Visiting Ground Zero, Asking Allah for Comfort (NYT)

Can we now snooze through September 11, please? It’s a Saturday this year. It’s all been said.

Read the story here.

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[Mexico’s] Narco-violence similar to Colombia’s 20 years ago, Clinton says (WP)

This speaks volumes about how the State Department views Latin America and, indeed, the world. The Foggy Bottom folks simply pin easy labels to countries (Colombia=cocaine, Afghanistan=Taliban, Congo=rape) and then forget about their real problems and real gifts to the world.

This is how, in the story’s clarifying second heading (in the print edition), we get the gist of what Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said to the Council on Foreign Relations.

“It’s looking more and more like Colombia looked 20 years ago, where the narco-traffickers controlled certain parts of the country,” she said. Clinton’s opening “it” refers to Mexico.

In effect she is saying that Mexico (=sombreros? tequila? Speedy González?) has now become Colombia. Not like Colombia in population, geographical size, variety of social problems, economy, etc. Heck no. Those don’t matter.

The only thing that matters is what U.S. officials care about.  In this case, that Mexico is taking over attempting to satiate the U.S. appetite for drugs. Do I hear calls for a new “war” on drugs, this time in Mexico?

Doesn’t it strike anyone as odd that, after umpteen gazillion dollars have been spent on precisely such a “war” since 1970, the drugs keep coming? Could it be that our government officials keep these drugs illegal so they can continue to demand bribes from traffickers?

Read the story here.