He Thinks We’re IdiotsJan 9th, 2009 | By Michel Marizco | Category: Politics
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THE BORDER REPORT
Philip Heymann is my new best friend.
As long as guys like Heymann exist, I’ll have a job. Or rather, as long as the mouth-breathing dumb Americans that spawn all over the west hemisphere of Heymann’s mind exist, I’ll have a job.
The Harvard law professor and terrorism expert likes to call Mexico’s unraveling security status “narcoterrorism,” based off the unrelenting efforts to intimidate society into silence.
Now, it doesn’t take a whole lot of imagination to throw terms around like narcoterrorism. If anything, that’s a simplistic view of Mexico’s situation, particularly up in the northwest where the majority of Mexico’s homicides occurred.
Sinaloa’s Centro de Investigación para el Desarrollo released the stats last week both for the state and the country: 1,170 murders in Sinaloa, compared to the 743 in 2007. And throughout the country, 5,620 murders compared to 2,561 the year before.
The Culiacán daily paper El Debate published a story last week documenting the demise of at least 12 pueblos in southern Sinaloa, abandoned because of the carnage.
For anyone who wants to make the point that Mexico’s in a state of crisis, the evidence is so never-ending, it’s almost cyclical.
The tricky part is making people north of the border care.
Illegal immigration wasn’t even mentioned in the 2008 elections; let alone border security, organized crime or anything much more substantial than the wall. Media attention, always sporadic, is already turning away again; even as cities from Tijuana to Juárez to Matamoros explode.
Which leads me back to Heymann, the only expert I’ve ever read who had the nerve to state the only obvious solution to making Mexico a priority for the U.S.
“I think the situation in Mexico is very, very dangerous for everyone, including the United States,” he told the Dallas Morning News. “The situation hasn’t yet registered in the mindset of Americans, but it will, especially when Americans become the target. All you need are two, three Americans killed and the issue will suddenly become important.”
Truer words are rarely spoken. The thousands of murders are nearly exclusively Mexico’s issue, not the United States’ for the simple reason that it’s Mexicans who die, not Americans.
The Morning News story turns a bit salacious, with a shadowy anonymous source muttering about car bombs at the embassies and the like. But by then Heymann’s words were already out there and bully to him for stating the obvious nobody else wants to talk about.
Let’s take it a step further.
The only way you’re going to get mass attention paid to what happens south of the line is going to be when the body of a U.S. citizen turns up, maybe a businessman, though a tourist is better, and preferably blonde, female and kidnapped first. Maybe whacking a class act Harvard professor’ll get the ball rolling.
Until that happens, the only real effect felt in the U.S. from Mexico’s woes is in the street narcotics prices and the odd bullet casing that makes its way over.
Of course, there is the little matter of abandoned Mexican villages whose people are fleeing somewhere to get away from the violence.
But that story’s a hard sell, too nuanced, the threat too subtle, apparently, for us Americans to ever understand.
Now, I just need a couple of volunteers …