InternationalSnob

Pakistan or Mexico: Which One Will Kill Us First? (We’re All Gonna Die)

Fleeing residents of Buner in Pakistan’s troubled valley of Swat look at destruction caused during fighting between government security forces and Taliban militants, on Monday, May 11, 2009. Pakistani warplanes bombed suspected militant positions in a stronghold close to the capital Monday, pressing ahead with a fierce offensive that has driven hundreds of thousands from their homes, many into crowded refugee camps. The government claimed 700 insurgents had died and the Taliban were on the run. (AP)

On one hand we have our friends in Pakistan, the country we basically pay to defend itself (Wait? How did that happen again?), on the other we have our neighbor to the south, Mexico who had to send their military to the border to fight drug lords.

The military.

More after the jump.

A woman, hiding his face from the camera, walks past a military vehicle at the crime scene where a man was killed in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, Wednesday, April 15, 2009. Drug violence has spiked since Mexico’s President Felipe Calderon began a national crackdown on organized crime in 2006. Battles among cartels, their rivals and soldiers have led to nearly 9,000 deaths and a cross-border crime spillover. (AP)

This would be like having the National Guard in central Los Angeles, everyday, duking it out with the Bloods, Crips and various Mexican-American gangs. Since there usually has to be a complete local government collapse (see Katrina) for us to send our military into an American city, I’m going to go with the shit must be dire in border towns. Violence is actually up in spite of the military being there and it doesn’t hurt that Mexican gangs are able to get access to guns better than what the military is packing through our much more lax gun laws up north.

Two children relax as others queue for food at a refugee camp near Mardan, in northwest Pakistan, Monday, May 11, 2009. Pakistani warplanes bombed suspected militant positions in a stronghold close to the capital Monday, pressing ahead with a fierce offensive that has driven hundreds of thousands from their homes, many into crowded refugee camps. (AP)

Things must also be pretty gnarly in Pakistan right now if the Pakistani government is actually conceding that having Taliban in their country stirring up trouble might … I don’t knowbe a big deal. They’re not willing to go as far as many Americans have stated in their fear that the Taliban could topple their fragile regime and be a bigger threat than say, India, who despite being their natural enemy actually gains nothing from a full-out war with them. Now along with the Taliban being an Afghan problem they’ve taken to wanting to turn Pakistan into a fundamentalist free haven and since last year or longer have gobbled up territories small and large, rural and urban working their way to Islamabad.

But DON’T WORRY! I’m sure they’ve got it all under control!

Or you could worry.

Coffins containing the remains of police officers killed Monday sit during a funeral service in Tijuana, Mexico, Thursday, April 30, 2009. Seven police officers were assassinated in about an hour’s time in what authorities said Tuesday was a coordinated effort that followed months of relative calm in a border city stricken by drug-fueled violence. (AP)

Worst case scenario with Mexico is a governmental collapse that leads to desperate, war torn border town folks (and even folks further inland) flooding our border to escape the chaos, upsetting the balance of money and resources here in El Norte.

Worst case scenario with Pakistan is the Taliban will have the bomb. And the Taliban no-likey … anyone. Especially us. I mean, people always talked like self-preservation artists Saddam Hussien and Kim Jong-Il were/are mad men when in reality they were thugs who just wanted to stay in power no matter what. Possibly unwinable war would go against their nature as they were constantly in fear of being toppled or assassinated if there was any ounce of uncertainty in the air. The Taliban, on the other hand, doesn’t give a crap because they believe God has completely approved their views and they’re all for the notion of completely blowing themselves up (and you in the process) just to make a point.

Great.

So who are you more concerned about? The fact that the Mexican military is having to duke it out with drug lords who make Tony Montana look like your small time crack dealer on the corner OR are you more concerned about Pakistan’s history of an inability to keep its potential and/or current heads of state from being assassinated? Because, you know, that really doesn’t help when you have an insurgency running around in the Northwest territories stirring up trouble.

The Snob, right now, is somewhat more concerned about Mexico because if Mexico starts to fall apart we’ll feel the effect almost instantaneously at home. We’re already getting a taste of the action now, with the violence popping up in many American cities. Pakistan is HIGHLY troublesome, but they do have this gigantic military just lying around. I have hopes they can get trained in counter insurgency and handle their business. But I don’t know how you cure North America of its addiction to drugs and its status as the no. 1 most lucrative drug market in the world. Every time you roll up a joint you’re basically supporting various merchants of death.

Who do you see as the bigger potential problem?

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10 thoughts on “Pakistan or Mexico: Which One Will Kill Us First? (We’re All Gonna Die)

  1. dilettante says:

    I’m non plussed on Pakistan, NPR’s On point had a recent gabfest on -"Pakistan’s Fight/America’s war", great listen- but no solid conclusions. It seems there is a three way condition/security matrix needed to access their nukes-even if the Govt toppled, but who can trust what.President Obama, sect. Clinton are better suited to gain leverage, in put from other ‘free riders’ who’ve traditionally sat back and let the US do the heavy lifting. Granted- many times there was no call for us to be lifting, dropping anything in the first place. Related tangent, I hear the Iranians have released Iranian American journalist Roxana Saberi, (Iran presumably wouldn’t want the Sunni Pakistanis to have the bomb)I agree with you, the more immediate threat, flu germs aside, is Mexico. Its frightening to hear of some the crime happening in Arizona related to [Mexican] drug gang wars, or to hear a country so close, large, and accessible to the US described as a failing state. The problems are not ‘over there’ somewhere- but just a fence away.Bigger tangent- what a sad way for most Americans to come out of its insularity, because of real and present threats,its amazing how much, I think we take for granted in just every day structural stability compared with the way many people the world over face each day.Gosh I know I’m being all corny- but God bless America

  2. dukedraven says:

    Immediate short-term is Mexico, of course. Pakistan is the most threatening on a destructive scale because of the nukes. That said, we should give drug legalization a try. If it doesn’t work, cancel it. We need bold, new solutions. I’m sure we have a secret contingency plan to take over the Pakistani regime should the need arise. God save the republic!

