológicos de los líderes que en su departamento intentaron una asonada golpista contra Evo en 2008. Estos fascistas comenzaron en Santa Cruz una espiral de atropellos a indígenas y militantes del MAS, partido de Evo, que en casos llegó al asesinato, y que en los días previos al golpe trasladaron a La Paz. Ahí, además de repetir las agresiones racistas contra indígenas profanaron y quemaron banderas whipalas, que representan a los pueblos indígenas y constituyen un símbolo nacional reconocido por la Constitución.
Estos hechos han enfurecido a la población originaria y a muchos mestizos, algunos de los cuales comienzan a darse cuenta de lo que significa la ausencia de Evo y un eventual desmantelamiento del proceso de cambios como los vistos en Ecuador y Argentina, que les arrebataría todos los derechos adquiridos con la Asamblea Constituyente y el Estado Plurinacional. Esa es la intención que se aprecia de los golpistas. Ya comienzan a llamar al país república en lugar de Estado Plurinacional. Con la ilegal autoproclamación como presidenta constitucional de la senadora opositora Jeanine Áñez, esta situación no puede más que agravarse. La autoproclamada ya ha sido reconocida por los mismos gobiernos que reconocen al títere Guaidó, incluidos los de la obsecuente Unión Europea. Se trata de una persona con profundos prejuicios racistas, que por eso mismo, por la clase social a la que pertenece y sus antecedentes sumamente conservadores, complace a la oligarquía y a Estados Unidos, pero nada a los indígenas y al pueblo boliviano, sean simpatizantes o no de Evo. La resistencia ya comenzó.
Twitter: @aguerraguerra

miércoles, 13 de noviembre de 2019


BRICS empowers cooperation among emerging countries
By Jiang Shixue Source: Global Times Published: 2019/11/12
Shortly before the 11th BRICS summit in the Brazilian capital Brasilia on Wednesday and Thursday, Bloomberg published an article - "BRICS Is About Geopolitics, Not Economics," saying "The acronym no longer makes much financial sense. But the idea is more politically relevant than ever."

Such a view does not hold water. Historical opportunities and changes in the global landscape make BRICS countries stand out. The achievements and significance brought about by economic cooperation among member countries of the group cannot be ignored.


The BRICS New Development Bank (NDB), which opened in Shanghai in 2015, should be regarded as the most remarkable success of BRICS' economic cooperation. The NDB agreement says, "The Bank shall support public or private projects through loans, guarantees, equity participation, and other financial instruments." According to the World Economic Forum, three achievements are worth underscoring: "a loan book of $10.2 billion, one AAA and two AA+ international credit ratings and the successful launch of capital-raising activities in local currencies." 

Amid the global economic slowdown, annual meetings of leaders from the five crucial emerging economies to discuss international issues and contribute their intelligence to the organization's betterment can promote global governance and reinforce cooperation.

However, it cannot be denied that the BRICS cooperation mechanism has been exposed to challenges. The first challenge is determining the priorities of cooperation. Although BRICS works as an international organization, there is no charter. The objectives of BRICS are only reflected in the joint statements after informal meetings of bloc leaders. The statement after the BRICS summit in Yekaterinburg, Russia in 2009 only had 15 commitments, but the number soared to 109 at the Goa meeting in 2016. It means the range of cooperation has expanded rapidly and shows the members' increasing determination to cooperate.

However, BRICS members must make efforts to achieve their desired goals. Only with clear goals and priorities can cooperation within the organization become fruitful. Members should play a more important role in international affairs, such as promoting globalization, contributing to building a harmonious world and improving an international order that is fair to develop countries, promote international financial governance and counter protectionism.

China, as the largest BRICS economy, has played a big role in promoting cooperation within the bloc. As the world's second-largest economy, the largest emerging economy, the largest developing country, and a BRICS member, China should play an active role in promoting BRICS cooperation. Without China's initiative, BRICS cannot make such remarkable achievements.

