Monday, November 2, 2009

Drug Wars

I wonder why the Oligarchs and Owners seem to be willing to sacrifice Mexico's stature as a Nation to the futile task of closing down the use of (mainly) marijuana. Such is the official fervor to compel acquiescence from the stoner brigade--whose contributions to the cause, when straight CANNOT be the equal of their efforts stoned. What purpose can possibly served--in this land of pharmacological fantasy, amid a phantasmagoria of potency, there cannot be many 'real reasons' to the legalization of pot? Not reasons that would stand up to the scrutiny of the "interplanetary ethnographer." Acts by the State such as prohibition are efforts to flex the iron fist inside the velvet glove. The role of prohibition is always the exercise of state power over civil resistance, more than anything else.

Whatever that case, pobrecito Mexico's a mess and is falling further into chaos and catastrophe, as the peons and campesinos displaced by NAFTA, and unemployable in their numbers in Mexico's emergent--and already declining--industries, have been effectively driven into the para-military armies of the drug cartels battling for supremacy--if monopoly is impossible--in the market supplying narcotics (not a perjorative term, initially) and psychological analgesics to pacify America's terminally conflicted, too-well-armed, and potentially violently psychopathic population.

"It's A War!" declares the hook/headline of the Sunday LA Times. And the Times then delivers one of those pieces of journalism for which I, for one, am not certain the "new media" have the chops or resources to pursue. The Times is to be unstintingly applauded and commended for maintaining and adding to this valuable record of the times...

The link is to a page on which much relevant data is presented in very readable form, including a rolling counter that tolls the number of the dead in the increasingly intermural, normally fatal squabbles among the cartels, and in the cartels' efforts to intimidate the Mexican authorities. As of the posting of this message, the number was 9,303. There is also a very useful map of our southerly neighbor, which will be of inestimable use to readers and others whose interest in or knowledge of their national surroundings are circumscribed by the local tv newscast's weather map.

The most important part, of course, is the index of the stories the Times has filed on the story. There must be 100 or more, dating back to the first story, on June 3, 2008, datelined Nuevo Laredo, Tx., and headlined "Army's role in Mexico drug war seen as crucial yet risky," over the slug: "Observers fear the deployment will hurt democracy and civil institutions, but they see no alternative."

The whole index itself charts the decline into bloody anarchy along the border, but also in traditionally recalcitrant parts of the country where there is little to be fond of or grateful about what the central government represents. I didn't look for and in my swift perusal of the heds I did not see any indication that the "drug war" might ever have been thought to be possibly a node--a front, really--in a long-festering civil/class war that has been churning in Mexico since Napoleonic times, at least.

Maybe the failure of Mexico-qua-state on our southern border may turn out to be our own, local Iraq.

DOTOF™ to the "other" Woody, Alex, who put the link up on FB...

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