Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Mexico: A Different Kind of Gun Story

Just a quick post as I get ready for another doctor's appointment.

Of the many, almost countless Obama misadministration scandals, if I had to pick just one--ONE, mind you--as the epitome, as the single and clearest example of this misadministration's arrogance, brutality, illegality, and sweeping falsehood, it would be "Fast and Furious."

Having written a great deal about this horrid affair (for example here, here,  here) I won't repeat it all, but to remind . . . The Obama misadministration took office with a very strong anti-gun drive; the Obamistas sought sweeping "gun control" whether we wanted it or not, and whether we needed it or not. They seized on the much-publicized and rampant drug violence in Mexico and Central America and on the notion pushed by the Mexican government and Hollywood that the guns used in that very lethal violence came from Red State gun stores and dealers or from US gangs. Those of us who actually served in Mexico and Central America, and who knew something about the "war on drugs" and guns, knew that the guns used in Mexico and Central America overwhelmingly came neither from American manufacturers nor from US sources. As with "global warming," however, the facts could not get in the way of the story and the development of a policy to "stop the guns." At the Foreign Service Institute and via talking points memos sent all of our Missions, we diplomats were told that "at least" sixty percent of the guns used in Mexico's drug violence came from the US; Secretary Clinton on more than one occasion said it was ninety percent. We were to push the line that "drugs flow north and guns flow south."

It, of course, was nonsense, criminal nonsense. The US-origin guns that entered Mexico and Central America had been sent by the US government; the Obama misadministration, Eric Holder's Department of Justice sought to "prove" guns could go to Mexico and Central America from the US. The DOJ, working through the bizarre ATF, set up smuggling networks, forced law-abiding gun dealers to sell to those networks, and ensured guns went south into the hands of some of the most violent, sadistic, and well-organized criminal gangs in the world. In the paws of these cartel thugs, the ATF guns killed hundreds of Mexican citizens, and at least two US federal agents, one in Arizona and one in Mexico. The Obama misadministration used the presence of guns it smuggled into Mexico as "proof" guns were smuggled into Mexico. It argued for vast new controls on gun ownership in the US, and that the US should support international gun control treaties to prevent the violence we saw in Mexico. It would prove hard to imagine a more cynical and criminal use of power in a democratic country. Obama and Holder ran an undeclared, covert, and illegal war against the government and the people of Mexico, and blamed it on the second amendment to the US Constitution. The media, as a whole, remained passive in the face of this huge crime--some tried to blame Bush.

It seems, however, some smuggling from the US to Mexico has occurred: the idea of self-defense.

We see press reports, still largely garbled, incomplete, inchoate, even, and full of "liberal" bias telling us that,
The two dozen men standing guard on a rutted road that cuts through these lime groves and cornfields are just one small part of a citizen militia movement spreading over the lowlands of western Mexico. But as they told their stories, common threads emerged: Los Angeles gang members. Deported Texas construction workers. Dismissed Washington state apple pickers. 
Many were U.S. immigrants who came back, some voluntarily but most often not, to the desiccated job market in the state of Michoacan and found life under the Knights Templar drug cartel that controls the area almost unlivable. They took up arms because they were financially abused by the extortion rackets run by the Templars. Because they had family killed or wounded by their enemies.
Villagers and townspeople in parts of Mexico have begun to fight back against the drug gangs, and the corrupt government and police officials that make life hell in much of Mexico.

Slate, not exactly a conservative publication, reports that,
The vigilantes have a clearly defined mission: ridding the community of the Knights Templar and stopping their extortion and kidnapping. Manuel argues they need to take up arms because the government didn’t do its job of protecting citizens, “We have to take care of ourselves because the people who were supposed to be taking care of us were treating us like shit.”
The Mexican government, apparently, has reacted in a confused manner. It seeks to disarm the "vigilantes," and to legalize them. According to the LA Times, the Mexican government now also plans to pour money into poor Michoacan state to buy them off and appear responsive to their concerns,
President Enrique Peña Nieto said Tuesday that his government would invest the equivalent of about $3.4 billion in social and infrastructure programs for the beleaguered Mexican state of Michoacan, where armed vigilante groups have been clashing with a drug gang.

