Tuesday, December 7, 2010

The Mexican Drug War: Disneyland for psychotic warrior freaks!

  What is the nastiest, meanest, most lowdown, bloodthirsty, going medieval on your ass war happening in the world right now that nobody really gives a shit about and isn't in Africa, the home of wars nobody gives a shit about? What major war has racked up 45,000 dead since 2006 and has all kinds of torture deaths and indiscriminate killings of non combatants perpetrated just for the hell of it and for pure media attention designed to make regular people shit bricks? Need a hint? One of the battlefields is a mile south of San Diego.

   Yeah, it's the Mexican Drug War.

   Ranking wars in terms of human brutality in military history never works for me. I mean, you can never out do brutality by harking back to an earlier period in human brutality. That ocean is too deep. Sure, the Greek brazen bull or the Middle Ages breaking wheel offer up hellish death from the past, but seriously, Mexican drug cartels are offering up all new kinds of horrible today like slow decapitation, death by burning tire necklace and plain old live burial in the desert; so it's hard for the American Idol voting public north of the border to process the whole thing without flipping channels. There is a vague existential unease knowing that shit like that is going down just next door but nothing more TV watching can't fix. What's most disturbing is that the Mexicans south of many a gated air conditioned community in the US, are going medieval on each other in a struggle to provide Americans with sufficient nose candy, vein tar and weed to fill out their weekends with a proper mind altering drug arsenal.

   US politicians can never say this because it requires honesty to admit that it is America's appetite for drugs that is the cause of the war south of their border.

   The city of Ciudad Juarez was recently designated the second most dangerous city in the world after Mogadishu. Yeah, that's in Somalia, where the US lost two Blackhawks and the crews got hacked up with machetes. Juarez, second best death hole on the planet today, beats out Baghdad and Kabul and adjoins the US city of El Paso. The politicians are too busy in Iraq and Afghanistan, air dumping trillions of dollars for our 'freedom', while here at home Ciudad Juarez is inches south of sovereign US territory and is a war zone? Yeah, go figure that shit.

   The Mexican Drug War is asymmetrical warfare at its finest and the combatants are multiple. It's the kind of warfare that the media gets confused reporting on because it's impossible to package into simple soundbites. The narrative, if the 'mainstream media' were ever to honestly risk reporting on shit, would prove too unsettling to report, with a headline like "Americas appetite for certain drugs deemed 'illegal' by their government fuels mega death in a bordering country".  Instead, American media reports on specific incidents in the war, like twelve teens getting gunned down at a party in Tijuana or a mass grave of untraceable headless and handless corpses getting found in the desert somewhere but without much context other than drug cartels are 'bad' and they make a lot of cash and isn't it all fucking terrible. US media coverage is like some dumb Ron Burgundy local news reporter showing up at Pickett's Charge after the fact and pointing to all the dead bodies and wondering why; while leaving out Gettysburg and the fact that there's a fucking Civil War going on. That kind of shitty journalism is par for the course these days.

Money! Humans will kill for it.

   In a nutshell, it goes like this. Drugs and brown people flow north and money and weapons flow south. And we are talking serious weaponry too. AKs, Ar-15s, G3s, Light machine guns like Russian PKMs, American M 60s and M249s, hell, in one arms seizure pic I even spotted a good old German MG 42. That's a lot of spray. A fair amount of this comes from the US but not as much as the media likes to whine about. You can get a lot of it far cheaper from other South American nations or imported from Russia, China or Africa. Hell, an AK in Somalia is cheaper than a Happy Meal, that's if you can find a quality eatery like McDonalds in that desert shithole.

  You know when American politicians passed NAFTA in the 90s it was basically every corporation's wet dream come true. Now they could send every blue collar factory job south of the border where they could pay them a buck fiddy an hour and increase profits from lower labor costs. This was somehow sold to the US population as good for everyone. Yeah, people actually believed that shit. Every sneaker, jeans and widgit factory went south and left American workers wondering what the fuck? Supposedly, it was to raise 'Mexican living standards' and somehow be good for American businesses by providing a new market for those goods produced in whatever factories that didn't abandon the US, tech jobs and the like, stuff the powers that be figured the Mexican workforce were too stupid to manufacture.

   Turns out, thanks to globalization, those tech jobs got sent to India instead.

   So now nobody up here in the US has a job anymore and we need moar drugs to cope! Lots of drugs. One thing is for sure. Americans may love their country but they sure as hell love their drugs even more because for many, it's only by being wasted that makes it possible for them to live here. Cocaine and heroin are popular enough that Big Pharma came up with some neat analogues like Adderall and Oxycontin to try to muscle in on a piece of that action.

