opposition politicians in Mexico blame President Calderon for "his" war on the cartels.
For the war that "he" started.
One has to wonder what the heck they are thinking.
While it is true that the scale of the violence has increased exponentially during his administration, the truth is that the roots of this war go way back, and we are all responsible.
The impunity and the lack of respect towards the law began during the PRI administrations, who ruled Mexico for 70 years. And while the PRI never allowed personal dictatorships, each successive president and all the lower office holders, saw their tenure as an opportunity to become rich.
On the local level underpaid police saw nothing wrong in accepting a "mordida", a bribe to let someone who ran a red light go. Judges did the same. Accused felons with money never saw the inside of a jail. And we were all a part of this rotting system.
We were very eager to pay a bribe to be able to introduce products into the country without paying the tax, it was more convenient, and less expensive to just pay the bribe.
In this culture of impunity, and lack of respect to the law, and the insatiable appetite of Americans for illegal drugs, the cartels grew in number, and ruthlessness.
When the PRI finally fell, we all thought that President Fox would cure Mexico of all its rottenness, but one man can not fix a problem created by the entire nation, and six years is not enough to fix what it took almmost a century to create, or rather destroy.
President Fox was also not very keen on taking on controversy, so he just let things continue as they were.
When President Calderon was elected, he decided that he was not going to tolerate lawlessness in Mexico, so he sent in the army.
My question to those that oppose Calderon's war is this: what would they do? Would they just let the cartels continue with their private armnies to kidnap, extort, torture and maim unchecked?
What other alternative do we have?