The latest entry in our series is not from a High School or College newspaper, but rather from the Young Leaders Program at the Heritage Foundation. Whereas our college writers came about their ignorance honestly, you have to wonder whether Ashley Mosteller (although her writing itself is good) got some help from Heritage.
Even the title of the OpEd sends off alarm bells: Losing the Mexico Drug War: One Protest at a Time
Does she really mean that protesting the drug war is the problem in Mexico?
Ashley’s concern is that protests, like that of Mexican poet and intellectual Javier Sicilia who lost his son, are aimed at the government instead of the criminals, and that such protests are undermining the efforts of the government and aiding the criminals.
First of all, what possible good could you accomplish by protesting the criminals? You’re not going to convince them to end the drug war. Javier Sicilia realizes that the people directly to blame for the death of his son are the criminals. He also realizes that it wouldn’t have happened if it wasn’t for the drug war.
Ashley several times expresses concern that the criminals and the government are being unfairly seen as morally equivalent.
This, in a nutshell, is one of the huge blind spots of the Heritage Foundation folks. Because they see “the other” as morally bad (criminals, terrorists, etc.), and anything that we do as morally good, they can’t accept (or even see) the fact that the actions of the “morally good” can actually be the proximate cause of criminal or terrorist violence.
So when terrorists object to our military presence with terror attacks, we respond with increased military presence and pressure, creating new terrorists with each action we take. This doesn’t make the terrorists right, but it also doesn’t make our response smart. But to the bright-line-moralist Heritage types, even attempting to explain the cause is an unacceptable attack on America, let alone considering crafting a non-retributive-based solution.
Same with the drug war. With each increased level of enforcement, we cause the increased violence by the criminals (that’s established fact) with no long-term benefit. It doesn’t make the criminals right, but it doesn’t make us smart, either.
Javier Sicilia lost his son. He doesn’t care about assigning moral equivalencies. He wants the drug war ended so no more sons are killed.
The Heritage Foundation type doesn’t care how many sons are killed as long as they can claim moral superiority and show off their dicks (ironically enough, military superiority and moral superiority are closely aligned in their minds – now there’s a fascinating Easter message).
Ashley has a couple of other ignorant moments in her OpEd.
[The administration] must balance a “stay the course” approach with disturbing signs that President Calderon is losing control of the narrative and the support of the Mexican people. All of this, of course, is to the delight of Mexico’s criminal organizations, whose goal is to disseminate fear and uncertainty on both sides of the border.
Really? Is that their goal? I thought it was to make money selling drugs. Fear is one of their tactics, not a goal.
Finally, Ashley lost all credibility with using Michele Leonhart as a citation to back up her points:
“It may seem contradictory, but the unfortunate level of violence is a sign of success in the fight against drugs,” said U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration chief Michele Leonhart.”