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Patrick Buchanan
Pat Buchanan
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Afghanistan South


Heeding the advice of Gen. David Petraeus, Barack Obama has committed 17,000 more troops to Afghanistan and will keep 50,000 in Iraq after U.S. combat operations end in August 2010.

But are U.S. vital interests more threatened by what happens in Anbar or Helmand than in the war raging along our southern border?

Prediction: After all U.S. troops in Iraq, Afghanistan and Korea have come home, there will be a U.S. army on the Mexican border. For this is where the fate of our republic will be decided, as the fate of Europe will be decided by the millions streaming north from the Maghreb and Middle East, sub-Sahara and South Asia.

Last year, 6,000 Mexicans died in drug-related killings in a war where the tactics are massacre, murder, kidnapping and beheading.

President Felipe Calderon has ordered another 5,000 troops and 1,000 police to the border. Primary target: Ciudad Juarez, across the Rio Grande from El Paso.

Some 2,500 federal troops are already in Juarez, where in 2008 there were 1,600 drug-related murders. Gun battles occur every day. Nationally, 45,000 army troops and police are committed to this war that Mexico is not winning. For, according to the March 3 Washington Times, the Pentagon now estimates the cartels field more than 100,000 foot soldiers.

The chief of police of Juarez just resigned after a cartel threatened to kill an officer even 48 hours if he did not. To prove its seriousness, the cartel murdered four cops, including the chief's deputy. Last year, 50 police officers in Juarez were murdered.

"The decision I am taking is one of life over death," said Chief Roberto Oduna. The chief would seem to have a point. In January, his predecessor's head was found in an ice cooler outside a police station. The mayor keeps his family in El Paso, as they have been threatened with decapitation.

Friday, the State Department declared, "Corruption throughout Mexico's public institutions remains a key impediment to curtailing the power of the drug cartels." Calderon retorts that, while the murders may be committed in Mexico, the cash and guns come from the United States.

With oil revenue down since the price dropped $100 a barrel, and remittances down from Mexican workers in the United States as the U.S. economy tanks, tourism, too, has begun to die. Beheadings in and around Acapulco have not helped. Warnings have been issued to U.S. college kids to avoid Mexico on spring break, as kidnappings for ransom are rampant.

Restaurants and bars in Juarez that catered to folks from El Paso and soldiers from Fort Bliss are shutting down.

In February, in the resort town of Cancun, a retired army general sent to create an elite anti-crime unit was kidnapped, tortured and shot. Mexican troops raided Cancun's police headquarters and arrested the chief and dozens of his officers in connection with the murder.

Add a collapsing global economy to a losing war with drug cartels, and Mexico is at grave risk of becoming a failed state, a narco-state, with a 2,000-mile border with the United States.

How does one win a drug war when millions of Americans who use recreational drugs are financing the cartels bribing, murdering and beheading to win the war and keep self-indulgent Americans supplied with drugs?

There are two sure ways to end this war swiftly: Milton's way and Mao's way. Mao Zedong's communists killed users and suppliers alike, as social parasites. Milton Friedman's way is to decriminalize drugs and call off the war.

When Richard Nixon declared the War on Drugs in 1972, Milton, writing in Newsweek, objected on ethical grounds:

"On ethical grounds, do we have the right to use the machinery of government to prevent an individual from becoming an alcoholic or a drug addict? For children, almost everyone would answer at least a qualified yes. But for responsible adults, I, for one, would answer no. Reason with the potential addict, yes. Tell him the consequences, yes. Pray for and with him, yes. But I believe that we have no right to use force, directly or indirectly, to prevent a fellow man from committing suicide, let alone from drinking alcohol or taking drugs."

"Am I my brother's keeper?'" asked Milton, answering, "No."

Americans are never going to adopt the Maoist solution. For the users of drugs are all too often classmates, colleagues, friends, even family. Indeed, our last three presidents did not deny using drugs.

Once, a Christian America outlawed and punished homosexuality, abortion, alcohol, loan-sharking and gambling, all as criminal vice. Now, homosexuality and abortion are constitutional rights. Gambling and booze are a rich source of government revenue. And loan-sharking is done by credit-card companies, and not just the Corleones.

Will we raise the white flag in the drug war, as well?

Which is the greater evil? Legalized narcotics for America's young or a failed state of 110,000 million on our southern border?

Some choice. Some country we've become.

Patrick Buchanan is the author of the new book "Churchill, Hitler and 'The Unnecessary War." To find out more about Patrick Buchanan, and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate web page at



