Saturday, November 20, 2010

Rick Perry - 'these people are highly motivated by money'

Austin - He's ready to call out the militia, send in the crack troops and get proactive with the Mexican drug cartels.

Governor Rick Perry is sounding more like a presidential candidate every time he gets in sight of a television camera.

“I think we have to use every aspect of law enforcement that we have, including the military,” he told an interviewer late last week. “Any means that we can to run these people off our border and to save Americans' lives, we need to be engaged in.”

Sounding very unequivocal, it's the kind of sound byte that is designed to thrust any face in the center of the national spotlight.

Though the feds have stationed several hundred National Guardsmen on the border and he called on President Obama so send more in August, the governor told a convention of guardsmen gathered here that “They need some lessons in remedial math in Washington.”

Texas has about 64% of the lineal breadth of the U.S.-Mexican border, he pointed out. The ratio of troops sent so far just doesn't jibe with the area to be placed under military protection.

All this is taking place in the face of a brutal internecine political dust-up across the border between conservatives and the old one-party political structure of Mexico's PRI, the Institutional Revolutionary Party recently overthrown by the PAN, the National Action Party that put President Felipe Calderon in power four years ago.

In the resulting power vacuum, the organized crime world has made bold moves for dominance and is winning by keeping border towns under the thumb of terror, a situation where journalists are afraid to publish facts, police are known to look the other way when murder, rape, extortion and robbery takes place in broad daylight, and the nation's elite special operations troops have defected and taken their U.S.-supplied fully automatic weapons with them to settle down in more lucrative pastures selling drugs and smuggling people and cash across the Rio Grande. Muders, beheadings, mass kidnapping, car bombs – it's all a matter of routine in a war-torn region.

President Calderon is jockeying for a unified police command, a more streamlined model in which the local gendarmes would be brought under the control of the 32 state governments.

It's a no go, according to knowledgeable observers. The PRI Party members of the Mexican congress have no intentions of allow PAN any kind of victory going into the elections they hope to upset in favor of a return to normalcy.

“There is no consensus among lawmakers, not even within the PAN. There is a lot of opposition to the proposal for a unified police command, PAN Senator Alejandro Gonzalez said. He heads the Senate's justice committee.

“The Mexican Congress has used its newly acquired power not to push through modernizing reforms but rather to control and thwart the executive at every turn,” said political analyst Denise Dresser.

“The goal is to hit the criminal where it hurts most, on the economic front, Calderon said the same day Governor Perry hurled his invective about sending American troops into harm's way to stabilize the situation.

It's a mark the Mexican government is failing to hit by wide margins. Most analysts hold that sales of illicit narcotics tops $40 billion yearly, most of it in sales of marijuana to Americans who are silly enough to pay the inflated prices demanded for the stuff.

“I think you have the same situation as you had in Colombia. Obviously, Mexico has to approve any type of assistance that we can give them. But the fact of the matter is, these are people who are highly motivated with money. They are vicious. They are armed to the teeth. I want to see them defeated,” said Governor Perry.

The Department of Homeland Security said the governor has it within his authority to deploy the guard as he sees fit, so long as Texas pays for it.

Trained cadres are already in place. The governor sent specially trained units of Texas Rangers to penetrate the maze and get a grip on the problem from both sides of the border.

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