Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Out in the West Texas Town of El Paso...

... SFC B was sent there again.

I'm in El Paso again. My mom came to visit before Thanksgiving and she chastised me for not updating my blog. Honestly, just don't feel the need to anymore. While I was recruiting there were times when sitting down and typing out a post was the highlight of my day. I've tried to keep it up to date, but, honestly, the continuing of my career just isn't as writing-worthy as my time in USAREC was. Maybe I'll take up heroin so I can write some kickass songs about my recovery from addiction.

Nah, cause that would just fuel the drug trade.

Turns out that Juarez, Mexico is a terribly violent city. The headline in the Borderland section of the El Paso Times earlier this week mentioned that 28 people were killed in the city over the weekend. This was mentioned in passing since there have been 1,400 killed there this year. They're killing police. They're killing government officials. They're killing children. They're killing bystanders. They're killing pretty much everyone. Not just killing either, but kidnapping, raping, torturing, executing, and beheading. It's like the Mexican Cartels are taking distance learning classes from Al Qaeda.

I have no idea what the US, Texas, and El Paso law enforcement agencies have done to keep this from spreading into the US, but it must be a Herculean effort.

Two restrictions seem to be fueling this. The most talked about is, of course, America's drug laws. Since you need to sign a ledger to buy Sudafed in some locations, I tend to agree with those who says it's long past time to reevaluate America's stance on what Americans put into their bodies. You will have to make one hell of a case to convince me that the "worst case" scenario for legalizing drugs in the US will make things worse than it is right now.

However, what I didn't know until I took a wrong turn and almost drove into Mexico is that weapons are illegal in Mexico. Not firearms, weapons. I could spend five years in jail if a Mexican police officer found me with a Gerber. Law-abiding Mexicans can't own the means to defend themselves. This is probably not helping.

America's second-largest trading partner is dealing with a level of violence that's on-par with pre-Surge Iraq. They have even more problems since illegal aliens in America are returning to Mexico because available work in the US has declined with the recession. That is more people entering an already destabilizing situation. The combination of the drug cartels, the government, and the people caught in the middle will make sectarian violence in Iraq seem minor, if only because it will be in our backyard.


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