Michael's Dispatches

McCaffrey on Mexico - 23 March 2009

26 March 2009

General (ret.) Barry McCaffrey continues to sound cautions and alarms on Mexico.  Clearly he loves the place and doesn't want to see it fall apart.  For their sake or for ours.  I would highly suggest that journalists reach out to McCaffrey through his website.  His latest comments were published on Nationaljournal.com.

Interesting to note that apparently tons of weapons are flowing into Mexico from the United States.  During the Iraq war, weapons were/are coming from Syria and Iran.  Many Americans wanted to attack those countries for aiding the weapons flows, or even just turning a blind eye.  Now with Afghanistan: weapons flood in from Pakistan.  What about our country in regard to Mexico?

I am a gun-owner.  I grew up with guns the way some people grew up with video games.  I'm a far better shot with a real gun than a video-game gun.  I have no plans to give up my hardware, but we must be honest here and help curb flows that are killing Mexicans and Americans.  The idea that "guns don't kill people, people kill people" should be saved for someone who will buy it.  That's like saying IEDs don't kill people, people kill people.  Nuclear weapons don't kill people...

Guns kill people.  I'm not giving up my guns and I'll stand shoulder to shoulder with other Americans who want to keep theirs.  But we must be honest about the problems to face them.  Of course a country like Afghanistan could tell the United Kingdom, "The fact that your people use heroin has turned our cornfields to poppy!"  (Opium is Afghan Oil, so Afghan farmers don't complain much about European addiction statistics.)  As in AfPak, these sorts of problems do not know or respect borders and the problems are complex.  Such issues must be confronted holistically.

This isn't AfPak, it's AmMex.  Drugs are flowing north, weapons are flowing south, and money is flying everywhere.  AmMex is not about al Qaeda and the Taliban, but equally ruthless criminal gangs -- with far more money than al Qaeda could ever dream of.  These gangs will be bringing guns and drugs to your city, and they will hope to make your kid a customer.  And if your kid causes problems, he'll be shot.  Or worse.

From General McCaffrey:

March 23, 2009
Gen. Barry McCaffrey, President, BR McCaffrey Associates, LLC

I have been closely engaged on the issues facing Mexico for the past 14 years---first as the US Joint Commander for the Latin-American region 1994-1996 and then as US Drug Policy Director from 1996 to 2001. I am currently a member of an international advisory panel supporting the Mexican Federal Police with the issues of drugs and crime.

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