International Man: There has been a recent push by some US politicians of the neocon variety to use the US military against Mexican drug cartels.
Senator Lindsay Graham has proposed designating them as “terrorist organizations.”
Representative Dan Crenshaw introduced an Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) to target drug cartels inside Mexico.
What’s your take on this?
Doug Casey: That’s just what the US needs: another war, and this one on the border.
The people who back the use of military force in Mexico can only be described as thoughtless warmongers with no grasp of either ethics or history. If the war against organizations like the Taliban in Afghanistan was a world-class disaster, would an invasion work out better in Mexico, which has three times the population of Afghanistan, is much richer and much better organized? And they’re right on the border, which is really asking for trouble.
The solution to the drug cartel problem is to legalize all drugs. The fact is that anybody who wants drugs today can get them easily, even if they’re in high-security prisons. From a practical point of view, making drugs illegal doesn’t work. All it does is greatly increase the price of the drugs in the US and create huge profit margins to import them. Even if you destroyed every cartel in Mexico, people that want drugs will still want them. As long as drugs are illegal, their prices will remain high and new cartels will arise.
But despite the relaxation of penalties on cannabis, it’s highly unlikely drugs will be legalized. The DEA, one of the most corrupt Federal agencies, is a permanent lobby to keep them illegal. And there’s way, way too much money in keeping them illegal.
The only solution is to learn a lesson from Prohibition in the 1930s. When they illegalized alcohol in the 1920s, it created the profits that allowed the Mafia to grow. It certainly didn’t cut down the amount of drinking; it just increased the amount of crime. Similarly, the insane War on Drugs is responsible for the success of the cartels.
They say fentanyl, an important medical drug, kills 50,000 to 100,000 Americans per year. That’s mostly because its quantity and quality are uncertain, a consequence of its illegality. But the real question is ethical: Does government have a right to “protect” people against themselves? My answer is: No. If people like it, it’s their body and their business. Prohibition of alcohol—which is also quite a dangerous drug—was costly, destructive, immoral, and stupid. Fentanyl, the current bete noir of busybodies, is no different.
If drugs were as easily available as aspirins through pharmacies, users would know what they were getting, and people who want them could get them at a cheap price in known doses.
Apart from recognizing that you can’t protect people from themselves, it’s important to look at the root of why many people get lost in drugs. The answer, I believe, is that they’re trying to hide from reality and blot it out. Why is that? It’s a subject for another conversation. But the irrationality and coercion caused by State intervention in private lives are part of the answer.
International Man: Mexican President Obrador has stated he will not allow the US government or military to enter Mexican territory.
It’s also well known that Mexican cartels have a significant presence inside the US.
Suppose the US government sends the military into action in Mexico anyways.
What do you think could happen?
Doug Casey: It certainly wouldn’t be the first time that the US has invaded Mexico.
In the 1840s, the US basically stole all the territory in Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and California, from Mexico. I know you shouldn’t say that—it sounds unpatriotic. But patriotism should be focused on American values, not necessarily on supporting the actions of politicians in Washington.
In the Marine Corp’s hymn, one of the lines is “From the Halls of Montezuma” because US forces were actually fighting in Mexico City.
It happened more recently when during the Mexican Revolution in the 1910s, Pancho Villa raided across the Rio Grande, and General Pershing’s troops crossed into Mexico to (unsuccessfully) pursue him.
There’s plenty of precedent for Americans invading Mexico, but perhaps the shoe is on the other foot now. 20 million or more Mexicans live in the US, mostly in the Southwest. Believe it or not, many of them talk about a Reconquista.
It’s uncertain what effect it will have on the US border if warmongers like the smarmy and foolish little Lindsey Graham succeed in fomenting an invasion of Mexico. It could turn into a counterinvasion, an active shooting war unnecessarily created to quash the Mexican drug business. Which—insofar as it’s even a real problem—is a US problem.
International Man: No matter what happens with the US military in Mexico, the situation at the border remains a mess.
What do you think should be done?
