Sunday, January 11, 2009

I Agree with Newt Gingrich...did I just say that?! Mexico - a major security issue waiting to happen

Newt Gingrich was on ABC's This Week with George Stephanopolous, and during a discussion about unforeseen problems the new Obama administration may encounter during its first year, Gingrich brought up the issue of Mexico and the near civil war that is presently underway between the government and the powerful drug cartels. Gingrich argued something that I have wondered about, largely due to the seemingly complete lack of American press coverage given to this issue - when will the U.S. get serious about a major problem right on our border?

With record numbers of homicides in Mexico, and some in southern border towns of the U.S., drug money from our completely failed 'War on Drugs' program of the past two decades is financing the terrible violence in Mexico. For a short summary of the problem, check out this article. When will we learn, or simply admit, that simply locking drug offenders in violent prisons is not the answer to our drug problems in the U.S.? When will treatment and educ ation programs take the lead, which tend to show much better results than the 'lock 'em up, I am tough on crime' mentality that we have had, making not even a dent in the drug flow or usage in the U.S.?

I have no idea what will work in Mexico, but I do agree with Gingrich (and this does not happen very often) that this issue may come up during Obama's first year as something the U.S. will need to get seriously involved in if violence continues to spill over the border and if it becomes an increasing issue with gang activity in the U.S. I fear it will become such an issue, which is something we cannot afford at the moment with the economy, unemployment, Russia, Iran, Iraq, Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Afghanistan, crumbling infrastructure, health care, entitlements and war on terror issues Obama is inheriting (and let's no forget another continuing problem we have not heard much from, a nuclear North Korea).