“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

New Mexican President Comes Out Swinging

Mexican government sends 6,500 federal forces to tackle drug violence, beheadings
Associated Press Writer
VENTA DE BRAVO, Mexico — Mexico's new president launched his first major offensive against drug gangs, sending more than 6,500 federal forces to his violence-plagued home state to crack down on turf wars that have left hundreds dead in a wave of execution-style killings and beheadings.

Security officials said police and soldiers will arrest traffickers, mount checkpoints and burn marijuana and opium poppies grown in Michoacan's rugged mountains. Navy ships will seal off the state's short Pacific coast, which smugglers travel on their way to the United States.

President Felipe Calderon took office on Dec. 1 pledging a "battle" against crime, promising more funds for the army and law enforcement and appointing hard-line Interior Minister Francisco Ramirez Acuna to oversee the fight against organized crime.

Calderon vowed to smash the drug gangs, which have been blamed for more than 2,000 drug-related killings this year, including several police chiefs, journalists, town mayors and at least one judge.

"The battle against organized crime has just begun," Ramirez Acuna said Monday. "We are looking to take back the spaces that organized crime has seized."

The force of 4,260 soldiers, 1,054 sailors, 1,420 federal police agents and 50 specialized investigative federal agents will operate 19 planes, 38 helicopters, and four ships in Michoacan.

Similar past efforts have shown few permanent results.

Apparently. after Vincente Fox tried and failed to restore law and order to the area, Calderón has decided to get serious. On top of the firepower, Senor Acuña es muy mal hombre:

Ramírez Acuña, known for a "firm hand" on security issues but also accused of human rights violations, will be immediately responsible for finding a solution to six months of unrest in Oaxaca, where a large protest movement is demanding the ouster of the state´s governor. He will also be in charge of reaching out to opposition parties to seek support for Calderón´s reform agenda.

Senor Acuña and President Calderón both better be bad hombres. This could get very ugly.

Many security experts say it will take more than just brute force to defeat the cartels, who are heavily armed, using rocket-propelled grenades and bazookas, and well-financed, making billions of dollars smuggling marijuana, heroin, methamphetamine and cocaine into the United States.

I can hear the human rights groups already.

As Jalisco governor, Ramírez Acuña allegedly authorized the use of excessive force against anti-globalization protesters during a summit of Latin American and European leaders in Guada- lajara in 2004. Both national and international human rights organizations, including Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, denounced what they said were arbitrary detentions and even torture of suspects.


  1. There's gonna be a revolution.
    Oh yeah we know...
    We're all just waitin' for the Plan

  2. Whit quoted, "Both national and international human rights organizations, including Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, denounced what they said were arbitrary detentions and even torture of suspects."

    Imagine that, Amnesty Internation going after non-American groups for once.

  3. The cousin of Mexican first lady Margarita Zavala was found dead of gunshot wounds just outside Mexico City, authorities confirmed Wednesday. No motive for his death has been established.

    The body of Luis Felipe Zavala was found in his minivan Tuesday night in the city of Naucalpan in Mexico State, said Carlos Flores, state deputy attorney general. Naucalpan borders Mexico City.

    Shot to Death

  4. Bob,

    It's dangerous. My dad drove down by himself a few years back. Driving a minivan full of white goods in the back. Got pulled over by a couple of banditos. One with a shotgun, the other with a pistol against dad's head. Dad said it was so close he could read 'Smith & Wesson' on the barrel. Dad was lucky.

  5. Michael Medved administers a butt whipping to the politically correct Jews of our time. It reminds one of Hanukah.

    “Actually, far from celebrating “diversity” or “tolerance” or “respect for every faith,” Hanukah (the name means “dedication” in Hebrew) marks a singular display of intolerance-- when religious zealots, exalting the values of “that old time religion,” came into the Temple in Jerusalem and drove out all alternate, “creative” forms of worship.”

    The Real Hanukah: A Celebration of the Religious Right

  6. rufus,

    I don't know why more serious thought has not been given to lighter-than-air craft. The payloads dwarf anything else.

  7. Rufus,

    The Military Industrial Complex shoulda come up with this blimp 60 yrs ago, to help Ike oversee Operation Keelhaul.

  8. If I haven't mentioned it before, I am ready for a few more "Sunbelt" states. Yes, I know, I am about 170 years behind the trend, but better late than never.

  9. rufus,

    There are Mississippi and Misurah hillbillies and there are Judean hillbillies. They all have a low tolerance for fools and Yankees.

  10. I'll bet that more than half of all Mississippians can pronounce Mississippi. That's more than can be said for my birth state - Misurah, indeed. Course, my adopted state is fast becoming Teyhass - must be somethin' about me.

  11. rufus,

    You gotta git out more. Georgia is the only place I ever ben wur you can insult a fella's half-sister, mother, and wife, with one word - hoe. Jist say'n.

  12. rufus,

    I was born in a refurbished chicken house in Farmington. Thar was a house'n shortage after the war. Course, Farmington did have the "Insane Asylum" - old Number 4. My uncle, who won a Silver Star on Okinawa, got a plush job there, supervis’n the dairy. Life was sweet. You could pay your taxes with “Mills”.

  13. Before the War, "Mills" were stamped of zinc. After the War, they were pressed in green and red plastic. They were chewy. Moms used to bunch them on string and give them to teething babies. Life was sweet.

  14. Yeah, we used to buy those watermelons, 10 for a dollar. Of course, a dollar was worth about a quarter dollar in those days.

  15. rufus,

    You down in Limbaugh country - Little Dixie. People up north don't have a clue how close a run thing that Civil War was. Had the arsenal in St. Louis been taken by the Confereracy and Jefferson Barracks as well, things would of ben a hole sight different.

  16. Calderon, a native of central state of Michoacan, which exports a large number of migrants to the U.S. each year, noted that "like many ... I have cousins, uncles, in-laws who are undocumented and live in the United States."

    U.S. President George W. Bush, who championed a temporary guest-worker program for migrant Mexicans, signed a law in October that would erect 1,130 kilometers (700 miles) of fence along the border as an immigration-control measure.


  17. rufus,

    In my clan there is an apocryphal tale of one of our boys from the Confederate side being caught by some of our boys from the Union side. The Union lads had three options, 1) try and hang him, 2) shoot him on the spot, and 3) give him a day's run toward the Confederate lines. See'n as grandma would have been equally pissed with choices "1" and "2", the Union lads chose "3". At the end of the war, they were all glad for the choice made.

    And we think we have problems in Iraq.

  18. rufus,


    We had no idea what that meant, unless we got to the big city, St. Louis. Even then, we thought there was something wrong with those folk. It was a sweeter time. And, by G-d, ignorance was bliss.

  19. rufus,

    This is America, America will choose to win, cause we simple minded Yanks don't know any better.

    Yes, Sir, it is America, where a Scotch-Irish Jew Maccabee Marine with just a tetcsh of Prussian blood can make it just fine, thank you, very much. It may take a while, but we will prevail.

    Is America a great country, or what?

    And, rufus, if this guy screws up, we will find another. G-d is on our side!