Monday, October 17, 2011

Mexico And The International Criminal Court

It's not news to anyone who picks up a newspaper or watches TV that Mexico is a mess. Civil law and order have broken down in major parts of the nation, The local law enforcement authorities have given up trying to enforce the law, and the army is taking on the cartels. Yet it's hard to tell the good guys from the bad guys.

A mixed bag of leftists and intellectuals in Mexico think they have found the solution. Citing the fact that "Mexico is living a state of emergency and suffering the most dramatic humanitarian crisis in its recent history," they have demanded that the International Criminal Court (ICC) stop the bloodshed. Whatever the right solution may be, this isn't it.

First of all, the ICC is a judicial body. It can find defendants guilty and order punishment, but there still has to be a law enforcement agency which will carry out the mandates of the court. And who might that be? It's already rather well established that the Mexican police and the military can't handle the internal warfare. So do what? Bring in the UN troops? Given their recent history in Africa (the only arena the ICC has so far addressed in its rulings), the UN troop cure might be worse than the disease. When the UN troops are not being simply inept and ineffectual, they have a habit of joining in the activity they're supposed to be suppressing.

Second, the pleaders have the same disease that intellectuals all over the world exhibit--moral equivalence and lack of focus. Instead of having a clearly identified bad guy (the criminal cartels, for instance) and a cause of action upon which the court might act, the Mexican eggheads want the ICC to conduct a human rights investigation into the roles of, well, everybody. They not only want to discover the truth about cartel leaders such as Joaquin Guzman, but they also want an investigation into Mexican President Felipe Calderon.

In reality, the ICC would be just another feelgood attempt to bring law and order to a nation which can't control its government or its people. I have no fondness for Felipe Calderon, and consider him to be just another political crook in a long line of political crooks who have held the Mexican presidency. I certainly resent him coming before the Congress and telling American states how they ought to be treating Mexican illegal immigrants. But he is a symptom of whatever has infected Mexico, not the cause. He has allowed his army to get out of control, and in some glaring examples, the army units and commanders have gone over to the side of the cartels.

America certainly isn't the answer (even though it's possible it could be). America hasn't had the will or the courage to end murderous banditry in Mexico and across the American border since the days of General Black Jack Pershing. The American governments of the past few decades would not take military action in (not against) Mexico without the approval of the United Nations. Somehow, I don't think we could get that approval. America is now suffering border incursions that can only be described as invasions, yet we continue to treat the matter as purely a Mexican problem. The current administration thinks that doing nothing is the best policy.

By some sort of arcane logic which I don't understand, the Obama administration has found that "political instability" in the Middle East and North Africa is more dangerous than strong men and jihadist militias. But somehow that same administration doesn't see the danger of political instability and civil unrest all along our southern border. The deadly violence has spilled across the border, and much of the recent murderous activity involves weapons sold to the cartels during the insane operation called Fast and Furious.

Instead of taking Calderon out to the woodshed and enforcing the idea that he must get his own house in order or we will, Obama praises Calderon for his views on border control and treats the Mexican president with a deference he doesn't show for his counterparts in England and the European continent. Obama could be offering financial and military assistance with the express condition that Calderon whip his army into shape and make serious headway against the cartels. Instead, we continue to send billions of dollars in aid to Mexico with no strings attached.

I certainly don't have a well thought-out plan for exactly how to effectuate change in Mexico. I'm hoping that some of you might. One thing does seem quite obvious to me however. Given the current status of the world, there are only two countries which can do anything about solving the problem. They are Mexico itself and the United States. With all due respect to the Mexican intellectuals, the ICC would be about as effective a solution to Mexican violence and national turmoil as my recipe for clam chowder would be for curing cancer.


T-Rav said...

Can you imagine what a fit the Left would pitch if we took armed action on the border? (It would have to be under a GOP president, though, since Obama has neither the will nor the brains to do so.)

I wonder how close Mexico is to having a Hobbesian solution to this crisis: that is, get a government which ignores all question of civil liberties and keeps order through the overwhelming use of force. I suspect a lot of Mexicans would welcome such a change, given the chaos they've been living in for so long.

AndrewPrice said...

This is a joke. Mexico is essentially in a state of civil war and some goofy international bureaucracy isn't going to be able to talk that to an end.

By the way, my latest article published last night at BH. Here's the link LINK.

