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U.S. is not responsible for the mess in Mexico

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By Jeffry Gardner

Like most Americans, I don’t have any idea what the administration is doing in Libya.  As a faithful liberal said recently, “Who knows what he’s thinking about Qaddafi. I do know this: Barack Obama has launched more cruise missiles and ordered more air strikes than any Nobel Peace Prize winner in history.”
It’s more than fair to say that this administration’s foreign policy is one big shambles, a giant pinball machine-like strategy with the United States caroming from one shiny bumper to another.
There are apparently no bumpers for Mexico. More than 7,000 miles away from Tripoli but mucho closer to you and your family, Mexico is in chaos.
Remember in the 1980s and 1990s when the nightly news routinely featured Colombian drug cartels holding their government’s hostage? Fast forward and move north 2,300 miles and there is a  hint of déjà vu in the air.
Last month, the Columbus police chief and various local officials were arrested and charged with selling guns to Mexican drug gangs. This probably wasn’t a great shock to people who live along the border. The border’s been dangerous for decades, and it’s more dangerous than ever today.
The unfortunate part of the Columbus story is that it further fuels the administration and liberal media notion that, ultimately, the United States is to blame for Mexico’s heartache. From guns to poverty, it’s our fault. Really?  
It has never been politically popular to talk about Mexico being a disaster. Despite its natural resources – lots of oil, natural gas, silver, copper, even gold – Mexico has long been a great place for the very rich of its citizenry and pretty much Hell on Earth for those without, it seems.
So, is Mexico’s historic socio-economic despair our fault? Not hardly.
We certainly need to be as supportive as rightly possible, but this administration, and to a great extent the Bush Administration, has asked we-the-people to shoulder more and more of Mexico’s burden.
Advocates for open borders, as well, play the race card whenever and wherever possible in an effort to force citizens of the Republic to accept rampant illegal immigration and the costs (and troubles) that come with it.
But now, with Mexico on the verge of all-out war between what appears to be the sparsely uncorrupted elements of its government and its myriad drug cartels, would be a good time to remind the federal officials that their primary constitutional duty is to ensure the security of the citizens of the United States.
To that end, Congressman Mike McCaul has introduced a bill in the House that would declare six of Mexico’s biggest cartels “terrorist organizations.” If passed, the bill would permit U.S. authorities to use the same type of measures we use to combat Al Qaeda and its tributaries.
The Mexican government has threatened to “reevaluate” our nations’ relationship if the bill passes. Here’s something they need to evaluate, as well:
Since Mexico’s government declared war on its cartels in December 2006 – when President Calderon called in troops to fight the drug lords’ armies – Mexican officials estimate more than 36,000 people have been killed. Last year was by far the most murderous, with an estimated 15,000 deaths.
Keep in mind, this is not Mexico’s war against drugs. This is Mexico’s war for survival.  Wars create refugees and this one will no doubt do the same. Most will head north. And, as we witnessed with the Columbus arrests, this war is spilling over. ICE agents – armed with bean bag rounds – are being targeted.
Pathetically, the Obama administration’s major initiative involving the border has been to sue Arizona over its attempt to stem the flow of illegal immigrants into its territory.
Yes, we can do better. Rep. McCaul’s bill is a start.

Jeffry Gardner
© New Mexico
 News Services 2011