However, some absurd arguments keep doing the rounds of the international community. For example, US scholars such as Leslie Elliott Armijo and Cynthia Roberts contend: "Through the BRICS and other forums, China appears to be building a basis for cooperation and exerting its influence informally. Within the BRICS, China's immense power has created some concerns in Russia and particularly in India." 

This inference is inaccurate. It turns out that China has not leveraged its advantages to outdo other members, nor issued orders to them. China and other BRICS members are treated equally on all cooperation issues. For example, according to the Agreement on the NDB, the initial subscribed capital shall be equally distributed amongst the founding members and the voting power of each member shall be equal to the number of its subscribed shares in the capital stock of the bank. China has never acted arbitrarily in the allocation of shares, distribution of power in the top leadership and other vital issues because of its economic clout, nor has it been arrogant or engaged in power struggle.

BRICS cooperation over a decade shows China's participation in the bloc has achieved a kind of win-win situation. On the one hand, China has boosted its international standing due to BRICS cooperation, which consolidates the position of emerging economies on the international stage. On the other, BRICS has been able to function more smoothly because of China's efforts.

In an attempt to further promote cooperation, BRICS members should strive to tackle divergences, enhance political consensus, reinforce consultation and coordination on major issues and speak with one voice. 

The author is a distinguished professor at Shanghai University and vice president at China Society of the Emerging Economies. opinion@globaltimes.com.cn


