Wednesday, September 29, 2010

When In Doubt: Blame the Yankees?

I've read about those Mexican mayors, blaming America for the abyssal mess Mexico's in.

Actually, they've got a point.

Sort of.

Please bear with me. There's been a lot of nonsense said and written about Mexico and Mexicans. I think a few things need clarification, about how I see the situation.

Mexico: Getting Past the Stereotypes

Mexico isn't a country filled with beautiful women, men with skin conditions and bad teeth, and the some guy sleeping under a sombrero.

It isn't a land marching forward in glorious revolution against superstition.

It isn't a breeding ground of foreigners who don't look like 'real' Americans.1

Mexico is a real country, one that's earned a place on the Committee to Protect Journalists's Impunity Index: and whose government may collapse. (June 17, 2010)

Mexico Matters

What happens in Mexico matters to the United States. We share a long border: and if Mexico's government dissolves into the sort of mess that Somalia is today, it's going to spill over into California, the American southwest, and points north and east. (August 28, 2010, June 17, 2010)

Oh, come now: could Mexico's government really collapse?

Yes. That's not just my opinion - assuming that somehow Mexico hasn't gotten a whole lot better at managing itself since 2008. (January 14, 2009) Looking at the attrition rate among Mexican mayors and law enforcement officials, I'd say things aren't getting a whole lot better.

Let's say that Mexico's federal government collapses. Regional and local government leaders would, most likely, learn to cooperate with whoever's got muscle nearby - or get killed. In that worst-case scenario, I think it would only be a matter of time before some criminal leader / warlord realized that there places to plunder north of the border.

Think of something like that Monterrey Holiday Inn raid in April, in a San Diego suburb. If you didn't read about it, don't feel bad. It wasn't exactly front-page news in the States. (April 24, 2010)

Not-Yet-Shot Mexican Mayors, Yankees, and a Complaint

When I ran into 'Mexican Mayors blame America' headlines I was ready to read more of the standard-issue stuff about Yankee Imperialists being to blame for whatever the local bosses had bungled recently: particularly since it's only days after Iran's President Ahmadinejad's rousing U.N. speech. (September 24, 2010)

Turns out, the Mexican mayors involved have a point:
"A coalition of Mexican mayors has asked the United States to stop deporting illegal immigrants who have been convicted of serious crimes in the U.S. to Mexican border cities, saying the deportations are contributing to Mexican border violence.

The request was made at a recent San Diego conference in which the mayors of four Mexican border cities and one U.S. mayor, San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders, gathered to discuss cross-border issues....
I'm not going to copy the whole article - that's what the links are for. I suggest reading it, by the way.

One more excerpt:
"...Those convicted of crimes in the U.S. are required first to fulfill 'any sentence imposed by the U.S. courts,' ICE spokeswoman Virginia Kice told

"She said all of the deportees are then inspected by Mexican immigration authorities when they arrive in Mexico, and if they are wanted for crimes in Mexico, they are also met by representatives from the Mexican Attorney General’s Office.

"But if they don't have charges pending against them in Mexico, they are free men and women once they cross the border regardless of what they have done in the U.S...."
Particularly since this is an election year in America, slogans about this situation are very likely going to be flung around like doo-doo in the primate house.

I'm going to be very glad when the seemingly-inevitable lawsuits following the election are over. Which I hope happens before the next national election. What a way to run a country. And that's another topic.

And My Solution is - - -

I'm in the happy position of not holding any public office. Since the country I live in allows its citizens to express themselves (somewhat) freely, I can spout off on what I'd do if I was in charge.


Or, maybe if I was sitting in the Oval Office, I'd have access to information that would change my mind. In any event, as I've written before, "it's different, when you're in charge." (September 17, 2009, July 3, 2009, July 1, 2009, February 21, 2009...September 27, 2007)

In this case, though, I think my 'what I'd do' notions are so vague that I wouldn't have to change them.

What the American judicial system and Mexican local authorities seem to have in common is the problem of what to do with people who want to hurt other people.
Remember: Evil is Not Nice
It's my opinion that the American judicial system is on a voyage of discovery, in which it will discover that it's okay to protect folks who want to be nice and pay the judge's salary - from the ones who don't. How long it'll take for that idea to soak through - and reverse decades of daft decisions - I have no idea.

I do think the notion that people who hurt other people are "'victims of society" has lost some of its luster. The acknowledgment of "victims' rights" 2 is an example of the change, in my opinion.

This does connect to the Mexican mayors' complaint.
Law, Human Rights, and Other Bothersome Necessities
The American judicial system has limitations on how long people can be locked away. Whether sentence length is reasonable or not is something well beyond the scope of this blog.

The point is that, at some point, most people who are locked up in America will be released. If they're in this county illegally, it doesn't make sense to release them within this country's borders.

Releasing them to the legal authorities in their country of origin, in my opinion, makes sense.

That's where it gets sticky.

Mexican authorities, apparently, can't lock someone up just because they feel like it. Which is just as well.

My opinion is that:
  • The American judicial system needs to continue reevaluating what should be done with dangerous individuals
  • Mexican authorities need to take a look at what they can legally do about the dangerous individuals who get released at their border
Simple? No. Easy? Certainly not. Something that's going to be resolved by November? Of course not.
"Bothersome Necessities?!"
In the previous subhead I called law and human rights "bothersome necessities." I think I'll stick with that: but the phrase needs explaining.

I'm a passionate man, and can sympathize with the 'kill them all' feeling when it comes to rapists, murderers, and crooked politicians. That doesn't mean that I think there should be an 'open season' policy on members of Congress.

America is coming out of an era when, in my opinion, the "rights of the accused" were expanded to a ridiculous degree. On the other hand, I'm rather glad that I live in a country where "innocent until proven guilty" is at least a theoretical principle for the judicial system. Particularly since I've yet to be on the same page as 'the establishment.' And that's yet another topic.

So, what about the Mexican Mayors and their 'it's the fault of the Yankees' complaint?

They've got a point.

I hope they're also putting pressure on their own regional and national leaders, to start regaining control of Mexico.

Related posts:In the news:
1One of the few things I'm not very concerned about is Arab terrorists passing themselves off as Mexicans and sneaking into America. I've discussed that before, too. (June 17, 2010)

2 'Victims' in this case being defined as the folks who were hurt by someone committing a criminal act. We've come a long way since my 'good old days.' And I don't ever want to go back.

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Note! Although I believe that these websites and blogs are useful resources for understanding the War on Terror, I do not necessarily agree with their opinions. 1 1 Given a recent misunderstanding of the phrase "useful resources," a clarification: I do not limit my reading to resources which support my views, or even to those which appear to be accurate. Reading opinions contrary to what I believed has been very useful at times: sometimes verifying my previous assumptions, sometimes encouraging me to change them.

Even resources which, in my opinion, are simply inaccurate are sometimes useful: these can give valuable insights into why some people or groups believe what they do.

In short, It is my opinion that some of the resources in this blogroll are neither accurate, nor unbiased. I do, however, believe that they are useful in understanding the War on Terror, the many versions of Islam, terrorism, and related topics.