Tehachapi Tom said...

As you pointed out there is no agency in the world that can talk a solution to lawlessness.
totalitarian governments can do it and have.
A republic based upon law that is backed by enforcement can as well.
it seems that our neighbor to the south is incapable of either.
Their problem needs to be resolved by them.
We have a plate full of problems of our own and that is our responsibility to solve.
Close the border,I mean seal it, and use the resources that would be sent south to fund it.
Let the Mexicans know that when they have cleaned up their mess we can review closer relations, that means tourism in either direction.

Unknown said...

T-Rav: It would have to be a Republican Congress and a Republican White House, and even then it would be a true last resort.

The Mexican electoral system is rigged, but at least a different party came into power two presidencies back for the first time in many decades. Still, the corruption from top to bottom continues. At least if the nation did develop a strong, Hobbesian government, it would probably be tending to its own business and wouldn't have that distinctly anti-American bent that has happened in the past/present in Venezuela, Nicaragua and others.

Unknown said...

Andrew: Goofy international bureaucracy is an apt description of the ICC. There's a good reason why America has never joined in the treaty that created it, and we can only hope that Obama is gone before he has a chance to issue some kind of executive order purporting to put us under its jurisdiction.

It would be nice if BH would give you some notice before the fact, but I'm sure we're all going to head over there now to take a look at your article.

Notawonk said...

I can hear the cartels laughing from my back porch.

The situation is dire for those of us living in Texas; we see/hear the violence every single day. We avoid border towns (but when will it seep in even further?). We carry concealed. We know that the current government will do NOTHING, so we wait and pray.

This is a prime example of needing to fight fire with fire. Arm our border towns. Do it now.

Unknown said...

Tehachapi Tom: There is much we can do at a level short of military action, and securing the border using the funds which would otherwise have gone to Mexico City with no strings attached seems like a good start. We don't want to appear to be anti-Mexico, thus driving them into the arms of Hugo Chavez and friends. But we can exercise a great deal of influence in getting Calderon or a successor to use Mexico's resources properly, restore law and order, and develop a genuine free enterprise infrastructure.

The trick is to suppress the drug and criminal cartels without at the same time oppressing the general citizenry. One thing I think they need is a Mexican version of Elliot Ness. That won't be easy, but it can be done. It won't be done as long as we continue to give blanket support to the government of Mexico, but no support for the people of Mexico.

Unknown said...

Patti: You and WriterX both live in states with huge, unprotected borders with Mexico. California has some problems, but our border is much narrower, much better patrolled, and lacking in large swaths of unpopulated wilderness for the illegals and cartels to pass through.

As long as we have an administration and Congress determined to disarm our citizens while at the same time providing arms to the cartels, we're not going to make much headway. There's a reason the Founders wrote the Second Amendment, and it wasn't to make sure we could go squirrel-hunting. The left constantly harped on arms being only for the purpose of forming militias until the Supreme Court declared otherwise. But even if they were right, why are the lefties so afraid of militias?

A well-regulated militia in each border state could go a long way toward diminishing the power of the cartels. But since state militias are not under the direct control of the central government in DC, the left is terrified of them. They use federal supremacy in immigration law as a bludgeon to stop the states from exercising something as simple as self-defense.

rlaWTX said...

the whole border thing is nuts. why the US hasn't just shut that down long ago escapes me.

Unknown said...

rlaWTX: You're not alone. We're all mystified by the lack of action.

StanH said...

“To the halls of Montezuma and the shores of Tripoli...” Well we have the Tripoli end covered. Securing the border is an imperative for the sake of our good citizens like Patti, and WriterX, hell for all of America for that matter. Put the 101st or 82nd Airborne down there for about a year should do it, but that will only stop things while we are watching. Short of that we’re pissing in the wind.

I know this is controversial and always draws the consternation of my conservative brethren, but my libertarian screams out, “legalize drugs.” Just like Al Capone, and his prohibition gangsters, they will go away, in my opinion. And we’ll still have moronic drug addicts the day after.

Unknown said...

Stan: I have an alternate suggestion. Instead of filling up the jails and prisons with drug offenders, put them in a special military unit and send them in to fight the cartels. They'll either fight or die, since the cartels don't give anything away for free. This will cure the drug addicts immediately, and for those who use recreational drugs thinking nobody gets hurt, there's a big surprise waiting.

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