Gettin’ Down to It

An assignment for a class is was to take a news story and critique the coverage by a few different news outlets.  One story that caught my eye was the peacekeeping antics of President Obama following Hillary Clinton’s “Mexico” remark.  Basically, she pointed out similarities between the current condition of Mexico and former condition of Cuba.  Moreover, she specified “[…] where the narco-traffickers controlled certain parts of the country.”  First and foremost, this is partially true.  Columbia in the ’80s and early ’90s was a country based on cocaine sales, via Pablo Escobar, leader of the Medellin drug cartel.  Mexican drug cartels keep a few politicians on the payroll; civilians have died in the crossfire; city officials have been killed in the crossfire; Mexico plays a larger part in the drug trade than Columbia.  In certain parts of Mexico, drug cartels have corrupted the government in their favor.  This is not a late-breaking development, either.  This has been going on for many years…similar to the crescendo of the former condition of Columbia.  Of course, First Lady Michelle Obama did not visit these particular parts of Mexico on her visit below the border last year.  Nevertheless, Clinton called Mexico on its problem.  Mexico did not like this.  Mexico did not like this at all.  So sensitive.

MapTo keep the peace, Obama had to get out there and kiss the ass of the portion of Mexico Clinton did not refer to.  MSNBC ran the story without adding spin.  The article points out how, because of the current political and economic condition of Mexico, Obama believes Mexico and Columbia cannot be compared.  MSNBC also pointed out how Obama’s reply to Clinton’s remarks were printed only in Spanish, in a Spanish L.A. Newspaper.  It does not take any spin to see what the truth of the matter is here.  Obama was hat-in-hand to save some face.  However, he copped out.  Sure, the Mexican disposition may be swell…in areas the drug cartels have not taken over.  This is where he should have defended Clinton on that “[…] certain parts of the country” clause, mentioned earlier.

The L.A. Times published its version of the story.  This article placed equal focus on Clinton’s remarks and Obama’s attempted revising of said remarks.  The very end of the article addresses the need to balance honesty and sensitivity.  Mexico will not admit it has that much of a drug problem.  Denial.

My favorite is BBC’s thorough coverage of the fandango.  As with the previous, attention is shown to the influence behind (and validity of) Clinton’s remark.  However, this extra paragraph sneaks into the bottom of the page:

“Speaking in Mexico City, a government spokesman said the only aspect that the Mexican and Colombian conflicts share is their root cause – a high demand for drugs in the US.”

Because their product is flying off the shelves, the struggle to keep up with demand is exceeding the capabilities of the government to conceal the corruption…ultimately leading to the collapse of parts of the Mexican government.  That may true.  I mean, I know the British do not buy much from Mexico…they have their own connection.  Mexico does supply the products for the majority of the U.S. drug trade.  Clinton had already addressed this in March of 2009.

On a not-so-serious level, the demand is not the issue.  If trafficking halted on the border, I guarantee there are several people who would find this as a terrific time to capitalize on the vacuum left by Mexico.  We, as a country, need Mexico.  Without Mexico, the entire U.S. drug trade would be in the hands of baby cartels, biker gangs and street gangs within the U.S..  And these guys are bad enough on society, as it stands.  Keep the b.s. over there until the bitter end.

I just hope Obama did not pull troops out of Afghanistan and Iraq to send them to Mexico.  Mexico is probably just as, if not more, dangerous…but ONLY in those areas where corruption is king.  The softer side of Mexico (wherever Mexico sympathizers believe that is) is not included in those areas.


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