The program, which Peña Nieto announced in Morelia, the state capital, represents a significantly larger investment in Michoacan than the one unveiled last month by his social development secretary, Rosario Robles, who promised to spend about $225 million. The funding will go to scholarships for students, pensions for the elderly and credits for small business owners, as well as for infrastructure projects such as highways and a new hospital. 
The plan, Peña Nieto said, was meant "to recover security, establish conditions of social order and spur economic development." 
Trouble in Michoacan boiled over last month as vigilante “self-defense” groups went on the offensive. They took over communities around the city of Apatzingan, a key stronghold of the Knights Templar drug cartel, and threatened to march on the city. That forced Peña Nieto to send in thousands of troops and police, who continue to patrol many rural communities. 
The spending is the federal government’s most significant acknowledgment that a long-term strategy is required in Michoacan, which has long suffered from poverty and lawlessness.
None of these articles, however, mentions the role played by the Obama misadministration in arming the drug gangsters who wage war on the Mexican people.

Not exactly The Magnificent Seven, but a story worth following, and one which has some clear lessons for the future of democracy in Mexico and here at home.

44 comments:

  1. Some of the guys who work for tell similar stories. They are from the Rayon area opposite of Michoacan. When I get time I'll relate some of their stories. This is a coming thing in Mexico. The regular people are fed up.

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  2. It does not surprise me in the slightest that these "vigilante" groups have sprung up. The Mexican government has never been effective and now this is abundantly obvious to all. The Help from Obama and Holder to their allies, the cartels , has simply exacerbated a situation that was already on the slick highway to Hell.

    My Mexican friends , the prosecutors, the honest cops, the abuelas etc, despise the Cartels, despise their nation's weakness and many of them are learning to despise the Light bringer .

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  3. Perhaps it is nearly time to revive the tradition of committees of vigilance, as the police don't protect us ... especially against the police.

    I use "police" as synechdoche for police agencies, of which IRS, ATF, NSA, FBI, even EPA, come to mind immediately.

    They used to say that, just as Esquimaux had a thousand terms for snow (a falsehood, by the way), so also did the Russians have a thousand terms for police. Well, now, so do we.

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    1. "Not exactly The Magnificent Seven, but a story worth following."

      I can't believe I didn't notice that line.

      "We need help."
      "We must buy guns"
      "We know nothing about them."
      "Will you buy guns for us?"
      "Guns are very expensive and hard to get. Why don't you hire men?"
      "Men?"
      "Gunmen. Nowadays men are cheaper than guns."

      Alas, nowadays brave and honest men are more expensive and hard to get than guns.

      Delete
  4. It's unforgivably off-topic. But I couldn't resist it. It's better than cats on youtube.

    http://pjmedia.com/spengler/2014/02/12/israel-at-a-point-of-no-return-in-the-right-direction/?singlepage=true

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    1. a6z...now THAT was an eye opening link. Good find on your part.

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    2. I found that link interest too.
      leaperman

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    3. I passed it on to my list of trusted 'Islamaphobes'. Encouraging news. Max.

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    4. Thanks, guys. I figured we need some good news around here.

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  5. The fact that guns that were shipped south under Fast and Furious is a travesty, for sure. But I think you might be overstating the impact such guns had. All in all, about 2,000 firearms were used in the botched operation. In terms of the impact of these guns, as reported in September 2011, the Mexican government stated that an undisclosed number of guns had been found at about 170 crime scenes linked to the ATF sales. Darrell Issa has claimed about 200 Mexicans have been killed by guns linked to the operation. This is a tragedy. And awful tragedy.

    But there are lots of US guns in Mexico and Central America that are not from the ATF. You know that. Thousands of guns have illegally entered the world of the street gangs and cartels from US gun shops, from US-government military and police sales and from private US citizen sales. The evidence to support this is unequivocal.

    You make some valid points about self defence and about the role of the ATF in their botched campaign, but I feel you do your strong points a disservice by showing overt bias towards your theory of government intervention being bad and self-defence being necessary.

    Your article would have been better had it shown the fact that US guns from a host of sources are part fuelling the violence in the Latin states.

    Iain Overton

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    1. The evidence is not there for what you say. The overwhelmingly percentage of guns in the Mexican violence come from non-US sources.

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    2. I personally know Mexicans (not narcos) who could care less where the guns come from, they are just trying to defend themselves. Also " The evidence to support this is unequivocal." is nonsense.

