Americans got a taste of Mexican violence, and it was bitter – three women and six children shot and burned to death in northern Mexico. The American media rose to the occasion with a little more coverage than usual of this kind of violence, but failed to do justice to the story…
There was some curious commentary. The New York Times wrote that the Mormon victims were “religious fundamentalist settlers” as if that somehow explained the attack. And The Los Angeles Times noted the victims came from a “family with a long history of violence,” suggesting that it runs in the family rather than outside it.
A brisk twitter response ensued. Once again, you’re blaming the victim, critics charged, as if the cartels need American support for their violence. Following this lead, the rest of the media nudged the story along but not to get too far out in front. To its credit, CNN, despised by President Trump, actually got to the scene of the murders, and ABC ran a brief interview with Devin Langdon, the thirteen-year-old boy whose mother and two younger brothers were killed. Under fire, he heroically hid other children from the assailants and then took an arduous fourteen-mile hike for help. Ordinarily, he would be the toast of the media, but his heroism was performed on the wrong side of the border. Let’s not make too much of him.
For several days U.S. authorities, including the FBI, were banned from the area, while Mexicans cleaned up the evidence, insuring, no doubt, that the crime will go unsolved and unpunished. In exasperation, President Trump, among others, has called for the help of U.S. troops, leading to a pained outcry from born-again pacifists who claim such interventionists will have to navigate a rugged terrain against an aroused people that will hate them more than the cartels. But where were these critics when U.S. forces were sent to similar terrain in wars that made far less sense? Gung- ho!
Go get ’em! Strategy is necessary, but not a full-scale invasion. With sufficient troops, gatherings of cartels can be pinpointed and eliminated, especially those operating close to the border. Their business will be dented along with their control of Mexico. There’s the further advantage of assuring the world that the U.S. can keep order in its own house. While China and Russia combined are forming a mega Eurasian bloc with advanced trade and transportation that could in time dominate the world, the U.S. is perceived as seriously weakened by an uncontrollably violent neighbor that’s injecting poisonous drugs into the American system. No way to compete for global power.