The hype is spilling over from south of the border

From Jim Houle

3/20/09 Ukiah, North California

Since Sunday March 15th we have been hit with one of those Talk Show Tsunamis that always leave us trying to sniff out the Washington hype from the real goods. What are they saying?

– Mexico is losing control of its cities to drug gangs and could collapse.
– Mexico is close to becoming a failed state.
– 2000 weapons each day are shipped into Mexico from the wide-open gun dealers in the US.
– Drug syndicate criminals are infiltrating the US.
– This situation is our top priority: Homeland Security Czar Napolitano.
– Its a serious problem: Secretary of Defense Gates.
– US Embassy in Mexico City tries to dampen it down: “The US had no intention of sending troops into Mexico”.
– DEA’s top intelligence official Antony Placido believes: “Calderon is making important strides against the cartels. The violence we see is actually a signpost of success.”
– Obama says he’s considering putting troops on the border.
– Chief of the Joint Chiefs Admiral Mullen says he is willing to supply unmanned drones and helicopters to chase down the Mexican drug mafia.
– Bay Buchanon (Pat’s lethal sister) says Calderon and his government are down for the count. Without a US rescue operation Mexico will soon become a narco-state.
– Sen Joe Lieberman says he’s: “looking into potential implications of increased terrorist activity”. (Does he mean the increased activity is potential or that the implications he foresees are still potential? In other words that they don’t even exist at this point in time.)

The current hype leaves one to ask “Qui Bono” – who benefits from this sudden tsunmai? The parroting of this story in almost identical language in all of our remaining newspapers coast to coast and on the major TV news broadcasts suggests the dead hand of the Pentagon’s War Justification Unit. We know them only too well from the buildup to Iraq. The stationing of a sizable US military force on the Mexican border has not happened since 1914 when we dispatched 11,000 troops across the border and occupied Veracruz. The Mexicans rose up in revolt against this and the entire power structure was toppled in the 1920’s . It took another half century for the wealthy land-owners to regain the full hegemony they and their northern partners now enjoy over the Mexican economy.

We have now been told that Mexico is about to explode as a result of the local drug wars and their supposed ‘spillover’ into nearby US cities. This spill-over terminology was first mouthed by General Gene Rennart, head of the recently formed US Northern Command, who told the Senate Armed Services Committee on March 17th that the Pentagon is reviewing plans to send more US troops to the Mexican border. The US military already has some 3,000 troops there and additional National Guard could be deployed under a plan he will announce within a week. We are currently providing Calderon’s regime with some $1.4 billion in military hardware and “technical assistance” under the Merida Initiative and employing techniques developed for Iraq and Afghanistan such as spy planes and pilot-less drones. “We’re going to examine whether National Guard deployments would make sense” said Obama.

Now where did all this come from? While there have been a few stories over the past months about the heating up of gang rivalries amongst the drug gangs battling for turf and arguing over what suitable honorariums they need pay to corrupt police and government officials. President Felipe Calderón has deployed national police to a number of cities but he has not asked for US troops on the border. Most of the US border towns report relative peace and tranquility and the Mexican drug lords have generally been very respectful of our turf. Phoenix has experienced a surge in kidnappings recently but is this all the dreaded spillover actually has amounted to? Lots of adjectives, few facts so far.

Is all of this rhetoric truly about drugs and gang land spillover or is something much more subtle afoot? Lets review the bidding:

What does the US provides to Mexico?
– A huge market for narcotics.
– Money laundering services to the drug cartel by our large international bankers like CitiGroup.
– A supply of high powered assault rifles, and other weapons used to fight Calderon’s National Police.
– A very large portion of the total capital investment in Mexican manufacturing.

What does Mexico provide to the US?
– Cheap labor on demand which keeps the lid on wage rates in the US particularly in agriculture, food and meat processing.
– Recreational drugs including cocaine, opium derivatives, meth-amphetamines and marijuana.
– Low cost manufactured goods.
– Oil for our Gulf Coast refineries

Shamus Cooke reports in Global Research 3/15: Mexican drug cartels are not actually a threat to the US and “narco-terrorists” are not the problem. Our interest is really in protecting US investments in Mexico. As the Mexican economy sinks under low oil prices, a declining market for Mexican goods, the shutdown of new foreign investment in Mexican industry, the drop in labor remittances from Mexican labor in the US, and the recessionary climate in general, Washington may feel that we need to prop up Calderon just to keep the Mexican people from revolting. We have already witnessed major labor protests in Europe, Russian border states, and Asia as a result of the sinking world economy. Social unrest in Mexico doesn’t seem very theoretical. This gives further justification to the militarization of our southern borders to put a little starch into Calderon to keep the lid on any political movements that might threaten US investments and oil supplies and avoid the dreaded “spillover”.

Pentagon has always planned for sufficient US military capability to fight two wars on the world stage at the same time. Are we sliding towards a third war front? Admiral Mullen told the media after his recent visit to Mexico City about “plans for the Pentagon to assist the Mexican armed forces in dealing with the terrorist-like ‘counter-insurgency’ now underway using tactics the US forces employed in war zones such as Iraq and Afghanistan”. Let’s hope Obama will maintain a sense of balance and keep the Pentagon out of Mexico.