martes, 12 de noviembre de 2019


Let’s Invade Mexico!
Another Entry in the Tourney of Damn Fool Ideas


I suppose that by now everyone has heard of Trump’s offer to send the American military to “wage WAR on the drug cartels and wipe them off the face of the earth,” which he asserts can be done “quickly and effectively.”
Trump phrased this as an offer to help, not a threat to invade, which is reassuring. AMLO, Mexico’s president, wisely declined the offer.
While the President seems to have made the offer in good faith, he has little idea of Mexico, the military, or the cartels. The American military could not come close to wiping them off the face of the earth, much less effectively and quickly. Such an incursion would be a political and military disaster. The President needs to do some reading.
If AMLO were to invite the Americans into Mexico, he would be lynched. Few Americans are aware of how much the United States is hated in Latin America, and for that matter in most of the world. They don’t know of the long series of military interventions, brutal dictators imposed and supported, and economic rapine. Somoza, Pinochet, the Mexican-American War, detachment of Panama from Colombia, the bombardment of Veracruz, Patton’s incursion – the list could go on for pages. The Mexican public would look upon American troops not as saviors but as invaders. Which they would be.
The incursion would not defeat the cartels, for several reasons that trump would do well to ponder. To begin with, America starts its wars by overestimating its own powers, underestimating the enemy, and misunderstanding the kind of war on which it is embarking. This is exactly what Trump seems to be doing.
He probably thinks of Mexicans as just gardeners and rapists and we have all these beautiful advanced weapons and beautiful drones and things with blinking lights. A pack of rapists armed with garden trowels couldn’t possibly be difficult to defeat by the US. I mean, get serious: Dope dealers against the Marines? A cakewalk.
You know, like Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos, Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria. That sort of cakewalk. Let’s think what an expedition against the narcos would entail, what it would face.
To begin with, Mexico is a huge country of 127 million souls with the narcos spread unevenly across it. You can’t police a nation that size with a small force, or even with a large force. A (preposterous) million soldiers would be well under one percent of the population. Success would be impossible even if that population helped you. Which it wouldn’t.
Other problems exist. Many, many of them.
Let’s consider terrain. The terrain is what militaries fight in. Start with the Sierra Madre, which I suspect Trump doesn’t know from Madre Teresa. This is the brutally inhospitable mountain range in the northwest of Mexico, from which a great many of the narcos come. (Sinaloa is next door.) Forestation is dense, slopes steep, communication only by narrow trails that the natives know as well as you know how to find your bathroom. Nobody else knows them. American infantry would be helpless here. The Narcos would be found only when they chose to be found, which would not be at opportune moments.
The Sierra Madre Occidental, home of many of the drug traffickers. I have walked in these mountains or tried to. It is impossible for infantry, worse for armor, and airplanes can’t see through the trees.
The Tarahumara Indians live in the Sierra Madre. They frequent the trails, sometimes in groups, and carry things not identifiable from the air. In frustration American forces would do what they always do: start bombing, or launching Hellfires from drones, at what they think is, or think maybe, or hope might be narcos. Frequently they would kill innocents having nothing to do with drugs. This wouldn’t bother the military, certainly not remote drone operators in Colorado or somewhere. They get paid anyway. The Indians who just had their families turned into science projects couldn’t do anything about it.
Well, nothing but join the narcos, who might call this a “force multiplier.”
Some other northern Mexican terrain. The Duarte Bridge between Sinaloa and Durango. A company commander, looking at it, would have PTSD in advance, just to get a start on things.
Of the rest of Mexico, much consists of the jungle, presenting the same problems as the Sierra Madre, and of cities and villages. Here we encounter the problem that has proved disastrous for US forces in war after the war: there is no way to tell who is narco and who isn’t.
In cities and towns, narcos are indistinguishable from the general population. How – precisely how I want to know – would American troops, kitted out in body armor and goggles and looking like idiots, fight the narcos in villages with which they were unfamiliar? The narcos, well-armed, would pick off GIs from windows, whereupon the Americans would respond by firing at random, calling in airstrikes, and otherwise killing locals. These would now hate Americans. The narcos know this. They would use it.
Culiacan, Sinaloa, Chapo’s home city. It has a high concentration of narcos. Suppose that you are an infantry officer, sent to “fight the cartels.” You have, say, twenty troops with you, all with hi-tech equipment and things dangling. How do you propose to fight the cartels here? Which of the people in the photo, if any, are narcos? You could ask them. That would work.
Don’t expect help from the locals. Most would much rather see you killed than the narcos. And if they collaborated they and their families would be killed. This would discourage them. Bright ideas?
Now a point that Schwarzehairdye in the White House has likely not grasped. The narcos are Mexicans. So is the population. You know, brown, speak Spanish, that kind of thing. The invaders would not be Mexicans. This matters. Villagers usually do not hate the narcos. These provide jobs, buy their marijuana crops, often do Robin Hood things to help the locals. Pablo Escobar did this, Al Capone, Chapo Guzman. There is a whole genre of popular music, narcocorridos, celebrating the doings of the drug trade. (Corridos Prohibidos, by Los Tigres del Norte, for example). Amazon has the CD.
Which means that they would side with the narcos instead of the already-hated soldiers, putos gringos cabrones, que se chinguen sus putas madres.
Further, much of Mexico doesn’t much like its government.
And of course, the narcos will have the option of fading into the population and waiting for the gringos to go home. This means that the invasion would become an occupation. The invading forces would thus need bases, which would become permanent. Bases where? All over the country, which is where the narcos are?
Getting the American military into one’s country is much easier than getting it out. The world knows this. Mexicans assuredly do. They know that America has a wrecked country after country in the Mideast, always to do something good about democracy and human rights. They know that America is squeezing Venezuela to get control of its oil, squeezing Iran for the same reason attacked Iraq for the same reason, has troops in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait for the same reason, and has just confiscated Syria’s oil. Mexico has oil. So when Trump wants to send the military to “help” fight drugs, what do you suppose the Mexicans suspect?
Another point: Roughly a million American ex-pats live happily in Mexico. These would be hostages, and they – we – are soft targets. The drones kill five narcos, and the narcos kill five ex-pats. Or ten, or fifty. What does Washington do now?
Finally, consider what happens when you bomb a country, make life dangerous, kill its children, destroy the economy and impoverish its people? Answer: They go somewhere else. With Mexico being made unlivable, Mexicans would have two choices of somewhere else, Guatemala and….See whether you can fill in the blank. Maybe four or five million of them.
Nuff said. May God protect Mexico from Yanquis who would do it well, from advisers, and then adviser creep, and then occupation, and then from badly led militaries who have no idea where they are.