The United States has a complicit role in enabling the Mexican drug cartels through (1) our insatiable demand for marijuana, cocaine, methamphetamine and heroin most of which -- up to 90 percent -- is supplied from south of the border; (2) our unsupervised financial institutions which launder the drug money; and (3) our supply of guns to the narcoterrorists which provides them with enforcement muscle. The following CBS Evening News segment focuses on the U.S.-Mexico gun running component of the problem:
However, more interdiction of U.S. guns flowing into Mexico will do little to disarm the narco terrorists. In fact, there is no reliable data on the extent to which guns used by the drug cartels are even from the United States. Mexican authorities contend that 75 percent of the guns they seize are American but inexplicably refuse to identify the serial numbers on the weapons to confirm the claim. Los Zetas, which provides paramilitary muscle for the Gulf Cartel, is run by former troops, and tens of thousands of cartel foot soldiers are deserters from the army. Given the rampant corruption within Mexico's institutions its military and police may be likely sources for arming the drug cartels. One thing's for sure: the hand grenades that Los Zetas is lobbing around are from North Korea. In any event, even if the United States were successful in stopping the illegal flow of all guns south of the border, the drug cartels are sufficiently cash rich that they would find replacement sources quick enough.
If the United States really wants to hit the drug cartels then we better figure out how to stop the flow of cash into Mexico. The Los Angeles Times implores "the Obama administration . . . to tackle other key elements of the drug business" including money laundering: "the U.S. government must crack down on drug-money laundering with the same rigor it has applied to terrorist finance networks." To date the politicians have done little to deny the drug cartels their illicit profits from the United States, and refuse to enact tougher money laundering laws or implement meaningful "Know Your Customer" regulations. The U.S. bankers and other financial institutions must be making some hefty campaign contributions. Indeed, R. Allen Stanford, the Texas billionaire slapped with an S.E.C. complaint alleging a $9.2 billion fraud against investors and previously investigated for laundering drug money, is a major political donor.
Frankly, the failure to secure the border to prevent illegal drugs from entering into the United States from Mexico in the first place is inexusable. The Mexican drug cartels have established distribution networks and supply lines in at least 230 American cities, and the enforcement violence among the rival cells has been brutally incessant in Phoenix, Atlanta and Houston. The governors of Arizona and Texas have requested national guard troops to secure their borders only to be rebuffed by President Barack Obama who "said that now is not the time to send troops":
"We've got a very big border with Mexico," Mr. Obama told a group of reporters in Washington. "I'm not interested in militarizing the border."
Isn't the primary job of the President to secure our national security?