Mexico Cartels: Terrorists or the USA Gun Market’s Valued Customers?
Legalization of the drug market, immigration reform, and regulation of the American gun market, would render the drug cartels, with their human smuggling side-line, nearly impotent; forced to rely on the legitimate businesses in which they have already diversified. The billions of dollars spent by American tax payers to combat non-lethal marijuana and human trafficking, as well as cocaine, while supplying the weapons necessary to continue said trafficking and the on-going, escalating, and increasingly horrific associated violence, could be replaced by revenue while effectively breaking the cycle of violence.
Rather than pursuing this very logical route that the Mexican government, as well as organizations throughout the United States, have been lobbying for, the American government may now consider legislation that will only prove to exacerbate the already horrific problem. U.S. Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX), the chairman of the Homeland Security Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee, has introduced a bill that would add Mexico’s six largest cartels to the American State Department’s list of ‘foreign terrorist organizations.’ The Arellano Felix organization, Los Zetas, Beltran Leyva, Familia Michoacana, Sinaloa Cartel, and the Gulf Cartel/New Federation would all join the ranks of Hamas (a democratically elected foreign government) and al-Qa’ida.
With a list that would now consist of profit oriented, non-political ideologically, criminal organizations, as well as democratically elected foreign governments, the credibility of this list would suffer the same fate as the ever-expanding no-fly list that includes the names of infants, the deceased, and the President of Bolivia. The increase of police state powers, and the ability to expand the exercise of extrajurisdictional, and arguably unconstitutional, powers of the Patriot Act, are the only things other than profit that seem to be serviced by legislation of this type.
If the bill is approved it would allow American law enforcement agencies increased powers to impose harsher punishments on anyone who provides material support to cartels. This seems as though it would provide a direct threat to, or at least a severe challenge to the powerful lobbying army of, the American gun industry. However, rather than a negative challenge, it may very well provide them with increased opportunities for profit.
While the NRA may not make this a topic of any public campaign, back room deals that have the freedom to discuss inappropriate issues that provide immense profit will certainly find a way to insert this into their agendas. Although it may seem to be a rare conflict of interest between the commingled American Empire and the Global Capitalist Empire, seldom divergent, and usually reconciled to the benefit of capitalism, the choice will be a simple one of economics. Will gun manufacturers, and all the rest of the profiteers of global conflict and disaster, make more profit from the current nature of this conflict or from the new parameters being proposed? There’s a lot of money to be made off the gun sales now, but, could there be even more if the U.S. escalates this conflict rather than solves it through immigration, drug,and gun legislation reform.
Rep. McCaul stated that “the cartels use violence to gain political and economic influence. They have taken control of much of northern Mexico and spillover crime has resulted in the abandonment of property and loss of security on the U.S. side of the border.”
Mexican Ambassador to the U.S., Arturo Sarukhan, responded by writing; “if you label these organizations as terrorist, you will have to start calling drug consumers in the U.S. ‘financiers of terrorist organizations’ and gun dealers ‘providers of material support to terrorists….Otherwise, you really sound as if you want to have your cake and eat it too.”
As CNN reported: “Mexican officials have repeatedly said that drug cartels are neither an insurgency nor terrorist organizations because their purpose is neither to destabilize the government nor promote a political ideology. Their level of cruelty is unprecedented, but they don’t hate a particular group. Their only motive, Mexican authorities say, is hard, cold cash.” Could this also be the motivation of this legislation?
There are only two things this legislation would achieve, and either one, rather than solve any problem, makes the current problems worse, and creates new ones, with a greater cost to American tax payers, and greater profit for gun manufacturers. The first thing achieved by this legislation would be apparent legitimacy for the broadening America’s global war on terror; effectively allowing the United States to employ ‘enhanced’ methods, and dedicate more of its considerable military resources, and man-power, into further ‘intervention’ by the empire into Mexico. The second would be to secure, and even expand, the extremely lucrative gun trade for American gun manufacturers and retailers.
The gun manufacturers, dealers, and their lobbyists, have a direct interest in maintaining and expanding profits. Ninety percent of the guns retrieved from cartel related crimes come directly from American gun manufacturers and retailers. Any responsible business model can only be geared towards securing the other ten percent and then growing that market. This legislation may very well achieve that. If the actual issues are not dealt with through the implementation of responsible drug, immigration, and gun legislation, the conflict will only be expanded. The expansion of the conflict, like the ‘war on terror’ elsewhere around the globe, will only result in greater profit for weapons dealers and manufacturers.
Attempts by the ATF to halt the export of these guns to Mexico has even been disallowed by the American government. Attempts at any reasonable gun regulations in America have failed repeatedly despite the constant increase in gun violence domestically. Campaigns for drug legalization, despite public support, are thwarted at every turn. Immigration reform has been caught in a quagmire for decades. Yet, rather than approach these very solvable problems with the honest intention of affecting real progress, there is now going to be legislation introduced to simply expand the conflict, expand the American empire through further intervention in Mexico, and expand the profits of the gun industry and the warmongers.
This legislation is addressing the problem from the wrong end and only promises benefit to those that profit from conflict. If any legislation can be described as backwards, or up-side down, this has certainly hit that mark. The solution is to address immigration, drug, and gun legislation in order to remove the profit from the cartels, not introduce legislation to generate profit for American gun manufacturers and facilitate the expansion of the American Empire.