Soon after the Pentagon lost its longtime Official Enemy — The Communists — with the fall of the Berlin Wall, all the talk about a “peace dividend” caused Pentagon officials to go into overdrive developing reasons as to why the military budget should not be slashed. Among the things the Pentagon offered to do was to help wage the war on drugs. Of course, that was before The Terrorists had replaced The Communists as the new Official Enemy.
That all changed after more than a decade of intensive U.S. intervention in the Middle East, including the Persian Gulf War, the deadly sanctions against the Iraqi people, the U.S. statement that the deaths of half-a million Iraqi children from the sanctions were “worth it,” the deadly no-fly zones over Iraq, the stationing of U.S. troops on Islamic holy lands, and the continuation of unconditional military and financial aid to the Israeli government. All that interventionism produced the 9/11 blowback, thereby assuring the Pentagon of a new Official Enemy — The Terrorists, and thereby obviating the need to make The Drug Lords the new Official Enemy.
In the event that Americans grow weary of the long occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan, however, thereby reducing the possibility of terrorist blowback, fortunate for the Pentagon is that a new Official Enemy is now standing by, the one that the Pentagon contemplated after the fall of the Berlin Wall.
With Mexico’s ratcheting up the drug war for the past several years at the behest of U.S. officials, drug-war violence has soared in Mexico and has now reached the Mexico-U.S. border. Thousands of people, including law-enforcement officials, drug dealers, and innocent bystanders are being killed in the chaos and mayhem. The situation is enough to remind people of what it must have been like to live during Prohibition, the period of time when U.S. officials were ratcheting up the war on booze.
It shouldn’t surprise anyone that the U.S. military is ready to deal with the problem. According to an article in the New York Times, U.S. officials have developed contingency plans for a “surge” — yes, you read that right — a surge, just like in Iraq! — for the U.S.-Mexican border in the event the drug-war violence spills over into the United States. Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff stated, “We completed a contingency plan for border violence, so if we did get a significant spillover, we have a surge — if I may use that word — capability to bring in not only our own assets but even to work with” the Defense Department. The article also stated:
“Officials of the Homeland Security Department said the plan called for aircraft, armored vehicles and special teams to converge on border trouble spots, with the size of the force depending on the scale of the problem. Military forces would be called upon if civilian agencies like the Border Patrol and local law enforcement were overwhelmed, but the officials said military involvement was considered unlikely.”
Don’t count on military involvement being “unlikely.” If federal officials, such as DEA agents, federal prosecutors, and federal judges are being kidnapped, tortured, and assassinated, as the drug cartels are doing to Mexican officials, does anyone really think that President Obama and the Pentagon won’t quickly deploy battle-tested U.S. troops to the Southwest? Why, what could be more dangerous than Drug War Terrorists?
In fact, if things get as nasty as they are in Mexico, I wouldn’t be surprised if Obama and the Pentagon, with the full support of the conservative and neo-con community, extended their enemy-combatant doctrine to the drug war, sending drug-war suspects into prison camps for indefinite detention and trial by military tribunal and also subjecting them to the same torture-sex abuse techniques that are employed against suspected terrorists. After all, why not torture a suspected drug-war terrorist into divulging the location of a ticking time bomb in a federal office building?
One of these days, the American people are bound to figure out how the interventionist, Big Government scam works: The U.S. government’s own policies produce a crisis, which is then used as the excuse for expanded government power over the citizenry.
We’ve seen this with U.S. foreign policy and terrorist blowback. We’ve seen it with U.S. mortgage and housing policies and the bailouts and stimulus plans. We’ve seen it with the drug war and the violence along the border.
With each new crisis, U.S. officials get people all hyped up into supporting Bigger and Bigger Government, including Bigger Budgets, Bigger Bureaucracies, Bigger Inflation, Bigger Taxes, Bigger Borrowing, Bigger Control, Bigger Military, and less freedom and less security.
Once Americans do figure out the scam, a good place to begin bringing it all to an end is with the drug war. Repealing it entirely, as our American ancestors did with Prohibition, would not only bring an immediate end to drug-war violence and drug gangs, it would also point the way to ridding our nation of all the other interventionist policies that are so beneficial to Big Government and so destructive to the freedom and well-being of the American people.