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Monday, August 23

Ah! I see from this map of Mexico that we've had everything backward.

It has occurred to me that I should start actually reading the briefs Stratfor sends me. Thank goodness the BBC does read their copies, which is how they got hold of just the kind the map that I snapped in an earlier post today was needed. Here is the map.

I was asking in the August 20 post whether Mexico was facing an insurgency. Now what does that map tell you? Yes, by gum there is an insurgency in Mexico. The insurgency is President in Name Only Felipe Calderón and the troops loyal to him. The government in Mexico is very clearly the drug cartels.

And from the map, the only reason this hasn't made it into the headlines is that the nation's capital is in territory under dispute by the cartels.

Well well well, three wells make a river. Bingo! Have a nice day. What else am
I supposed to say? My idea for a good English-language daily newspaper on Mexico came ten years too late?

Solutions? Before solutions must come a clear statement of the problem. Mexico is in the same boat as Pakistan and several other countries: their elite doesn't have to live with the mess it's created. The country's wealthy can afford to live elsewhere much of the year while their faithful retainers stay behind and deal with business. They can jet or helicopter away at a moments' notice. They have armies of guards to protect them. They have the money to pay bribes for any municipal service, such roads and wells, that they want from officials. And much of their wealth is parked in bank accounts outside the country.

If all that sounds vaguely familiar -- it's as much describing the Antebellum period in America. By then the wealthiest plantation owners didn't live in the south; they lived in places such as Rhode Island and Massachusetts. The south was too backward, and too hot, for those who didn't have to live there. The elite just showed up down south to attend social functions when the weather there cooled off and the insects died back. Otherwise they left a black slave in charge of the plantation and he reported to a white overseer.

In short, the elite -- people who traditionally have the best track record at fomenting and seeing through social revolutions -- have even far less impetus to revolt in the globalized age than they did in earlier eras.
And the border is the safest it has ever been. Perhaps, POTUS should have a summit with the cartels as they are the government of Mexico now.
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