Doug Casey: The violence of the cartels is said to be one of the motivators for migration to the US. There appear to be at least one or two million people—nobody has the exact number—annually migrating from Mexico and other places into the US. Once they arrive, many become wards of the vast US welfare system. It’s a problem.
The solution, as with so many social ills, is strict observance of property rights. That implies the border should be defended. Why? The migrants usually cross the privately owned land of Americans; they have no right to trespass. Even when the land is owned by the federal or state government, they have no right to trespass. It’s a question of strictly enforcing property rights.
There’s a sign that often appears out west, “If you’re found here at night, you’ll be found here in the morning.” It’s a justified sentiment.
Entering the US, or, more importantly, onto anybody’s private property without permission, is a serious offense. Property rights are the basis of all rights.
It’s hard to know exactly, but I suspect a major attraction to migrants is that they know that once in the country, they’re basically guaranteed free food, medical care, schools, housing, and numerous other forms of welfare. That attracts the wrong kind of people. The immigrants of the 19th century were also penniless but got absolutely nothing when they came to the US. Now migrants get lots of freebies. Part of the answer is to eliminate any and all types of welfare both for Americans and immigrants—as well as strict enforcement of property rights.
International Man: Renowned trends forecaster Gerald Celente has said, “When all else fails, they take you to war.”
Do you agree?
Doug Casey: Gerald is absolutely correct.
Looking at America’s war history, when the US fought Germany and Japan, those countries were transformed because they were totally flattened, devastated, and dispirited—that made it easy to reform them in the image that the US government wanted.
In the Korean War, which was really a war fought against China on Korean territory, the US dropped more bombs than in all of World War II. The country was totally flattened, and South Korea also transformed itself in the image that we wanted.
But Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, and for that matter, Vietnam, were more on the order of sport wars against primitive countries. They were all embarrassing disasters.
What kind of war are we looking at with Mexico?
Will Washington flatten the country in order to change its government? I question whether the Mexicans will accept that. Or will Washington get involved in a protracted guerrilla war where drug gangs are designated as terrorists? Randolph Bourne was right when he said: “War is the health of the State.” Unfortunately, the average American seems to have lost the power of critical thinking. He robotically equates the health of the State with the health of America.
Either way, it’s a bad idea for America. But Washington isn’t America. The Deep State will, however, find somebody to fight. Unfortunately, it looks like Russia and China are next on the dance card, although they could certainly add Mexico to the naughty list while further bankrupting and corrupting the US.
International Man: The US government is becoming more desperate and reckless by the day.
How can the average person protect themselves and profit from this situation?
Doug Casey: The US government is increasingly designating any real or imagined enemy du jour— whether they’re Mexican drug cartels, the Russians, foreign separatist movements, or various American citizens—as terrorists. Once someone is termed a terrorist, the gloves are off, and it becomes possible to commit any kind of crime to combat him.
As the US destabilizes in many ways, Washington is finding its real danger lies within the country. What we’re looking at is a war of the US government against numerous and various groups, as well as dissident individual citizens. The FBI, CIA, DEA, and other praetorian agencies are being transformed into domestic secret police forces.
One way to protect yourself from this is to vacate the premises until it becomes safe to live in the US again.
Let me emphasize the importance of having a second residency or a second citizenship in case the US goes in the direction of so many countries in the past. And it’s not just the US. Many supposedly free Western countries are becoming quite repressive.
In fact, it’s dangerous being a US citizen in the US these days, at least if you speak out too loudly. It certainly concerns me personally. Even though I don’t believe it’s possible to change the course of events, I say what I do because it’s right, not because it’s smart.
That said, you should plan on the US government becoming much more virulent in the future. Washington, not Mexican cartels, is the real danger.
That’s absolutely the case for the next two years, while genuine Jacobins control the government. But perhaps beyond that. There’s no telling who’s going to be elected or what they’re going to do. Since we’re likely going to be in the middle of a huge financial, economic, political, social, and military crisis, anything is possible. Little of it is good.
The trend in motion is probably going to stay in motion.
Reprinted with permission from International Man.
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