Tuesday, March 24, 2009

CNN’s Michael Ware Takes a Look at Mexico

When the going was hairy in Iraq, CNN appointed foreign correspondent Michael Ware to cover the carnage and idiocy passing for foreign policy in the Bush administration. Michael Ware was not part of the officially okayed bunch of clowns the Bush administration “embedded” with the US troops and told what to say and how to say it. Ware never shied from letting it be known (which was often) when he thought the US generals were off base and doing our troops a disservice. Ware has an Australian accent, but he had lived in Baghdad since before the US invasion. He is now 40 years old and CNN has sent him to Mexico to have a look-see at the drug war. Last night, Michael Ware reported back to Wolf Blitzer in CNN’s Situation Room. Blitzer asked if the beefing up of the US border with Mexico would make a difference. Ware said, “Well, you certainly have to applaud any measure. But I have to say, from what I've seen so far in Mexico -- and I'm about to be spending a lot more time there -- this is a drop in the bucket, finger in the dike stuff. “I mean let's not forget what's driving this war. It's two things. One is the profit motive of the cartels. And beefing up the border even more hasn't stopped them so far. When they closed the routes through Florida and the Caribbean for the Colombian cartels, that's when the Mexican cartels took over and said we'll get it in. “I don't see that being stopped. We can disrupt it, make business more expensive, but it's not going to stop because they have the other coastline—the land border and they’ll never shut that tight. “Have you seen the drug subs? The guerrillas in Colombia actually built drug submarines that were able to skim just under the surface of the water, carrying as much as a ton of cocaine. And in the last couple of years, there's been increasing interceptions of those.” Ware estimates the drug cartels have 100,000 foot soldiers. These are well-armed troops with fully automatic weapons -- grenades and .50 caliber Barrett sniper rifles. “Now, these are a military weapon that I've only ever seen in the hands of the Marines and the U.S. Army,” Ware said. Blitzer asked for a comparison between the troops in Iraq and the drug cartel troops in Mexico. Ware said, “ Well, I'm very shy of making comparisons between a holy war or a political insurgency in Iraq and a profit-motivated drug war in Mexico. “However, I have to say, when I was in Juarez, the city that's right on the border with El Paso, the front line town, I couldn't shake the feeling that I was in the midst of an insurgency.” Blitzer asked about the Mexican military, if it doesn’t have the capability to deal with the drug cartels. Ware said, “Oh, Wolf -- Wolf, please. Please. Look, already the Mexican military has as many as 45,000 troops in the field, in their own country, fighting their own citizens. Now, this is a military trained like anyone else's military, to defend the sovereign territory of their country. And now they're being turned into super armed policemen, because you can't trust the local police. They're riddled with corruption. You can't...” Blitzer cut in saying, “But you're not really saying, are you, Michael, that you -- you think the United States should send in thousands of American troops onto sovereign Mexican soil to fight this war?” Ware answered, “Well, good -- heaven forbid that that should ever happen. But you either legalize these things and cut the demand or you're going to have to intervene. Now, what I'm looking to the White House and President Obama for is a third way. Now, that's what he's going to have to find -- some measure between those two things, because America is responsible for this war, Wolf. It's American demand for the illicit drugs that's fueling it. It's being fought on both sides with American weapons. And it's been neglected by the United States pretty much since 9/11.” Blitzer noted that secretary of State Hillary Clinton will be in Mexico later this week; the president is planning a trip next month; and Homeland Security secretary Janet Napolitano is going to confab with the Calderon government soon. Blitzer said he assumes they’ll all come up with some sort of new strategy. Ware said Admiral Stavridis (head of Southern Command) went to Mexico a couple weeks ago after which he briefed President Obama. As Blitzer noted, the big sign that something big is brewing in Mexico is that CNN sent Michael Ware to cover it. And yes, of course, Ware is right on the money: The drug problem is totally due to American demand for illicit drugs.

2 comments:

Logan said...

Michael,

Where do the guns used by cartels in Mexico come from? The US of course, but do they really, the majority of them, come across the border? Or are they purchased by cartels from South American countries. The US government is the largest arms supplier, always has been. Is it possible that the cartels are purchasing guns sold by the US government to South American countries? I've heard only 20% or so are illegal sales by dealers or individuals in the US. Why would an international organization with millions of dollars at their disposal mess around buying a few guns here and there from border dealers when they could by them by the hundreds from countries the US government sells to.

Alejandra said...

Michael,
Now that you are covering the DRUG WAR in Mexico, trace the money, but also trace the GUNS, the Berretas, you know which mexican is the Adnan Khashogi of arms. His name is JAIME CAMIL GARZA, he is the one that sells the arms to the military and makes a healthy profit, BUT he also sells his guns and fire power to the Drug Cartel's and makes an even BIGGER PROFIT, if the US wants to STOP or at least slow down the DRUG WAR in Mexico, the CIA has to kill JAIME CAMIL GARZA. punto.