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The Weekly Standard Cheers on Mexican Drug War Bloodshed

Jaime Daremblum at The Weekly Standard uses math to prove that Mexico's drug war is getting results:

But despite the continuing violence--in a particularly vicious attack on September 2, 18 people were killed execution style at a Juárez drug-rehabilitation center--Calderón's efforts have not been in vain. A new report from the U.S. State Department observes that "more than 43,000 individuals connected with the major cartels were arrested between December 2006 and February 2009," including senior members of the cartels. Mexican authorities confiscated 4,220 weapons in 2006 and 9,500 a year later; all told, they have seized "more than 27,000 since the beginning of 2008." Since January 2007, they have also confiscated some 65 metric tons of cocaine, nearly 1,250 kilos of methamphetamine, and roughly 4.2 million kilos of marijuana. These achievements are not insignificant.

He's right. These achievements are significant indeed. They got 7,500 people killed last year.

Don't you understand that the exact activities you're rooting for are the reason people are dying? What is so complicated about this? It's a simple formula: more drug war = more death. It's perfectly incoherent to root for arrests and drug seizures, while simultaneously expressing hope that the violence will subside. It doesn't work that way. Anyone struggling with this concept should just pull up a chair and watch what happens next.
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until next grow season

I think the Weekly Standard also ignores another thing -- it really doesn't matter how much cocaine or marijuana was seized in the long run. People are growing more right now. And so long as it sells somewhere, they will continue to grow and come up with alternate ways to smuggle it. What this war has actually done has opened up a new avenue for entrepreneurs to step in. As the old guard is taken out of business, new ventures are likely forming right now. And they're likely to be run differently or tighter than before. Investigations will be investigated to figure out how to do it better. Better technology will be used to smuggle (Drones being used to find smugglers? it's only a matter of time before smugglers get their hands on drone technology to smuggle goods. Take the mule out of the equation and you have a more reliable route, less cost, and you could likely figure out if you're being set up.) If anything, Calderon's own friends will be moving in to take their smuggling routes back, which is what I suspect is the likely motivator behind so much violence.

Mexican proxy War!

If anyone has read the news yet you'll find that another 10 or so more humans were executed outside another drug rehab clinic in Northren Mexico. More dead!! Are we winning this thing yet???


Why even bother with a smuggling route? With our real estate bottom lining. If I made 1.4 billion last year,I would buy property inside the US,and just move growers in. After 6 months and a harvest,you could walk out and leave nothing but the stumps,and if you grew dank,realize enough peofit too just buy another house elsewhere

Confiscations aim to increase cannabis price vis-a-vis tobackgo

I like the last commenteer's point about guest labor. The earlier guy sees a survival-of-the-fittest where the loss of some suppliers will lead to more efficient ones taking over.

While we wait, what to do?

1. Focus on retaliation: find ways to reduce the income of the tobackgo industry so it can't afford to use its money to hire legislators, DA's, cops etc. to fight a drug war against cannabis. If Snus, E-cigarette and Vaporizer can reduce cigarette sales, campaign for their increased promotion (regardless of whether, as must inevitably happen, ways are found to mass-market the THC-e-cig).

2. Research and publicize tobackgo industry contributions to candidates and parties, locally, nationally, internationally. 10% of all government tax revenues in Pakistan are from cigarette taxes.

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