   Who are the real players here?

   The Cartels. 

   But who are they?

   Basically, they're the bastard children of Pablo Escobar.

   Escobar was a legend in the South American drug business. A true fucking badass if ever there was one. In 1989 he was ranked by Forbes as the seventh richest man in the world. That's a serious amount of blow profits. Seriously, by that metric it puts cocaine as the most prized commodity on the world market after oil. Fuck, the eighties were fun! Escobar even attempted to buy himself a seat in the Colombian government by paying off the country's entire national debt from his petty cash jar. I shit you not! Obviously, you don't get to that position without murdering shitloads of people but hey, that's how this fucked up world rolls right? Of course, this painted a pretty big target on Escobar's head especially in the US. The CIA wanted a piece of that black ops untracable drug money for themselves and him dead.  They triangulated his position for Colombian cops and Escobar went down fighting Tony Montana style, getting shot to shit on the roof of a house in his home village of Medellin.

   So that should have been the end of the whole thing, right? The boss man is dead. Actually that's when the whole thing went even more out of control like they'd just cut off one of the proverbial Hydra's heads and watched two new ones grow back in their place. Only, in this case, it wasn't heads but today's drug cartels. This factioning of the trade into numerous groups vying for a piece of the action soon turned into a war for more money, and, in 2006, against the Mexican authorities themselves when President Calderon followed the Americans 'advice' and declared a 'war' on drugs and the cartels.

   That's been working out fucking awesome, right?

  The Americans think they can solve everything by declaring 'war' on it, like the dumb bully who's been held back a year and finds himself the only big guy left on the playground because everyone else his age has moved on to high school. The bully's now pissed and declaring war on every little guy with a bag of Cheetos. But every little guy knows what happens to the bully long term.  He ends up on  meth  in a trailer park. That's America in 20 years if it doesn't get its shit together

Cartel Territory and where not to plan your Mexican vacation!

   But the Mexican Drug War is just really fucking nasty all around. When the Cartels declared war on the Mexican authorities they didn't join up together and fight. There's no honor among thieves here, they're quite adept at bribing cops to go after rival gangs, ratting each other up to the DEA, or going head to head with each other. They'll mow down a birthday party full of teenagers cos one guy in there owes them a few bucks  for an eight ball. They'll start a battle in a suburb using an SUV mounted grenade launcher and kill 12 and wound 100. All civilians.

   And nobody gives a shit.

   You see that's another problem with this war. For instance, in 2008 there were 1600 murders in Mexican border towns and 34 arrests. So basically the message sent out by that statistic is, you kill someone, you walk. There are no consequences. And in the drug business good old ultra violence is the only means of settling disputes. It's not like you can go to the cops, they are as likely to sell you out to the guy trying to kill you for cash then help you. Court system? He-he, just kidding.

   That's when you hear two words floating around that makes US politicians shit bricks... failed state.

   This is especially true in the border towns like Tijuana, Ciudad Juarez, Nogales and Nuevo Laredo because this is the bottleneck, the crossing point into the main market for the cocaine flowing up from Colombia, black tar heroin from southern Mexico, meth from factories in Mexico city and weed from just about everywhere in Mexico with access to sunlight. For the cartels, controlling the border crossing points is key and why they're such clusterfucks.

   There are quite a few Cartels controlling different areas but by far my favourite group are Los Zetas. These motherfuckers scare the shit out of me. These guys started out as a legit group of elite Mexican military officers trained in counter insurgency ops, small group and aerial assault, advanced comms, fuck, you name it, these guys have gotten training in it at Bragg and at the euphemistically named "School of the Americas" which is basically a South American assassin training school in Georgia that makes Amnesty International want to rage quit the whole game.

   They went rogue in the late 80s after witnessing the huge profits they were missing out on by staying legit. These guys are even better equipped then the Mexican army, wearing body armor, fielding AKs, ARs, 50cals, Stinger missiles and RPGs. They also operate helos and have shitloads of up armored SUVs and are experts in demo and advanced comms. These guys wiretap the Mexican government to make sure any bribes made get delivered on. They also employ armies of teen look out kids and hordes of prostitutes who suck cock for intel from unsuspecting targeted customers. Los Zetas are not only involved in drug smuggling, but extortion rackets, kidnapping, jail breakouts and human trafficking.

    Mexico is like Disneyland for psychotic warrior freaks.