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    3. " The evidence to support this is unequivocal.

      Got any links to support this?

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    4. paul vincent zecchinoFebruary 13, 2014 at 1:21 PM

      There is a familiar and not at all pleasant aroma wafting about your tediously predictable anti-gun agitprop post; it's the reek of 70s vintage gun-control flatulence gassed off by know-nothing neurotics and tyrannical aspirants in effort to demonize guns and the law abiding citizens who own them.

      You're working the wrong side of History Street. Thirty years of steadily relaxed gun laws and increased CCW provisions have played a strong part in reducing crime: when citizens are armed, criminals become polite.

      Should you doubt that, see under The Two Cesares: Lombroso and Becaria, two Italian scholars who one hundred fifty and two hundred seventy years ago founded the science of criminology.

      Their findings based upon scholarly research and 5800 years of history demonstrated that if you want more crime, by all means inflict more gun-control. If you want less crime, relax the gun laws.

      Becaria and Lombroso stated with clarity that societies which sanctioned the private ownership of firearms suffered high rates of crime, while those which respected their citizens' right to self-defense and to keep arms enjoyed low rates of crime.

      Your post is flawed right down to its socket-pedestals, as you proceed from the long disproved, lenin-inspired lie that objects motivate behavior, to wit: guns cause crime. Lenin, that Kalmyk murderer, was a big believer in the evil notion that man could absolve himself of guilt for his crimes by blaming them on objects.

      You know the drill very well, as does ever jailhouse lawyer: well, uh, you know, man, like uhhh, I just wanted some money and that guy that got shot (By the jailhouse lawyer) he wouldn' give it up, you know. An' like if that gun wasn't put in my pocket by someone else like I would never have shot him.....'

      Indeed he wouldn't have without that evil gun. Why Mr. Perp would have instead whipped out his Bible and shared upbuilding passages with his victim.

      Your second flawed foundational point is one the anti-gun crowd always hopes we miss. We didn't.

      American guns are irrelevant, as are guns from Iceland or East Boogaloostan and you well know it.


      Mexico's laws are draconian. When I lived in the fearsome CA high desert town of Morongo Valley during the summers, my principal residence being down here Flahda, even I knew not to even think about bringing a firearm into Mexico. I had no desire to spend five sunny warm years enjoying the tranquility of a Mexican dungeon.

      Mexico's gun laws prohibit firearms from any country, unless you're pals with commandante.

      Which brings us right back to Becaria and Lombroso, who noted with clarity the fecklessness of anti-gun laws thusly:

      Banning firearms increases crime by empowering criminals who prey on defenseless, unarmed citizens.

      Thirty years of history, of falling crime rates thanks in great part to liberalized gun laws, put the lie to your stale, 70s vintage propaganda.

      Thanks for the trip down memory lane, it brought back wonderful recollections of the Carter Glory Years, of Nelson 'Pete' Shields and his Handgun Control gang, along with the National Coalition to Ban Handguns.

      There are more guns in private hands than ever, and crime is plummeting in America.

      Were your premises even remotely valid we all of us shoulda dropped like flies decades ago. But we didn't. We're still here. And we can sniff out leftist propaganda over the horizon, even better than an FPS-35.

      Delete
    5. Admittedly where Central & South America are concerned I, Arkie can claim no particular "expertise" gained personally but I'm anecdotally comfortable echoing Diplomad's assertion at February 13, 2014 at 5:56 AM.

      I have however, been "read-into" some stuff particularly related to the Zetas group which would tend to make a portion at least of your assertion ridiculous on its face [bolded] Thousands of guns have illegally entered the world of the street gangs and cartels from US gun shops, from US-government military and police sales and from private US citizen sales. The evidence to support this is unequivocal.

      What I know to be true is particularized to the known instances of automatic weapons (not of the US media's misunderstanding, ie semi-auto) being used - and in 97% of the known incidents, the rounds were found to be incompatible with NATO weaponry.

      In my experience I've found, if one particular in an assertion is demonstrably false, the remainder are at least, questionable.

      There is no question however, to my mind, Diplomad served there. In an Expert capacity. I for one therefore, defer to Diplomad's expertise and analysis.

