Home
In this issue
April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review March 19, 2009 23 Adar 5769

Mexico's drug war has Arizona in cross hairs

By George Will


Printer Friendly Version
Email this article

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | PHOENIX — X-Caliber, a gun store in a nondescript neighborhood in this city's northern section, has become embroiled in Mexico's turmoil. The chaos in Mexico is the result of its government's decision to wage war against rampant drug cartels that are fighting mostly against each other but also against the portions of Mexican law enforcement they have not corrupted. Operating in that nation's north, they are serving this nation's appetite for illegal narcotics and illegal immigrants.


The gun shop's proprietor, the name of whose shop might indicate familiarity with Arthurian legend, is on trial here, accused of selling at least 650 weapons, including AK-47 rifles, in small lots to "straw buyers" — persons who illegally pass on the weapons to the cartels, thereby fueling the violence that killed more than 6,000 Mexicans last year. That was more than 2,000 above the 2007 toll and fewer than will die if the rate of killing so far this year continues. (U.S. military fatalities in Iraq in six years number 4,249.) Fortunately, most of the dead are members of the warring cartels.


The prosecution of the proprietor is part of the U.S. attempt to stop the southward flow of weapons and bulk currency while Mexico combats the northward flow of drugs and of human beings brought by "coyotes." Although almost all the cartels' weapons come from the United States, the cartels are generating upward of $15 billion annually from drugs, human trafficking and extortion. So they will find ways to get guns — and grenades and other military weapons — for their internecine disputes about control over routes for smuggling drugs and people.


FREE SUBSCRIPTION TO INFLUENTIAL NEWSLETTER

Every weekday NewsAndOpinion.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". HUNDREDS of columnists and cartoonists regularly appear. Sign up for the daily update. It's free. Just click here.

When Gen. Michael Hayden stepped down as CIA director, he listed Mexico among America's biggest national security concerns. But even allowing for the stresses arising from the global economic downturn, speculation that Mexico, with the world's 13th-largest economy, is sinking toward the status of a "failed state" is far-fetched, as is the idea that the cartels can withstand a determined drive by the Mexican military, assisted by U.S. military technologies.


The turmoil is, however, taking a toll on Arizona, which has a 370-mile border with Mexico. Terry Goddard, Arizona's attorney general, says this is a "transit state," not a "destination state." Phoenix is a distribution center for smuggled drugs destined for more than 230 American cities, and for people. Each commodity is stashed in different "drop houses." The people are kept in what Goddard calls "cattle-car conditions." He says that although a million people a year are moving north through Arizona, it is still a seller's market for traffickers in human beings.


Extrapolating from wire transfers of hundreds of millions of dollars from customers in dozens of U.S. states to smugglers operating in Arizona, Goddard believes that the "coyotes" who bring in the human contraband are extremely violent extensions of the cartels. One gang will swoop down on a "drop house" holding smuggled persons, or on a truck carrying such persons on the interstate from Tucson, and then "negotiate" their own deals with people who thought they had already paid for the smuggling. Some who object are shot in the head, which is, Goddard says, "a pretty good technique" for encouraging payments from the others. He estimates that half of Phoenix's 169 murders last year were related to human and drug smuggling.


Mexico, he says, is no longer importing up to four times more pseudoephedrine than its pharmaceutical industry requires. This ingredient was used to make methamphetamines destined for the U.S. market. Today, measured by volume (millions of pounds) and profit (up to 70 percent of the cartels' earnings), the biggest business is still marijuana. It is shipped in two-ton lots, in trucks that cross over the border fence without touching it, using "bridges" that can be assembled in 90 seconds at places identified by spotters who are equipped to live in the desert for weeks at a time. They can report where U.S. border patrols are at any moment.


All this has rekindled the debate — a hardy perennial — about crimping the cartels' marijuana market by legalizing their product in the United States. Whatever the merits of legalization — and there are certain to be costs — it will not happen in the foreseeable future, which is where Arizonans must live.


There are more than 6,600 licensed American gun dealers on the 2,000-mile border with Mexico. They should obey the law, even though most of the victims of the cartels' violence deserve to be.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

George Will's latest book is "With a Happy Eye but: America and the World, 1997-2002" to purchase a copy, click here. Comment on this column by clicking here.

Archives

© 2006 WPWG

Columnists

Toons

Lifestyles