Editor’s Note: With President Trump finally taking a step towards going after the cartels in an overt fashion by possibly designating them a terror org, we are re-running this old essay of Landry’s with some updates. “Destroy The Cartels” because it is either fight them now or wait for them to put the fight to us on their terms. It’s amazing what you can find in discarded email accounts.
As the faceless bureaucracy in Washington stymies President Donald Trump’s modest attempts at demonstrating national sovereignty, it is wise to look beyond one term. Regardless of who is in Washington today, there looms a growing problem that will only expand at our border as it spills into America’s southwest. The American empire must address a problem within the core. That issue is the problem of vicious Mexican drug cartels, if it has any chance of maintaining sovereignty and territorial integrity.
The wars of choice in the Middle East at the behest of our imperial clients must be replaced with an important war at our border. Mexico is a failed state with the cartels setting up financial toll booths in its economy. Cartel violence kills 20,000 per year and has done so for years, placing it ahead of Iraq and Afghanistan for conflict deaths. Violence has spread to even the safest and most luxurious of vacation hotspots, with Acapulco experiencing a sky high murder rate and Cancun and Cabo San Lucas uncovering cartel mass graves.
There can be no successful immigration repatriation without a safe and secure Mexico. While we recognize that violence is Mexico’s problem, due to our shared border and the infiltration of America by the cartels already, this is now America’s problem. It is a far greater and more immediate problem than anything around the globe.
Fixing this problem would also help solve illegal immigration, an issue that has strained our cities and state governments. Infographics show the cost to each state for illegal immigration, which is a byproduct of Mexican dysfunction. The reality of the immigration tidal wave of the last generation is not simply a consequence of Reagan’s amnesty. It is not even a matter of economics, as Mexican salaries have risen and the unemployment rate has been lower than America’s for a generation. Many of the fleeing Mexicans are the class who could not afford a safe town.
Woven throughout this story from The New York Times in its immigration propaganda series is the secret. Cartels have essentially bought the government and are at constant war with each other, facing few, if any, consequences for their brutality. Read this passage:
As you know, a lot of people come to the United States from other countries,” she continued, referring to the early English colonists. “Do you know why?”“Los van a matar”(they will be killed), a girl with a ponytail said. “People come from Mexico because there’s no jobs,” another student said. Suddenly, everyone was engaged and shouting — “To be safe!” “In Mexico, they steal your organs and sell them!” — until a petite girl near the front quietly added: “They want a better life.”
The economic case is incredibly weak when these Mexicans are coming to America and often taking the place of our most impoverished ethnic bloc. Laredo is spotlighted in the article as a border town with 30% of its population foreign-born. It is not a city as much as it is a refugee camp. Having done business in Laredo, I was astounded to be told to eat dinner at my hotel, as the streets have plenty of cartel members riding around at night.
America has played sides with the cartel conflict and favored the Sinaloas, with some reporters going so far as to say USG works hand in hand with them. Destroying the cartels will stabilize Mexico. Addressing our drug problem will help stabilize Mexico. Stabilizing Mexico will help send people back. They need a home worth returning to that is better than the existence they squeak out here in America.
America must think not simply in bombing cartels but addressing every single possible battlefield. We must attack every possible surface area and must also consider our culpability. This does not mean progressive self-loathing, but positive addressing of the demand for drugs in our society.
First and foremost, USG must designate each drug cartel as a foreign terrorist organization. The cartels easily fulfill the requirements for this by functioning as foreign organizations that engage in terrorist activity and threaten the security of U.S. citizens or the U.S. itself. Look around the southwest or at unsolved murders in Ohio. Not a single cartel is on the terror list at this time. Designating cartels as foreign terrorist organizations also allows the president to properly request funds to attack this problem, which would also allow the president to request funds for a border wall on the basis of national security and use the Army Corps of Engineers and private contractors for the job.
At the same time, the Treasury Department must expand greatly the list of specially designated nationals, so we can apply pressure to the important bloodline of the cartels: money. With the Office of Foreign Assets Control, we can sanction individuals, not just to target them, but also to punish American businesses that enable them. HSBC avoided anything more than a wrist slap for laundering drug money. If we enforce the laws and expand OFAC, we can jail white collar criminals who allow for the cartels to keep the money pipeline flowing. USG also needs to make real estate subject to the money laundering regulations that monitor cash transactions over $10,000.