      Arkie

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    6. OK you guys, don't pay much attention to Iain, he's obviously British and we know how they feel about "self-defence". It's working out SOOOO well for them.

      Blessings to all,

      LibertyGrace'sGrandma

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    7. Yes Zecchino! By the way what is a FPS-35?
      Arkie good, good, good. And the saying is "falsus in uno falsus in omnibus"
      Apparently Mr. Overton was referring to the indirect fire section that every self respecting Gun Show highlights. MLRS no problem, cash and carry, no backgrounds, etc. this is unequivocal! Bah, these people make me cranky.

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    8. @Paul Zecchino--great reply, but I have a quibble or two. Lenin was no Kalmyk, but a Chuvash.

      Also, my guess is that the real reason crime is going down in the USA isn't the armed citizen, but because under our Grand an Glorious Third World Leader Barack O, there's less and less for the criminals to steal.

      That being said, I'm for the 2d Amendment (the whole Bill of Rights, come to think of it).

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    9. I think this guy made an honest mistake, which he then compounded with his 'unequivocal' bluff. Any reference to a phrase like "the evidence is unequivocal" or "it's is a known fact" immediately sets off my "This has, at best, a 50/50 chance of being correct." alarm.

      Just the other day, I stated this exactly thing to a coworker after his claim of 'known fact' status to his opinion. It wasn't even a minute before his 'known fact' was demonstrably false. To his credit, he laughed really hard as well, at himself. :)

      - reader #1482

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    10. my dear Mr. Zecchino,

      I was hoping someone else would say this, more or less, so I wouldn't have to.

      "There is a familiar and not at all pleasant aroma wafting about your tediously predictable anti-gun agitprop post; it's the reek of 70s vintage gun-control flatulence gassed off by know-nothing neurotics and tyrannical aspirants in effort to demonize [yadda yadda]."

      I bow to no man as a lover of the right to bear arms. (Hell, I even love the right to bare arms.) But you have slipped into the intemperate tone of them toward us. And the length ... well, brevity is the soul of wit, and not only of wit.

      Do you suppose that Iain (have I got the number of vowels right?) will be back for further education? No, I don't think so, either. Also, it isn't good for you.

      I still reproach myself for intemperate messages to a misguided Richard-A.-Feynman enthusiast. Anyone can make this mistake. Let us make a Valentine's Day Resolution to do better.

      Yes, I realize that in politics Republicans must stop bringing knives to gun fights. Diplomad's blog is not a gun fight.

      Besides, as the sainted Buckley once said (I semiquote): on occasion you must hang a man by the neck until he is dead, but there is never an occasion to be rude.

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    11. Kepha?

      For reasons I'm not gonna go into it "helps in my line of endeavor" to keep up with some lines of Scientific inquiry - and recently I noted a study which posits crime rates (at least in part) are dropping because of something no current pol could claim credit for - unless that is, I'm maybe unaware of somebody having the longevity of say, a Strom Thurmond.

      http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2014-02/acs-mel020514.php

      (That's just a brief - I've yet to read in full.)

      Arkie

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    12. a6z..."Besides, as the sainted Buckley once said (I semiquote): on occasion you must hang a man by the neck until he is dead, but there is never an occasion to be rude". And from this day forward I will never wear a tie or even button the top button on my shirt. I will seek out only polite people.

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    13. Mr. Wall,

      That's a great look on you. The Miami-Vice not-shaved-but-not-really-a-beard also works for you.

      You can't guarantee that you are in the presence only of polite people--nor, for that matter, only of decent people. But you can try to guarantee that you are in the presence of one.

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    14. Iain, either you suffer from severe delusions (i.e. Believing what the lightbringer and his malignant dwarf are feeding you ) or you simply are parroting el Comendante's line that those Venezuelan and Cuban marked weapons came from Arizona.

      At any rate, you are, doubtlessly, a stooge.

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    15. a6z..."That's a great look on you. The Miami-Vice not-shaved-but-not-really-a-beard also works for you" You have me pegged. When the weather clears I plan to take the Ferrari out for a spin. It's been too long.

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  6. When are they going to march on DC, the center for illegal activity here in America?

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  7. There were quite a few arms and equipment given to Mexican army and police that have shown up, accompanied by the owners, in cartel hands. That is not the same as coming from US "legal sources." I remember when it was possible to bring guns into Mexico for legitimate hunting purposes around 30 years ago. Friends of mine went hunting in Baja for ducks and took permitted shotguns. I am certain those days are long gone.

