The US, Mexico and the War on Drugs
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President Bush and Congress may be willing to spend a billion American dollars to help Mexico's President Calderon control drug traffic, official corruption and brutal violence. Will US aid come with strings attached? Will it work? Is it time to re-think prohibition as the basis of the "war on drugs?" Also, President Bush invokes Vietnam to support America's stand in Iraq and, On Reporter’s Notebook, UFO videos and the refusal of YouTube viewers not to believe.
Members of Mexico's Federal Agency of Investigation (AFI) arrest a man during an anti-narcotics operation in Guerrero, a neighborhood of Mexico City, 25 January 2007. Since becoming president, Felipe Calderón has launched three operations against illegal drug traffickers that involved a total of about 20,000 troops and police officers, targeting drug operations in Tijuana, and the states of Michoacán and Guerrero.
Photo: Alfredo Estrella/AFP/Getty Images
Bush Invokes Vietnam, US Must Not Rush to Leave Iraq ()
President Bush invoked some dark pages of American history today to support staying the course in Iraq. Speaking to a veterans group in Kansas City, Missouri, Bush recalled the "millions of innocent citizens whose agonies would add to our vocabulary new terms like 'boat people,' 're-education camps,' and 'killing fields.'"Robert Dalleck is a professor of history at Boston University.
- Robert Dallek: Professor of History at Boston University
US to Fund Colombia-Style Counter-Narcotics Program in Mexico ()
Contract shootings, mass executions—even videotaped beheadings—are the latest tactics of Mexico's drug cartels. The formerly safe northern city of Monterrey has been terrorized by rival gangsters with backgrounds in the military and law-enforcement. The violence is spreading north into Texas and Arizona, which has US officials calling it a "national security issue." President Bush has been working with Mexico's President Felipe Calderón on what is informally called "Plan Mexico," a reference to "Plan Colombia" of the 1990's. Mexicans resist the comparison and fear that US dollars could lead to a repeat of past interventions from north of the border. Can Mexico control corruption? Can the US control demand? Can the so-called "war on drugs" succeed against a $25 billion industry?
- Sam Enriquez: Reporter for the Los Angeles Times
- Daniel Lund: President of MUND Americas
- Armand Peschard-Sverdrup: Director of the Mexico Project at the Center for Strategic and International Studies
- Ethan Nadelmann: Founder of the Drug Policy Alliance, @ethannadelmann
UFO Images on YouTube Have Believers, Skeptics Debating ()
The videos "UFO Haiti" and "UFO Dominican Republic" recently hit the "most viewed" list on YouTube. As UFO's pass over the island shared by Haiti and the Dominican Republic, "wind whips through palm trees, dogs bark and a woman gasps in disbelief--all very real seeming. The jerky, amateur camera work could easily be that of a panicked Caribbean tourist." That's according to a story in today's Los Angeles Times by David Sarno, who admits that even the creator finds public reaction "a little scary."
- David Sarno: Staff writer for the Los Angeles Times
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