Mexico: Rick Perry might order troops to invade

As if to spice up a failing campaign, Rick Perry kick-starts a hot debate. But Mexican territory is sovereign, is it not?

Ever since it lost around half of its territory to America after a war from 1846-8, Mexico has been extra protective of its sovereign territory. So, it's strange that Republican presidential hopeful Rick Perry suggested there might be circumstances where he'd deploy ground troops on Mexican soil, "working in concert with them (the Mexican government) to kill these drug cartels and keep them off our border" as the BBC reported.

At present, already US drones snoop over Mexico at the drug cartels, while the National Guard has been positioned on the US side along the length of the border.

Meanwhile further south, the blood flows from drug-related violence, with some 42,000 Mexican lives claimed in the past five years.

Neutering the cartels would be a sensible course of action, rather than inflaming passions, and potentially initiating a prolonged war through US military intervention. The Americans often fail to deliver either swift or tidy military solutions, especially when acting alone. Often armed conflict ends in creating new problems without solving any of the old, it seems.

So a radical plan is required. One proposed by ex-Mexican President Vicente Fox, who famously said: "Prohibition didn't work in the Garden of Eden. Adam ate the apple."  TimeWorld reported that Fox continued: "We have to take all the production chain out of the hands of criminals and into the hands of producers — so there are farmers that produce marijuana and manufacturers that process it and distributors that distribute it and shops that sell it ... I don't want to say that legalizing means that drugs are good. They are not good but bad for your health, and you shouldn't take them. But ultimately, this responsibility is with citizens."

In September, Reuters reported "Mexican President Felipe Calderon on Monday turned up pressure on the United States to curb demand for illicit drugs, hinting that legalization of narcotics may be needed to weaken the drug cartels."

About time that some common sense entered the drugs debate. A nation wracked by a narcotics war has present and past leaders calling for radical solutions. 

It's always amazed me that the US, a nation which failed to stem alcohol during Prohibition in the 1920s which gave rise to gangster-violence and an increase in crime of some 24%, could so blindly pursue a policy of prohibition against narcotics. Not only that but also bully trade partners and allies alike into following suit. 

Drug addiction is still prevalent, and countless billions of increasingly scarce public resources are expended fruitlessly attempting to curb its use. The policy bolsters criminality, and yet doesn't reduce useage. Furthermore, the situation is getting worse, not better.

Might it not be more productive to instead spend more on hospitalisation, needle-exchanges, drug-dependency treatment facilities, anti-drug publicity, school education programmes and public awareness campaigns? 

Perhaps Mexico will pull ahead of the pack and make history, before Rick Perry or any other US President starts progressing a policy which will most likely end in disaster.

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