Moving the proceeds of drug sales back home is critical for cartels, as the cash created by drug sales occupies more space than the drugs themselves. These cartels need financial expertise and safe, quick transactions to keep the trade alive. Even smaller players that do not have HSBC in their corner can launder money back to Mexico. An indirect way they launder money is illustrated through the following example.
Miguel earns $50,000 a month in drug sales. Miguel buys a series of social security numbers and names for cheap and obtains identification. Miguel buys homes for under $50,000 in depressed markets for cash. Miguel occupies the home and gets an insurance contract on the homes for $50,000. Miguel’s homes burn down after a year but in a series of fires that creates a stream of money going back to Mexico with calculated slippage, due to bribes and/or transaction costs. Readers may scoff at this series of events, but our porous border, automated financial processes, and small time corruption have created such sequences of events.
We have to admit how entrenched the cartels are inside the US. Every single American who interacts with and enables the cartels must be sent to prison or witness protection as they name all of the names. The networks in America must be attacked, which makes this a major law enforcement initiative. This is also where deportations and imprisonment will help. It is harder for Mexican cartel members to swim among the fish of small towns or suburbs in the Midwest, Southeast, and Northeast if there is no Little Mexico or Mexican population of any size in the area. They will stick out and lose their safe houses. Tracking chips for deported illegals with criminal records could be used, and if we can chip our pets, we can chip deported, criminal foreigners.
This is not simply a law enforcement issue. It is a war. The cartels are often at war for drug production and shipping in Mexico and also entry points into America. No one quite ever gains true superiority. We do, however, know where these individuals are based. Trump, or a future president, can work together with the Mexican president for political cover in Mexico but immediately apply direct force to every single cartel. The amazing munitions that have been deployed in the Middle East can be used in Mexico. Level their enclaves to nothing.
This will not be a hearts and minds campaign. This will be an annihilation campaign, as these groups poison our communities across all states. The cartels use the most barbaric methods of murder, conjuring up imagery more fit for Aztec human sacrifices, albeit with modern equipment. YouTube constantly has to remove video footage of brutal executions performed by cartels. The cartels must be shown that the only thing waiting for their shipment convoys and personal vehicles outside of their garages will be hellfire missiles.
Consider the style of warfare that would be involved. There would be desert and mountain terrain, as well as urban fighting. Our military has now spent over fifteen years honing strategies for fighting in those environments. This would be akin to the campaign America (and Russia) used in eradicating ISIS in various enclaves across Syria and Iraq.
America should also learn from the recently ended situation in Syria. CIA should be nowhere near this, and if anything, should be naming and identifying everyone they worked with in Mexico. CIA trained enough of ISIS and re-branded Al-Qaeda jihadis to not trust with anything in Mexico. CIA also aided ISIS via the weapons and supplies laundering they engaged in by training goat herders who would be released to surrender their weapons immediately to ISIS. We should restrict this to the Pentagon and let FBI counterintel work the domestic front and DIA integrate intel collection with military units and special ops for extractions of high value targets.
A wall will be necessary in this campaign, because once the military unleashes hell on the cartels, we will want to contain the survivors and straggling members within Mexico’s borders, which serves to limit possible retaliation terror attacks. Our police forces on the domestic side would be willing to handle this, but a wall would minimize the size and armed force cartel remnants could deploy. After all, the Posse Comitatus Act prevents the army from being used on them even in hot pursuit, but maybe local police forces in America could finally use that surplus military equipment they have on hand.
This would have a secondary effect of forcing the municipalities, judges, sheriffs and states that have been voluntarily releasing gangs affiliated with the cartels back into the public instead of handing them over to ICE for deportation. This would be aiding terrorist organizations. This would really stress the idea of treason. A lot of local government apparatchiks will start to toe the line due to the war situation.
