Thursday, June 05, 2008

Yellow Journalism At It's Finest

Rare is the day, these days, when a piece causes Chaos to bolt upright, shocked and amazed that the nation's paper of record would endorse such wrong-headed drivel, and yet, that is exactly the situation recently. An editorial in The Times displayed such a contemptible lack of historical understanding, rationality, or a grasp of any sort of reality whatsoever, that Chaos believed for a moment that the Dallas Morning News, Washington Times, or Fox News was being displayed in the browser. Let's tune in for a few memorable lines from "Mexico at the Brink":

"The War on Drugs may be fading from memory north of the Rio Grande, but south of the river, bloody battles are threatening to overwhelm Mexico’s democratically elected government." (Seems like we've heard this story somewhere before...oh yeah, I remember now: Colombia....and I guess it's "fading from memory" because we have an actual war going on or something?)

"The timid assistance package proposed by the Bush administration and pared down by Congress suggests that Washington doesn’t grasp either the scale of the danger or its own responsibilities." (And what responsibilities would those be? Wait, it's coming...)

"The United States has a clear interest and a clear obligation to help. This country is the main market for the methamphetamine cooked in Mexican labs and the cocaine moving through Mexico from the Andes. It is also the source of the traffickers’ weapons. And no fence will stop the gun battles from moving across the border." (Hmmm...'help' with the Drug War....let's think about that one. Seems like the US has been having a 'drug war' for quite awhile, and what have we to show for it? More people imprisoned for consuming natural substances which are less harmful than alcohol or tobacco, but not much else, besides the enormous amounts of money being spent.)

"The Bush administration is right to acknowledge the shared threat and the common responsibility. But the three-year, $1.4 billion aid package it proposed doesn’t do the job. It is too small, notably so when compared with the billions the cartels earn in the United States. And far too much of the aid is military hardware when Mexico has other more urgent needs."(Well, how much would it take, you know, to actually win? Do we have a ballpark figure? No? Maybe because that would be money down a rathole, to use a colloquialism...)

"Above all, Mexico needs help rooting out corruption and creating a well-equipped, well-trained and respected civilian police force. The Mexican police need help improving their skills in forensic investigations, prison security and witness protection. And Mexico needs a transparent, fair and competent judiciary to prosecute traffickers as well as officials and members of the police who have been bought by the traffickers or are guilty of human rights abuses."(Mexico may indeed have problems with corruption, which may or may not be related to the drug trade, but offering to 'help' with those is kinda, oh, hypocritical, when you think about the corruption that seems to be endemic in the Empire these days. The monies spawned by the prohibition on drugs know no boundaries in inducing law enforcement corruption; witness the number of public officials in South Texas indicted for accepting bribes from drug traffickers. But let's let the patronizing attitude slide, and consider again what metrics this amazing editorial would like to use to consider this 'aid' a success.)

"Washington’s role does not end there. Mexico has no hope of defeating the traffickers unless this country is also willing to do more to fight the drug war at home — starting with a clear commitment to stop the weapons smugglers and to do more to take on the narcotics networks on the American side of the border." (Actually, nobody should hope, after all this time, money and effort, that defeating drug traffickers has even the remotest possibility, short of legalization. The violence which so scares the Times is the direct result of the illegality, and hence the markup, of the substances. Let us say it one more time: the 'War On Drugs' is a stupid concept. It cannot be 'won'. Resistance to this concept, as they say in a memorable Star Trek film, is futile. It does, however, divert one's attention from more serious matters, which lurk on the edge of the Matrix, and for that, perhaps the piece has actually served its purpose. Sleep now, children.)

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