Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Time to act: (A Letter to the U.S. President)

Dear Mr. President:

We have a moral responsibility to assist Mexico, in a far greater capacity, to help end our drug war. We need to share greater intelligence, surveillance technologies, special forces, and even large and effective numbers of military troops (should they be welcomed). We should offer any and all assistance we can make available to end the murderous lawlessness that rages in Mexico. It is our problem. Americans perpetuate the violence by providing enormous revenue for the drug cartels, our laws have failed to stop this drug consumption for decades. We need to own up to our responsibility and fight the violence with far greater attention, commitment, and moral resolve.

Violence is escalating at our southern border and our national inaction is beyond disgraceful. Americans consume roughly 50% of the entire world market supply of marijuana and cocaine -- much of which is trafficked through Mexico. Regardless of the legality of these narcotics in the United States, our citizens are providing a vast market for obscenely brutal and violent criminal organizations. It is understatement to suggest that our attempts to thwart American drug consumption have failed for decades. While I do believe legalizing these narcotics and distributing them through government regulated channels would ultimately eradicate drug violence and reduce drug addiction, I do not advocate this here as most American politicians, including the Obama administration, find such a painfully obvious solution to be an unthinkable political anathema, regardless of the moral reprehensibility of ignoring an obvious solution to an increasingly tragic problem.

Arizona has passed exceptionally xenophobic legislation allowing state officers to enforce immigration laws. You have commented on this but, in my opinion, have not provided an effective alternative. The political hysteria in Arizona is directly related to the astronomical rise of murders in Mexican cities bordering the United States. Arizonans are beginning to believe that the violence is beginning to spill over into the United States. Regardless of where the violence is happening, and where it might happen in the future it is our responsibility to stop it. We made this mess and we need to clean it up.

American citizens were reputedly tortured and killed in Mexico this week in Ciudad Juarez. An American citizen Rafael Morales was taken from his wedding in Ciudad Juarez, tortured and murdered. His body left in the bed of a pickup truck. While the Mexican death toll does not seem to matter much to the United States, and it seems far more important to spend billions in two wars on the other side of the world, American deaths in the drug war are beginning to multiply. How many are required before you assert leadership and do something tangible and effective about it?



Christopher Penrose