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by Peter Moskos

January 30, 2011

Success is Not an Option

From the BBC: "Mrs Clinton said there was 'no alternative' to confronting the cartels, despite rising violence that left more than 15,000 dead last year."

Actually, there is an excellent alternative. The US government just won't consider it.

"Under a security cooperation programme called the Merida Initiative the US is spending around $1.7bn (£1bn) on helping Mexico and Central America tackle drug-trafficking."

Interesting. That's in the same ballpark as what it costs to prop up the Egyptian government. I guess the going cost of buying-off a government is about $16 per person per year. Not a bad price, when you think about it. Of course it's not like that $16 goes to every person, which might actually help the country. It goes to guns, police cars (Mexico has very nice police cars--and you can't drink the water) and into the pockets of corrupt leaders.

And the ever immoral 1984 perpetual war equals peace kicker: "authorities argue that the rising violence shows that the gangs are being weakened and turning increasingly on each other."

Ignorance is strength.

There's a nice interactive chart on the BBC page where you can click to look at deaths by region in 2009 and 2010. You can see how the "success" is spreading state by state.

Here's the general trend:

My prediction: soon murders in Mexico will fall (eventually, they have to, right?). Maybe they maxed out in December, 2010. From that point on, the authorities that be will forget their bullshit about murder being a sign of success and instead talk about how their policies are reducing murders. What they will fail to mention is that these numbers will only be down from the absurdly high level they themselves helped create with their futile war on drugs.

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