Of the many, almost countless Obama misadministration scandals, if I had to pick just one--ONE, mind you--as the epitome, as the single and clearest example of this misadministration's arrogance, brutality, illegality, and sweeping falsehood, it would be "Fast and Furious."
Having written a great deal about this horrid affair (for example here, here, here) I won't repeat it all, but to remind . . . The Obama misadministration took office with a very strong anti-gun drive; the Obamistas sought sweeping "gun control" whether we wanted it or not, and whether we needed it or not. They seized on the much-publicized and rampant drug violence in Mexico and Central America and on the notion pushed by the Mexican government and Hollywood that the guns used in that very lethal violence came from Red State gun stores and dealers or from US gangs. Those of us who actually served in Mexico and Central America, and who knew something about the "war on drugs" and guns, knew that the guns used in Mexico and Central America overwhelmingly came neither from American manufacturers nor from US sources. As with "global warming," however, the facts could not get in the way of the story and the development of a policy to "stop the guns." At the Foreign Service Institute and via talking points memos sent all of our Missions, we diplomats were told that "at least" sixty percent of the guns used in Mexico's drug violence came from the US; Secretary Clinton on more than one occasion said it was ninety percent. We were to push the line that "drugs flow north and guns flow south."
It, of course, was nonsense, criminal nonsense. The US-origin guns that entered Mexico and Central America had been sent by the US government; the Obama misadministration, Eric Holder's Department of Justice sought to "prove" guns could go to Mexico and Central America from the US. The DOJ, working through the bizarre ATF, set up smuggling networks, forced law-abiding gun dealers to sell to those networks, and ensured guns went south into the hands of some of the most violent, sadistic, and well-organized criminal gangs in the world. In the paws of these cartel thugs, the ATF guns killed hundreds of Mexican citizens, and at least two US federal agents, one in Arizona and one in Mexico. The Obama misadministration used the presence of guns it smuggled into Mexico as "proof" guns were smuggled into Mexico. It argued for vast new controls on gun ownership in the US, and that the US should support international gun control treaties to prevent the violence we saw in Mexico. It would prove hard to imagine a more cynical and criminal use of power in a democratic country. Obama and Holder ran an undeclared, covert, and illegal war against the government and the people of Mexico, and blamed it on the second amendment to the US Constitution. The media, as a whole, remained passive in the face of this huge crime--some tried to blame Bush.
It seems, however, some smuggling from the US to Mexico has occurred: the idea of self-defense.
We see press reports, still largely garbled, incomplete, inchoate, even, and full of "liberal" bias telling us that,
The two dozen men standing guard on a rutted road that cuts through these lime groves and cornfields are just one small part of a citizen militia movement spreading over the lowlands of western Mexico. But as they told their stories, common threads emerged: Los Angeles gang members. Deported Texas construction workers. Dismissed Washington state apple pickers.
Many were U.S. immigrants who came back, some voluntarily but most often not, to the desiccated job market in the state of Michoacan and found life under the Knights Templar drug cartel that controls the area almost unlivable. They took up arms because they were financially abused by the extortion rackets run by the Templars. Because they had family killed or wounded by their enemies.Villagers and townspeople in parts of Mexico have begun to fight back against the drug gangs, and the corrupt government and police officials that make life hell in much of Mexico.
Slate, not exactly a conservative publication, reports that,
The vigilantes have a clearly defined mission: ridding the community of the Knights Templar and stopping their extortion and kidnapping. Manuel argues they need to take up arms because the government didn’t do its job of protecting citizens, “We have to take care of ourselves because the people who were supposed to be taking care of us were treating us like shit.”The Mexican government, apparently, has reacted in a confused manner. It seeks to disarm the "vigilantes," and to legalize them. According to the LA Times, the Mexican government now also plans to pour money into poor Michoacan state to buy them off and appear responsive to their concerns,
President Enrique Peña Nieto said Tuesday that his government would invest the equivalent of about $3.4 billion in social and infrastructure programs for the beleaguered Mexican state of Michoacan, where armed vigilante groups have been clashing with a drug gang.
The program, which Peña Nieto announced in Morelia, the state capital, represents a significantly larger investment in Michoacan than the one unveiled last month by his social development secretary, Rosario Robles, who promised to spend about $225 million. The funding will go to scholarships for students, pensions for the elderly and credits for small business owners, as well as for infrastructure projects such as highways and a new hospital.
The plan, Peña Nieto said, was meant "to recover security, establish conditions of social order and spur economic development."
Trouble in Michoacan boiled over last month as vigilante “self-defense” groups went on the offensive. They took over communities around the city of Apatzingan, a key stronghold of the Knights Templar drug cartel, and threatened to march on the city. That forced Peña Nieto to send in thousands of troops and police, who continue to patrol many rural communities.
The spending is the federal government’s most significant acknowledgment that a long-term strategy is required in Michoacan, which has long suffered from poverty and lawlessness.None of these articles, however, mentions the role played by the Obama misadministration in arming the drug gangsters who wage war on the Mexican people.
Not exactly The Magnificent Seven, but a story worth following, and one which has some clear lessons for the future of democracy in Mexico and here at home.