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    1. That's correct. Those weapons given to the Mexican police and army by the US that subsequently show up in cartel hands cannot be blamed on gun stores or gun shows in Texas.

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    2. Mr. Mad,
      Are you implying there is graft in Mexico? Another illusion is shattered, shattered I say! The lack of knowledge of the world some people (Iain) have, makes you wonder if they've ever even looked out the window.

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    3. F&F is the grubby scandal that will not be allowed to go away. It is an example of what people like Obama/Holder/Clinton will do to advance a narrative and their ultimate goal by any means necessary.

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    4. Mr. Wall,

      F&F is yet another grubby scandal that will be allowed to go away if the Democratic media have anything to say about it ... which, alas, they have.

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  8. The 2nd Amendment. Its not just for Americans anymore.
    Perhaps we should send the rest of our Constitution to Mexico. Lord knows our current Administration has no intention of following it.

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  9. "That forced Peña Nieto to send in thousands of troops and police, who continue to patrol many rural communities."

    Nothing spurs Government into action like The People getting things sorted out for themselves.

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  10. Off topic, but how about Janet Napolitano as the next Democrat president? She seems to be popping up everywhere, staying in the public eye. Something to watch (with furrowed brow).

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    1. Janet is like a case of shingles...the virus is within and pops out unpredictably. How about this scenario....Democrats, meaning the non rabid Alinskyite -somewhat normal ones....they do exist, decide to take their party back and back a challenger like Evan Bayh from Indiana? The 2016 candidates for Pres will all have to be pro economic growth, not pro government growth, to win. Our economic condition by then will demand it of both parties.

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    2. I hate the facts, but they seem to be the facts.
      Hillary can count on politics of identity to get her the nomination in 2016. I'm pretty certain she can count on it to get the generals as well.
      I don't think it makes sense for anybody else to run in the primaries or in the generals. She's going to get a *ridiculous* imbalance of the female vote and Obama's already shown that you only need a small imbalance to win with identity politics.
      it SUCKS... but they're counting on racism and chauvinism to win them another 8 years... I don't see any possibility of them failing... the US is populated with simply too many sheep.

      - reader #1482

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  11. Fun near-future SF setting element: The majority of Mexican states/provinces effectively under revolt, the only ones "responsive" to presidential control are the ones still under control of the drug cartels.

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  12. *Sorta off topic* & an advisory (if you're prone to giggle fits) - but mostly cause it's sad our great Nation has come to this being necessary.

    http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2014/02/12/217979/pop-tart-gun-bill-would-not-punish.html

    Ark

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  13. By the way what is a FPS-35?

    1960s vintage long range radar, used for Bear and Badger hunting. All retired, most pulled down.

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  14. Well Mr. Mad,
    Back at your old shop it looks like they've mastered the art policy development.

    "He has asked all of us to think about various options that may or may not exist,” Mr. Kerry said at a news conference during a visit here to meet with China’s leaders about North Korea and other regional issues.

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    1. An emendment it's "the art of policy development".

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  15. I am trying to follow events in Venezuela but the coverage is spotty. Twitter is doing what it can. Hopefully the people have had enough of this Bolivarian Revolution nonsense and reclaim their wealthy but broke country from the Chavistas. We will see.

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  16. "Obama and Holder ran an undeclared, covert, and illegal war against the government and the people of Mexico, and blamed it on the second amendment to the US Constitution."

    "Fast and Furious" should be called Obama's and Holder's "Operation Murder and Mendacity", their 'Rolling 9/11 Against Mexican Civilians: Men, Women and Children". Even as of a couple of years ago, the Mexican Attorney General said that 200 Mexican civilians had been killed and that was just from the ObamaGuns that were recovered. By now that count is probably at least 400, and again, that's just from the ObamaGuns recovered. What percent of the guns used in murders are recovered? 50%? 25%? 10%? So you would have to multiply that 200, probably now 400, by at least 2 and maybe by 10. The murders committed by Obama and Holder could be literally higher than those committed by muslim terrorist on 9/11, certainly in proportion to Mexico's population. And they are still continuing as there are still plenty of ObamaGuns unrecovered.

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