8 Comments | Post Comment
Sir;.... Please don't act brain dead....The fate of our republic has been decided; almost at the very point it was made fact....The very fact that we have a republic rather than a democracy is an insult to the intelligence of every American.... Why can't we have self government??? Why must we have less representation than our founding fathers??? Why can't we just agree to manage our own affairs, and stay out of our neighbors affairs if they are not our own??? The problem you point to has come about from our export of capital.... Most of our social problems here result from failed capitalism -because so many are miserable that they feel they must dare death, and self medicate...If people realized that their neighbors praying in church, and singing: praise Jesus, are just as desparate as themselves, they might quit supporting drug dealers, and doctors and cure themselves, together.... The old forms must be torn down and swept away... In every sense; our government has shown itself unable in regard to our national problems. The government is only able to feed its face before its own children have eats... It does not matter whether you point to illegal immigration, or crime, or poverty, or this failed economy and foreign policy of war and import....These are all the result of a bought and corrupt government that was always corrupt and bought....It was made that way from its first moments...These problems we face are not the failure of democracy, but the inevitable result of any society without democracy.... So don't waste time on the republic... It was born doomed and it will die late...Better times await this people, and humanity, with democracy... Thanks...Sweeney
Comment: #1
Posted by: James A, Sweeney
Fri Mar 6, 2009 4:14 PM
I always knew it, Byuke. I always knew you were a secret admirer of Mao, and now you've finally come out of the closet and admitted it! Friedman is not alone in his analysis of how to tame the drug trade. William F. Buckley also agreed that making drugs legal is the only way out. So did official policy of the United States, when Prohibition and the organized crime syndicates that profited so handsomely off of it finally came to an end. Do you drink, Byuke? I have news for you. Alcohol is one of the worst drugs around. You can't beat it for how much it damages health, families, and the very social fabric of our society. I have a little research project for you. Why don't you take a brief look at how much organized crime and violence are caused by the alcohol trade? I don't like drunk drivers and all of the other consequences that come with drinking alcohol, but I sure prefer that kind of problem, which can be lived with in a civilized manner and solved eventually if we really care enough to do so, to facing unpredictable machine gun fire and judges who fear for their lives if they dare to enforce the law. And I don't want to live under the kind of system that Mao Tse-Dung would embrace as a good way to live. Not in this country, ever. You know something? When you pseudo-conservatives write garbage like this, you totally reveal how little true patriotism you have in your hearts.
Comment: #2
Posted by: Masako
Fri Mar 6, 2009 6:05 PM
I agree with you. We have no right to tell anybody what to do with their bodies. And make criminal offense from it.
Comment: #3
Posted by: Igor Koshurnikov
Mon Mar 9, 2009 3:29 AM
Required reading for anyone who wants to offer an opinion.

First, the short history of the marijuana laws at This is funny and fascinating.

Licit and Illicit Drugs at The best overall review of the subject ever written. If you haven't read this book, then you simply don't know the subject.

The Drug Hang-Up at This is another excellent history of the subject.

Major Studies of Drugs and Drug Policy at This is a collection of the full text of every major government commission report on the drug laws from around the world over the last 100 years. They all reached similar conclusions.

The drug laws were the product of ignorance and nonsense. In the US – which has driven worldwide drug prohibition for more than fifty years – the laws were the result of racism and lunacy so stupid that it just makes people laugh today.

Marijuana was originally outlawed for two major reasons. The first was because “All Mexicans are crazy and marijuana is what makes them crazy.” The second was the fear that heroin addiction would lead to the use of marijuana – exactly the opposite of the modern “gateway” idea.

There were only two doctors who testified before Congress for the Marihuana Tax Act of 1937. One was the representative of the American Medical Association. He testified that there was no evidence that marijuana was a dangerous drug and, therefore, no reason for the law. In response, the committee told him that, if he wasn't going to cooperate then he should shut up and leave. See the full transcripts of the hearings for the MTA at

The only other doctor to testify was Dr. James C. Munch. His sole claim to fame was that he had injected some extract of marijuana directly into the brains of 300 dogs, and two of them died. When they asked him what he concluded from this, he said he didn't know because he wasn't a dog psychologist. Dr. Munch also testified in court, under oath, that marijuana could make your fangs grow six inches long and drip with blood. He also said that, when he tried it, it turned him into a bat.

Dr. Munch served as US Official Expert on marijuana for 25 years.

That is just one example of the lunacy. There is far more than that in the history of these laws. Anyone who currently supports these laws simply hasn't read the most basic research on the subject.
Comment: #4
Posted by: Cliff Schaffer
Tue Mar 31, 2009 7:31 PM
Buchanan is wrong that Mao solved China's "drug problem" by killing everyone involved. If Mao's solution worked, why do we see thousands of executions for drug dealing in China every year?

Right wingers seem to think that if you get tough enough any problem will yield. Addiction doesn't care what the penalties are.

"In China for example, police data shows that the number of drug users grew 35 percent in the five years since 2000.
Comment: #5
Thu Apr 2, 2009 8:24 AM
Buchanan is wrong about Mao wiping out the drug trade in China because they still execute hundreds if not thousands of people for "drug trafficking" every year.
"In China for example, police data shows that the number of drug users grew 35 percent in the five years since 2000."
Addiction doesn't stop because of death penalties.
Comment: #6
Thu Apr 2, 2009 8:30 AM
The British could never take the part of Afghanistan where we are fighting and neither could the Soviet Union which was partly brought down by their war in Afghanistan. One has to have doubts about how successful in doing what these others were never about to accomplish. Undoubtedly the Afghan people deserve a better future than return to being ruled by the Taliban, but both the Afghan and the Pakistani governments are corrupt and neither hold much promise for the future. It is hard to discern which is the worse of evils.
Comment: #7
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Comment: #8
Posted by: easy
Fri Aug 8, 2014 11:37 AM
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