Dec 1, 2010

MexicoBlog Editorial: Whack-a-Mole - Tracking the Failure of the Drug War Strategy

Over the past month, in comments by both Mexcian and U.S. government officials, we have noticed the appearance of references to the game of Wack-a-Mole. The Mexican Ambassador to the U.S., commenting on the pernicious spread of the cartels to Central America and the Caribbean as a result of Mexican "successes" against them, said that unless this proliferation was address on a hemispheric scale, the war on drugs would be a game of "Whack-a-Mole." Today, the Associated Press released their investigation into the government's failure to achieve any real outcomes through a much celebrated drug bust by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). A deputy director of the DEA, when presented with the investigation's results, insisted that U.S. strategy is working.  "It's not like Whack-a-Mole."

When officials insist the something is "not" the case, take out the "not." They are vainly trying to deny a reality that is looming more and more over the walls that they are futilely trying to erect against it. The 1960's were full of such negations: "we are not racist," "we are not losing the War in Vietnam." The Bush years also brought the frequent use of "not."

This blog, until recently, has not been posting articles annoucing the killing or capture of drug "capos," or drug "busts," that are supposed to "win" the war on drugs because we are convinced that they prove nothing. They have nothing to do with the real dynamics of the war - the conflict between U.S. drug demand and U.S. drug prohibition. (See: Dollar vs. Dollar: US Consumers Battle US Taxpayers in Global Drug War)

The recent announcement of the proliferation of drug tunnels (obviously the work of moles who keep on digging) and the concurrent official announcements that, despite this, the moles are "not" winning has led us to consider changing our editorial policy. The AP article now convinces us to do so. We are creating a new topic, "Wack-a-Mole." We will use this to tag articles in which drug capos are killed or arrested, drugs seized, tunnels discovered or other government "successes" in the war are announced. It is our diary entry for tracking the failure of the drug war strategy of the U.S. and Mexican governments that is "not a game of Wack-a-Mole."

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