Clinton: U.S. Partly To Blame For Mexico’s Drug War Problem Which Poses Potential U.S.Threat
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has the worsening government-drug cartel nearly-full-scale war in Mexico under her microscope — noting that the United States shares the blame due to its providing market demand here and warning that there is a risk of terrorists working with Mexican drug cartels to pose a potential risk to this side of the border:
The United States is at least as responsible as Mexico for the violent drug wars that are roiling its southern neighbor because of an insatiable US market for narcotics, the failure to stop weapons smuggling southward and a three-decade “war” on drugs that “has not worked,” Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said Wednesday.
“Our insatiable demand for illegal drugs fuels the drug trade. Our inability to prevent weapons from being illegally smuggled across the border to arm these criminals causes the deaths of police officers, soldiers and civilians,” Mrs. Clinton said.
“How could anyone conclude any differently? . . . I feel very strongly we have co-responsibility,” she said.
Clinton’s blunt remarks as she flew to Mexico Wednesday were the clearest by any senior US official in recent memory that American habits and government policies have stoked the drug trade and a spreading epidemic of criminal violence in northern Mexico.
They are likely to be well received by top officials in the government of Mexican President Felipe Calderón, which is battling rising lawlessness and has called on the Obama administration to do more to stop the flow of guns and cash from the United States into Mexico.
Meanwhile, she outlined the potential threat of drug cartel members and terrorists possibly joining forces in an interview with CBS News:
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Clinton is on the dime about U.S. demand. Various attempts at drug education (including former Nancy Reagan’s “Just Say No” campaign years ago”) have been said to achieve mixed results, and some have been called ineffective.
Senator John Kerry’s panel is in Texas today to conduct hearing on the drug problem. How bad is it? The drug war has claimed 2,000 lives in Juárez alone.
The war among Mexican drug cartels that began in January 2008 has killed more than 6,000 people. The U.S. Congress voted last year to spend $1.4 billion to help Mexico in its fight against the drug lords.
This money is being used to change Mexico’s legal system, while at the same time providing the government with new technology and crime-fighting equipment.
U.S. involvement and spending on the war have put a tighter focus on border violence. President Barack Obama has met with Calderón once and will meet with him again next month.
Kerry had this to say:
“The drug-related violence at the border has sent shock waves through both countries, and we need to increase cooperation between the United States and Mexico to combat it before it reaches a tipping point,” he said in a statement. “President Calderón has bravely taken on these lawless cartels at great cost to his government and the Mexican people. We have a responsibility on our side of the border to work more closely with our Mexican counterparts to stem the flow of weapons from the United States and deal with a drug problem festering for decades.”
Meanwhile, after arriving in Mexico Clinton visited a Monterrey police station to to show support for authorities involved in the bloody battle with the drug cartels — who’ve shown a willingness to dismember and behead and mow down innocent bystanders (of any age). She said the “criminals and kingpins” trying to undermine the U.S.-Mexican relationship “will fail” and vowed to stand beside Mexico’s President.