Sep 30, 2011

MexicoBlog Editorial: Further Delusions of Power

In its just released report, "Responding to Violence in Central America," the Senate Caucus on International Narcotics Control once again gets it wrong. The failure, of course starts with the overriding goal embedded in the group's name, that is, the desire to "control" the international narcotics market. We have written before as to how this fundamental error -- the assumption that U.S. power can resolve the drug issue -- underlies all U.S. drug prohibition policy. (See MexicoBlog editorial: The Delusion of Power.)

Following from this erroneous premise, the recommendations for helping Central America first of all propose doing more of the same. This includes:
  • expanding the Drug Enforcement Agency -- which a New York Times article documented, "has been transformed into a global intelligence organization" with 87 offices in 63 countries -- into these seven additional countries. 
  • establishing State Department Narcotics Affairs Sections in the U.S. embassies in each country. This is the same section responsible for managing the Merida Initiative and is headed by William Brownfield, who has recently been bragging about the success of that Initiative.
But the most remarkable recommendation -- that is, the one that most demonstrates the blindness of U.S. policy -- is for, "collaboration with the countries of Central America to map the causes and sources of violence" and their connection with Mexican drug cartels. While these countries have more than their share of "causes of violence," this recommendation once again totally ignores that a major force feeding the roots of this expanding violence is U.S. drug policy and the resulting billions of dollars earned by the cartels. (See MexicoBlog editorial, "Why Such Extreme Violence?")

As long as the United States government remains deluded about its ability to use the power of the state to defeat the power of the drug market and as long as it continues to deny that the driving force for the entire catatrosphe of the "war against drugs" lies in its own policy and laws, none of its strategies, plans or recommendations will save Central America or Mexico from their descent into Hell. 

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