Sunday, March 15, 2009

Cracking Down Mexico

WASHINGTON, March 13 (Reuters) - President Barack Obama was set on Friday to notify Congress of his first planned overseas arms deal, a Bell helicopter package to help counter drug-runners and other criminals in Mexico.

The Obama administration is proposing to send Mexico five Bell 412 EP twin-engine helicopters, valued at $93 million, as part of an anti-drug plan called the Merida Initiative, said a person with direct knowledge who asked not to be named because of the matter's sensitivity.

Established last year under former U.S. president George W. Bush, the Merida Initiative aims to help Mexico and Central America combat narcotrafficking, transnational crime and terrorism.

Fort Worth, Texas-based Bell Helicopter, a Textron Inc unit, would be prime contractor. The notice of such a potential sale is required by law. It does not mean a deal has been concluded.

---- Merida Initiative, a continuation of The Bush in the "war on drugs" or how to throw more money at programs that consistently fail. However, Bell Helicopter says thank you and the Mexican government says thank you, and the drug cartels say thank you because some of the folks flying these choppers will be cartel-ers.

Eight years ago we were in Mazatlan, lying on the beach, only yards from our hotel, when gunfire began - rival drug lords. Everyone hit the ground. I had to cover my 8-year-old granddaughter's eyes when we returned to our rooms as the street and sidewalk were covered in blood and a luxury car with bullet holes sat in front of the hotel with a couple of bodies hanging out; the perps got away. Broad daylight, in the middle of the street, with hundreds of witnesses. Within an hour or two the car and bodies were gone, the street cleaned, margarita time.

My daughter-in-law, a native of Zacatecas, Mexico, can no longer visit family there because a few months ago Mexican drug lords, who have been confiscating land, inquired as to the whereabouts of her father - to make him a deal he can't refuse regarding his ranch. The drug cartels have killed several local farmers who refuse to work with them.

Recently, Obama refused Texas governor Perry's request for troops at the border. Patricio Ahumeda, mayor of Brownsville, Texas, criticized Perry’s plan, calling him out of touch with what is really going on. Ahumeda and Perry both opposed "the wall." Perry stated you can build a 40 foot wall and the next day the number one business in Mexico will be 42 foot ladders.

Ahumeda “I appreciate and support Obama’s decision not to militarize the border because troops aren’t trained for this sort of thing. There was an incident where a national guard killed a shepherd in the El Paso area. It doesn’t work. The training is not the same. We’re not at war, and the violence and incidents that are occurring over there are not daily and are not spilling over here yet.” (Last year in Mexico there were 6290 drug-related murders.)

In 2007, Ahumeda spoke against the border fence, or wall. Mayor Pat also has a webpage.

Mayor Pat has petty problems - A current unresolved case of "thousands of dollars of city money deposited to the mayor's bank account." This was a City check issued to a NY based vendor. We used to call that embezzlement, now days it's usually called a mix-up. Reportedly, there is a video of the mayor making the questionable deposit, and the mayor "doesn't remember making the deposit."

The mayor also has issues with dogs - he picked up a dog he says was a stray, placed it in foster care, and when the dog's owner came forward the issue ended up in court. Another time it's reported he stole a dog from a local shelter because it was not being "properly cared for."

But! dogs aside, Mayor Pat has a solution for the border problem, solved without walls and/or troops. He has ... "... proposed to build a weir damn (lol, original spelling for dam) along the river, which will raise the water level from 123 to 126 feet above sea level, widen the river by 300 feet and back up the river for 42 miles — in essence creating a virtual fence that can easily be patrolled with high-speed boats, sophisticated electronic equipment and boots on the ground to deter any illegal activity along the border. It also offers many different economic opportunities to develop the river for tourism. This proposal is at a cost of $40.0 million, which is less costly and more effective than the border fence being proposed."

Sierra Club opposes any such dam as it would negatively impact the Rio Grande Valley National Wildlife Refuge. According to Brownsville public utilities the idea is gaining support.

Odd though, one of Mayor Pat's reasons for not wanting a fence is the loss of land to local landowners - but raising the sea level to widen the river for a "virtual fence" requires the same land loss. Hmmm... must be some damn, or dam, contractor buddies in there somewhere.

One problem with a river wall is it will cost much much much more than $40 million - all government projects do. And the creation of a deeper river invites boating cartels rather than deterring them.

Mexico's officials and some in the US declare the problem is the US market (supply and demand). True. And for the past 40 years we've been told to pity the addict as victim and spend billions to educate and cure his affliction. It's a "disease" - not the weakness of character or a sociopath. (Not to mention the legal prescription junkies.) Oh, I must mention too the progressive heart - demanding sanctuary and accommodation for the millions of illegal who are only here to feed their families with no ties to crime or the drug war. (Never mind that last year 40% of all Federal inmates were Hispanic - remember, if you're progressive, you believe it's racism filling the revolving door prisons, not real criminals.)

Also, so I'm told, I should be appalled and ashamed of the incarceration stats of the US - 2.3 million. I am not supposed to be ashamed the US produces so many thugs, thieves, molesters, murderers, abusers, junkies and dealers who end up incarcerated?

I managed to raise 5 children who never had any run-in with the legal system - it's not hard to do people. Whatever happened to "don't do the crime if you can't do the time." I believe it left the building around the same time that progressivism excused criminals as being victims of society - perps are people too (even if they are drugging, raping, killing, molesting, destroying, stealing, doping, dealing ... ).

I'm so old I can remember when the border was not a problem. I can remember when many of today's problems were not problems.

Has anyone yet said what the real border problem is? If not I will - it's social and political corruption. Money and corruption on both sides of the border.

We can build walls and rivers and troops, we can fund rehab for junkies and prisons for drug-related crime - but until the corrupt officials on both sides are nailed to the wall, until folks grow tired of the progressively imposed bullshit disguised as compassion - the "war" will continue on and on and on.

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