Counter-Response, 'Another Bush Failure'

On Monday, April 16, 2007, the White House responded to my article entitled "Another Bush Failure." On April 5, 2007, I wrote that the AMERICAN 2007 National Drug Control Strategy from the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) was a failure because of its lack of attention on problems originating in Mexico. The response from the White House merely reiterates the original ONDCP Strategy, and doesn’t answer our documented criticisms. Perhaps we need to focus our arguments more more clearly. "Another Bush Failure " mentions this particular criticism:

"In my personal opinion John P. Walters, Director of the Office National Drug Control Policy, should resign or be replaced. He is not seriously looking out for the sovereignty and national security of the United States of America by leaving the swinging gate to our country open for business. Nor is he preserving, protecting, nor defending "We the People" against foreign threats of drug trafficking nor the domestic threats of drug abuse." 

Along Mexico’s Northern border, small armies of drug cartels and gangs are invading foreign territory and facilitating human trafficking and the mass smuggling of narcotics into the United States. According to a  2006 report by the Majority Staff (Republican) of the House Homeland Security Committee, Subcommittee on Investigations, these para-military forces of organized crime are more sophisticated and dangerous than any other criminal organization in the history of U.S. law enforcement. It also mentions that they now dominate the illegal drug market and cooperate extensively with U.S. gangs. 

The presence of these drug cartels threatens the very people that have sworn to protect their city, state, and country. According to testimony by Sheriff Sigifredo Gonzalez, Jr., Chairman of the Texas Border Sheriff’s Coalition:

"The cartels operating in Mexico and the United States have demonstrated that the weapons they possess can and will be used in protecting their caches. One informant familiar with the operations of this cartel mentioned to us that the weapons we use are water guns compared to what we will have to come up against if we ever have to. These cartels, known to frequently cross into the United States, possess and use automatic weapons, grenades, and grenade launchers. They are also experts in explosives, wiretapping, counter-surveillance, lock-picking, and GPS technology. They are able to monitor our office, home, and cellular phone conversations. The original members of this cartel were trained in the United States by our own government."

The Mexican drug cartels are not only involved in operations in their own country and along the U.S.-Mexican border, but as NumbersUSA reports the drug cartels have lookout/ listening posts and observation posts (LP/OPs) as far as 200 miles into the United States of America. We must again focus: Mexicans are deliberately participating in espionage deep within our country, and the White House continues to ignore the fact. Working with multiple federal agencies, NumbersUSA was able to find the positions of some of the LP/OPs in the occupied territories. (See map here.)

The 2007 AMERICAN National Drug Control Strategy begins mentioning the Southwest Border and Mexico on page 33 (out of 46) for barely one half of one page. It mentions that we can make "headway against drug trafficking in partnership with the Mexican government" and combat all of the serious threats to border security. What it doesn’t tell readers is that Mexico is unable to effectively combat the drug cartels and drug trafficking on its own land, much less assist in keeping those problems out of ours.

This push to cooperate with war-torn Mexico in the reduction of illicit drugs and the establishment of a secure border is not just preposterous, it is irresponsible. Since Felipe Calderon was elected to office, he has been using federal officers to combat the drug cartels that wield substantial control in Mexico. As the Los Angeles Times and Indianapolis Star detailed on March 24, 2007, nearly 500 people have been reportedly killed in Mexico’s civil war with the drug cartels just this year. These casualties of war more than double the number of deaths the United States military suffered in Iraq during that same period of time. Felipe Calderon even alluded to this during President Bush’s recent visit to Mexico. According to CBS News, Calderon said, "Mexico can’t diminish the availability of drugs, while the U.S. hasn’t reduced its demand." Working together in this manner with a country that cannot even defeat the drug cartels on its own land is just plain irrational (Article 1, Article 2, Article 3) — that is, unless we were part of some multilateral push for a common security perimeter (Link 1, Link 2.)

The United States will never win the War on Drugs, if Americans and the Bush Administration refuse to treat it as such. The ONDCP policy — trying to reduce drug abuse here instead of dealing seriously with the border problem — is baloney.  Calderon’s efforts against the drug cartels must be made effective, and we should pay attention to completely securing our borders and not adding to the billions of dollars already spent each year on anti-drug education and counseling. The United States will have the ability to concentrate efforts on problems inside our country, such as home-grown drugs and prescription drug abuse, only after Mexican drug cartels and their network of armed military forces are expelled and order prevails along a fully secured Southern border.

If the Bush Administration’s idea of border security and combating drugs is bilateral commitment with the Mexican government, then it chooses to set dangerous precedent that will lead to failure. As T.J. Bonner, President of the National Border Patrol Council said in a testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee, the United States "needs to recognize that it cannot rely on its southern neighbor to stop the flow of illicit drugs across the southwest border, and must stop supplying financial aid to Mexico for that purpose." If the Bush Administration is serious about fighting a war on drugs, then I challenge them to prove it.