I’m writing this email in response to John Derbyshire’s “Is Trump’s Wall Really Immoral. What Would We Take Instead?”
Mr. Derbyshire categorizes Mexico and Central America’s Northern Triangle as “semi-barbarous countries to our south, most of which are not so much nation-states as criminal enterprises.”
Granted, the region is marked by unprecedented violence and corruption, but in the argument in favor of a wall the cause and effect is rarely if ever mentioned. The “criminal enterprises,” mostly associated with the distribution of illegal drugs, received support from Wall Street, as money laundering charges against Wakovia and other banks demonstrate. Catherine Austin Fitts, the former assistant secretary for HUD, points out that drug money floated the banks during the financial crisis. Short of this influx of drug money, it is speculated the economic crisis would have been far worse.
As for violence, the Obama administration assisted this through its so-called “Fast & Furious” operation, which armed the cartels. Jesus Vicente Zambada-Niebla, the Sinaloa cartel’s “logistics coordinator” in charge of arranging drug shipments from Latin America to the United States, said Operation Fast and Furious was part of an agreement to finance and arm the Sinaloa cartel in exchange for information used to take down rival cartels, according to court documents.
This meddling is not limited to drugs. US foreign policy in the region is largely responsible for the unprecedented violence. This began with the CIA orchestrated overthrow of the government in Guatemala and the installation of a brutal military government. This resulted in 200,000 people killed over a period of 36-years. Many more were displaced.
It’s much the same story in Nicaragua, El Salvador, and Honduras. US trained and funded death squads terrorized local populations. According to the Central American Resource Center, the “United States is complicit in creating the rampant and bloody gang violence, dire poverty, displacement and migration from El Salvador.”
Nixon’s drug war had the effect of moving drug cartels out of Colombia into Central America. Reagan kept the juntas going and secretly funded the Contras, “freedom fighters” who executed Nicaraguan school teachers.
In short, the “semi-barbarous countries to our south” were made so by the United States government. Prior to the hyped specter of communism beginning in the late 1940s and the war on drugs later put on the fast track by “zero tolerance” Ronald Reagan and his wife, there wasn’t this level of violence in Central America.
The US has made sure the oligarchs responsible for the massive poverty in Central America remain in power. The beneficiaries are transnational corporations such as Dole and Chiquita. This has been the case for well over a hundred years.
It’s true many of the illegal aliens crossing the border are looking for handouts, which the Democrats are all too happy to provide in exchange for votes, but many are also fleeing intolerable conditions created by the government Donald Trump represents.
Ending the Drug War and not funding repressive regimes—the most recent case in Honduras, thanks to Hillary Clinton—would undoubtedly in the long run reduce the number of impoverished people fleeing extrajudicial killings and a pervasive atmosphere of terror.
But we hear nothing about this. Instead, Trump has shut down the government in a bid to get his wall built on government and private land (the latter at gunpoint under dominant domain).
Finally, I live in southern New Mexico, forty miles from Mexico. The population here is primarily Hispanic. There is a merging of Latin American and American culture. Isn’t this the “melting pot” we were told about as school children? Many of the Hispanic families here have ancestors that lived on the land well before the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo that drew the Rio Grande as the boundary between the US and Mexico.
It really is tiresome to hear over and over the same arguments in favor of building a wall that will cost $3.9 million per mile—a thousand miles of wall will cost $21.6 billion—while supporting regimes responsible for this mass migration (which was exploited by the likes of George Soros and Democrats for political advantage).
Trump needs to end the drug war and rollback supporting the oligarchs in Central America if he seriously wants to put an end to illegal immigration. Trump’s wall will accomplish little beyond socking the US further into debt.