Pubdate: Sun, 11 Jan 2009
Source: El Paso Times (TX)
Copyright: 2009 El Paso Times


We're continually told that the raging war between Mexican drug
cartels isn't expected to cross to the U.S. We've only half -- sort of
- -- believed that when told so by local law-enforcement leaders the
past year.

Now it's time to believe, and we'd better be prepared in case the
little bit we've seen turns into a surge.

Be prepared. That's the message given by one of the nation's smartest
minds on drug warfare, former U.S. drug czar Barry McCaffrey.

Since Mexican citizens are afraid in their own country, McCaffrey says
the U.S. must be ready in case the lawlessness and violence results in
a surge of refugees crossing into the U.S.

Note the term "refugees." This is not the illegal immigration issue,
where people come here to find work because there is little to be had
in Mexico. This is a bona fide world crisis.

McCaffrey explains: "A failure by the Mexican political system to
curtail lawlessness and violence could result (in) a surge of millions
of refugees crossing the U.S. border to escape the domestic misery of
violence, failed economic policy, poverty, hunger, joblessness, and
the mindless cruelty and injustice of a criminal state."


This comes from McCaffrey's report, "Visit Mexico: 5-7 December 2008." He
likened the situation to that in Iraq.

Mere yards, not miles, from El Paso.

While McCaffrey was in El Paso last week, other reports were released
with other scary possibilities. In a Dallas Morning News story, it was
reported that "Drug-related violence in Mexico, already at
unprecedented levels, is expected to escalate .."

It went on to say that cartels will likely target top Mexican
politicians and law enforcement agents and perhaps U.S. officials,
too. That's what officials in both Mexico and the U.S. predict, the
report stated. We've already seen the effects of the violence in
several ways, including dozens of gunshot victims being treated at
Thomason Hospital -- and the lessening of back-and-forth business
between El Paso and Juarez.

McCaffrey's message is sobering. Our smartest minds must be ready to
meet the scary challenge that comes from the backlash of a lawless
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MAP posted-by: Larry Seguin