   So what's the solution here? The Mexicans got heavy heat from the US when they decriminalized the possession of small amounts of coke, heroin and ecstasy last year but this isn't likely to affect much since the primary market for all drugs is in the US. Legalization in the US so as to kill demand and bring the trade out of the hands of criminals and hand if over legally to big pharma corporations? Sure, the CEOs of Pfizer and Glaxo Smith Kline would jizz their pants if they could sell coke legally but the public are too dumb, distracted and misinformed for this to happen in the foreseeable future. Hell, California couldn't even pass a marijuana legalization ballot measure in November, lobbied against heavily by the cop unions, the prison unions, the DEA and the Mexican drug cartels. Nice to see  all of the people making money off the drug war all on the same side for once. 

   And so like all miserable, shitty South American wars, the atrocities are bound to continue without respite until maybe the cartels start shooting up government buildings inside the US and even then the US will just declare more hysterical war and throw more tanks and bombers at it, hell anything but some common sense.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Wikileaks and the death of American badassery.

    You know the one thing that blew my mind about Julian Assange and the Wikileaks document dump? The way the US reacted to it. The fact that people read those cables and were shocked, shocked, that the world runs this way! It's as if everyone acted suddenly surprised and found themselves shocked to discover that they were tricked into believing that diplomats were somehow supposed to be different from the rest of us. The leaks made clear that world diplomatic relations between countries are no different from our own shitty relations with each other in regular society, like that contractor who disappeared with the deposit I gave him for my sink repair or the dodgy mechanic who swapped out my tires when he changed my brake pads.

   The world is full of shit. And the world is at war, humans are at war, constantly and on every level. Between nations, between citizens and their rulers, between citizens and other citizens, between you and your own friends. War is the base level of human reality, war for resources, war for status, war for success, war for money, pussy and land. War to prove I'm better than you. Like Clausewitz said, "War is the continuation of diplomacy by other means". It's the point where hate gets physical.

   That's reality.

   Contrary to the world presented on TV by those trying to sell you shit.

   News media presents an image of reality that people sense is bullshit but would like to live up to anyway. As an example, Wikileaks revealed that American diplomats think England's Prince Andrew is a rude asshole, but suddenly that's controversial when it's leaked. Why? Because Prince Andrew probably is an asshole but that isn't allowed to be known, voicing that experience off the record by those who've met him is a non allowable media experience, instead, the media consensus (and so the manufactured one) is that Prince Andrew is automatically good because he's a prince. No reporter ever ran the story of Prince Andrew being a prick as it doesn't make for a good story because the rich don't like the idea of it and the plebs don't need to know anyway. When Wikileaks document dumps the truth that American diplomats who've met him think that way, everyone ends up shocked.

   Wikileaks here reveals a fundamental disconnect between how the world is portrayed as a 'feel good wish fulfillment consumer phantasmagoria' in the media and the actual world you meet everyday when the alarm clock blares and rushes you to your cubicle as a wage slave; all so you can keep the lights on and food in your gut.

   Life is war and you're the civilian.

   My favourite leak is that US and UK diplomats are shitting bricks about the current state of Pakistan and the fate of its ever growing nuclear arsenal. Oh really? I've been shitting about that since 2003. It's only a shocking revelation because the media never reports it. So when we find out that diplomats have no idea who controls the nukes there, that 100,000 Pakistani personnel are involved in the nuclear program there and the Taliban captured the Swat valley with collusion from Islamists in the Pakastani military and government, you know that smuggled chunk of highly enriched uranium is gonna go on the market in some scumbag Albanian dive bar very soon.

   That should make you shit bricks.

   A US city getting glassed by a nuke in an uninspected ship container freely rolled into a US harbor while the TSA searches your granny's tits for a silicon implant bomb. Talk about security theater... It's a story that should be on the front page of every US newspaper everyday. But it isn't. It took a document dump to the world's media to even be elevated to the point of a news story. If that isn't a total failure of popular journalism then I don't know what is.

   Oh, and Bill O' Reilly and Hannity called for Assange's assassination on national TV. I mean here are 'journalists' (LOL) openly calling for the murder of other journalists for doing their jobs and daring not to be spokesmen for the complex.  This is fucking surreal. The death of real balls in America. Truth is now deemed the enemy. In the land of free speech, they want to arrest or kill the only man prepared to hand it to them. Yet we're fighting for 'freedom' in Iraq and Afghanistan.

   These right wing 'badass' appealers to American badassary in war miss the point by so wide a mark that it makes me rage. You know what American badassery is? It's Patton driving through France in '44. It's McAuliffe holding out at Bastogne and writing "nuts" on a piece of paper when asked to surrender. It's MacArthur pulling off that amphibious assault at Inchon in 1950. Hell, it's Custer going down with all hands at Little Big Horn.

   The only badass left in America today is the TSA laughing at your saggy 'bad' ass in your naked irradiated scan at the airport.