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Hullabaloo


Monday, December 13, 2010

 
The Next War

by digby



We've recently seen a big revival in the idea of American "exceptionalism, so it stands to reason that Manifest Destiny might be making a comeback too. And as with so many other contemporary issues, CNN analyst Erick Erickson's Red State is out in front.

Like it or Not: Mexico is America’s Next Afghanistan

It's time to 'man up' and face a fact that most politicians know, but few care to admit.

With the exception of, perhaps, Texas governor Rick Perry, no public official wants to publicly admit an obvious fact: The United States of America will likely be forced to invade Mexico. It’s not a matter of if, it’s a matter of when. The question then becomes: What to do with Mexico after we invade it and wipe out the drug cartels (as much as can be). Does the United States merely return Mexico to a nation state of corrupt politicians, failed economic policies, and lawlessness, or do we annex Mexico and turn it into the 51st state?

For many of us, there is a certain false security in believing that, since most of America’s streets are not filled with the murder and mayhem that is going on just South of our borders, we have nothing to worry about. The feeling that most Americans likely have is: Well, it’s their problem, not ours. However, that illusion of security is quickly being eroded with the stories of American police officers being threatened by Mexican drug cartels, of kidnappings and drug murders in Arizona and Texas, of control of certain parts of Arizona and forays into New Mexico and Colorado by drug cartels, of teenagers being turned into hitmen, and American tourists being kidnapped or killed while on vacation in Mexico.
[...]
... Is the U.S. ready for another protracted foray into nation building? Or, in the alternative, does Mexico enter the United States as the 51st state? Now, this should not be considered an ‘endorsement’ of either idea (see note below). Rather, it is more of a cost-benefit analysis that requires much more study:

Rather than nation building, which would be much more costly to the U.S. treasury (which can ill afford it), a case can be made for statehood (albeit, not without controversy), given the amount of Mexico’s citizenry that is already residing in the U.S., as well as Mexico’s historically mis-managed economy and resources (i.e., oil, farmland, beaches, ports, etc.). Moreoever, as so many illegal immigrants work already in the U.S., but send their earnings back to Mexico, by having Mexico become the 51st state, the money exported would not leave the U.S. but would stay in “our economy” and could offset the costs of an invasion/humanitarian mission. Most importantly, by assimilating Mexico into the U.S., with the Constitution it would solve the the issue of immigration reform in one fell swoop.


I particularly like the "albeit, not without controversy" disclaimer about turning Mexico into the 51st state. So reasoned. So civil. The invasion is a given. The only question is, what do we do with it when once we take it over?

So how did it come to this? Perhaps this from today's Washington Post will explain:
No other state has produced more guns seized by police in the brutal Mexican drug wars than Texas. In the Lone Star State, no other city has more guns linked to Mexican crime scenes than Houston. And in the Texas oil town, no single independent dealer stands out more for selling guns traced from south of the border than Bill Carter.

Carter, 76, has operated four Carter's Country stores in the Houston metropolitan area over the past half-century. In the past two years, more than 115 guns from his stores have been seized by the police and military in Mexico.

As an unprecedented number of American guns flows to the murderous drug cartels across the border, the identities of U.S. dealers that sell guns seized at Mexican crime scenes remain confidential under a law passed by Congress in 2003.

A year-long investigation by The Washington Post has cracked that secrecy and uncovered the names of the top 12 U.S. dealers of guns traced to Mexico in the past two years.

Eight of the top 12 dealers are in Texas, three are in Arizona, and one is in California. In Texas, two of the four Houston area Carter's Country stores are on the list, along with four gun retailers in the Rio Grande Valley at the southern tip of the state. There are 3,800 gun retailers in Texas, 300 in Houston alone...

Drug cartels have aggressively turned to the United States because Mexico severely restricts gun ownership. Following gunrunning paths that have been in place for 50 years, firearms cross the border and end up in the hands of criminals as well as ordinary citizens seeking protection.

"This is not a new phenomenon," Webb said.

What is different now, authorities say, is the number of high-powered rifles heading south - AR-15s, AK-47s, armor-piercing .50-caliber weapons - and the savagery of the violence.

Federal authorities say more than 60,000 U.S. guns of all types have been recovered in Mexico in the past four years, helping fuel the violence that has contributed to 30,000 deaths. Mexican President Felipe Calderon came to Washington in May and urged Congress and President Obama to stop the flow of guns south.


We can't do that, of course. It would defy the only meaningful amendment to the constitution and interfere with our constitutional right to sell guns to anyone we choose. There are some principles we must uphold no matter what the consequences. These are principles for which we must be prepared to fight, indeed invade another country, if necessary.

The sad truth is that we must invade Mexico to protect our right to bear arms.

And while this fine fellow hasn't quite put it together yet, he will undoubtedly get to it sooner or later. For our own protection, we must fulfill our Manifest Destiny which was, ironically, first invoked to argue for the annexation of Texas.



(And since we're probably going to have to gin up a new war somewhere pretty soon anyway and wouldn't it be nice if it could be close to home this time? With really good guacamole and margaritas? Si se puede!)


Update: Note that the post is not written by Ericksson himself, but by a writer at his blog named, apparently without irony, "laborunionreport"


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