Every single dollar USG allocates towards public broadcasting should go to covering the misdeeds of each cartel. Documentaries should be made for Netflix consumption that will make the frequency of anti-big business, World War II, and Holocaust titles seem rare. Playing to progressive weaknesses, first-person accounts by Mexican refugees in America can place a human face on the need to destroy the cartels. When gang members are arrested selling cartel product, that story needs to be cited in every single arrest report and read on every single newscast when there is any crime involving a criminal remotely connected to the cartels. Hollywood needs to churn out anti-cartel movies every single summer a la the new Rambo and the Sicario films. If USG could break the mid-century mafias and destroy the Medellin cartel, it can take out the Mexican cartels.
The American military’s brain trust needs to step back from antiquated thinking, namely the need for a giant opponent to justify a budget. Pentagon officials also need to admit that the terrorism problem with regards to Islam can be solved by a Fortress America policy suite. The military elite must recognize that the drones can pinpoint cartel members just as well as they have jihadis. All of the weapons we employ against terrorist organizations can be redirected towards drug cartels of similar size.
The U.S. military cannot execute this mission by simply advising the Mexican military. Americans will be betrayed quickly and end up revealing more than they learn. Moreover, the corruption of Mexican forces is too deep. It was stated in federal court that Enrique Peña Nieto, the former president of Mexico, was bribed with $100 million by El Chapo. It would take a separate law enforcement and military organization outside of the current power dynamic to effectively destroy the current system.
This has happened before, with USG’s South Florida Task Force breaking the Miami drug world. Cynics might say former President George H.W. Bush just told his CIA contacts to stop importing cocaine, but an outside police force destroyed the criminal hub because it was alien to the corruption of the current system. Miami’s police academies had to drop standards repeatedly to the point where entire classes were either in jail or removed from the force within five years of graduating. The problem was not just a few rotten apples, but an entirely rotten barrel. The solution had to come from outside the barrel.
Solutions must also address American spiritual emptiness and the demand for drugs. Before we get to the core societal problem, even attempting different approaches to specific drugs may help. USG should look at the results coming from states that legalize marijuana. In the event that marijuana legalization is benign or a positive for drug infractions, USG should alter policies, reschedule marijuana, and treat it like tobacco. This may sound like admitting defeat, but consider smuggling.
Law enforcement currently do busts of marijuana truckloads or carloads and often find bricks or bags of heroin, meth, and cocaine in packages nestled between giant bales of marijuana. Sometimes, the product is smuggled into the marijuana without the mule’s knowledge, as some mules will not transport ‘hard’ drugs, preferring instead to just drive a van of weed from Tijuana to San Diego. Cartels are creative and even smuggle drugs in brand new Fords made in Mexico. Legalizing marijuana and turning it into a domestically-sourced drug would make smuggling it in from Mexico more difficult and revenue-negative. Without marijuana, cartels lose a revenue stream and a smuggling blanket for meth, cocaine, and heroin.
Trump, and even figures on the Left, have started to cite the opioid epidemic. Some states have begun to sue Big Pharma for legal opioids, as the flood of pills into areas is in no way proportionate to population. This is a common theme in all stories on heroin, namely that oxys hooked people, then the price for black market oxys and the crushability of pills made heroin an easy jump. This lawsuit action and legal opioid reform, along with boosted rehabilitation programs, would address the symptoms of our drug problem, but not core issues.
Americans will have to face the fact that the emptiness of 21st century America is at the heart of this drug demand. Beyond outreach programs like the old ‘Just Say No’ campaign of the ’80s, Americans need to admit that becoming great again is admission of a fallen stature and will depend on non-users to realize that users need them socially. The millions of unemployed or underemployed Americans with non-dischargeable college debt could be deployed in social service to erase part or all of their college debt, over $1.3 trillion of which is held by USG. Bailey Witzel was a 19-year-old overdose victim who left behind a small child. She also had a social network full of addicts. Beyond empty platitudes, we must realize that overdoses are not just part of white death, but also of our greater existential crisis.
It is going to take every weapon in our arsenal to crush this infestation and will require a full reorientation of our focus and goals. It is going to take a American firepower, American greenbacks, incorruptible individuals, and neighbors willing to engage. The elite in D.C. should make this choice now. Bring the boys home, save the nation, and protect the homeland. The choice should be made now to assume this responsibility before de facto cartel control of large swathes of America and a failed state to our south force the responsibility upon us.