  3. Robert M says:

    Long term Mexico, short term Pakistan.i am partial to the idea that Pakistan let the Talliban have the Swat Valley to tip the balance of public sentiment towards the government. So it has to play out w/ us arming and training the Pakistan Army to fight the Terrorists. considering that command was changed in Afghanstan today to the guy who headed special forces commmand and the fact I do not believe in consequences it follows. Mexico is a bigger problem. Money moves things and the only way to stop the destabilzition is to legalize drugs. The US can’t wrap their mind around that idea and are too corrupt as well. It will be like being in Shan territory in Myanmar(Burma). the drug dealers will get squeezed to make someone happy. In the mean time the border will be a mess

  4. Serafina says:

    Sure, we could legalize Marijuana and all will be ok. Drug dealers will battle like Coke, Pepsi, RC Cola and Tab over who’s flavor is the best! But Heroin, Cocaine and Crack dealers will NEVER play fair, nice or just sit by while their counterparts make more money, for selling the better product. That argument is dangerous and beyond stupid. All you’d have is a bunch of drug addicts roaming around freely, without fright of being put in jail. Rehab centers will flourish. More people will be inclined to try the drugs, hey because they can right? And the mess we have on our hands now will only get worse.The problem in the States and Mexico isnt because drugs are illegal its because every cartel wants the make the money and make the money alone. I live in Texas now and to think that there are over 2,000 possible lunatics crossing into the state everyday, scares me to pieces. It took the flu outbreak for everyone to start screaming for the borders to be closed? Seriously? I read the l.a. times and they have a blog called the Homicide Report, its absolutely heartbreaking when you read it. Mexicans compromise about 60-70 percent of those murdered. Males and females alike, a huge number of them are younger than 17 years old. And this problem has started spreading into their city, with Mexican gangs targeting blacks. But yet, when someone mentions sending "them" back home, making "them" apply legally or banning "them" from coming into the country anyone, they’re called racists.The problem will only grow. And unless this country stops being so politically correst, it will spread to many more States, than those bordering Mexico.Pakistan is Pakistan. Won’t waste my time getting into their wackiness. Just yet.

  5. rikyrah says:

    Pakistan – most dangerous country on Earth – for years!!It truly is. Until Mexico gets a nuclear weapon, it’s no contest – PAKISTAN.

  6. marci says:

    since i live in europe… pakistan..& if i lived in the usa… mexico.. the problem has the power to totally destabilise the region..lord knows what’d happen should the taliban be watching and get their timing right…

  7. dukedraven says:

    To "Serfina": We had 13 years of Prohibition which outlawed the sale and distribution of booze, and where did it lead? It created the biggest and most violent crime wave this country had ever seen. It was the profit that generated the gangsterism. It is the same for the Mexican cartels. Once the profit is taken out of the equation, the gangs have nothing to battle for. If you can go into a state-controlled store and purchase drugs, as you do with alcohol, why would gangs fight? That would be like fighting over the sale of Bud Light. You can buy booze anywhere, and although we have rates of alcoholism, everyone isn’t a drunk on the corner. A tax could be used for treatment and rehab. The idea of legalization may sound counter intuitive, but it’s worth a try. When Prohibition–which everybody ignored–didn’t work, the act was appealed and everything went back to normal. BTW, Serfina, you need to stop with the judgmental stuff and stick to the issues. No need to make belittling remarks. It reflects you, not the people you’re criticizing. I know this is the hubris of youth. Most people at this site are in the 20-something generation, so I guess that excuses you. Also, legalization will never happen–at least not in this century. It deserves debate, however.

  8. sexyburqua says:

    What has the Taliban ever done to you? No, I mean it, what have they ever actually done to you? All they want is to rule their own people under a theocratic rod of iron without any undue influence from the great Satan or it’s local minions. Is that too much to ask? Maybe it’s time for America to just start leaving the rest of the world to their own devices. We’ll survive without you, I promise. In fact when you actually think about it, the only real danger to the world from nuclear weapons was from the U.S dropping the Atom bomb on Nagasaki and Hiroshima. A crime against humanity for which it has yet to apologise to this day. The sheer hypocrisy of labeling the Taliban in Pakistan a danger in the light of your own history is laughable.

  9. Danielle Belton says:

    @ sexyburquaThis post was a matter of discussing the realities, not necessarily motives. The reality is that we’re at war with the Taliban, we don’t particularly care for one another, therefore we view each other as threats. The Taliban has embraced the usage of suicide bombers and IEDs as war tactics so one would assume they wouldn’t exactly turn down a nuclear deterrent if they got their hands on it. It’s only natural that out of self-preservation both sides would be leery of one another. So, um, yeah, if Pakistan goes through another assassination of one of its heads of state or falls into disarray, it would adversely effect Europe, India, the Middle East and possibly the United States. It takes a tad of effort to get to our shores (which is why I picked Mexico as the greater threat), but it’s been done. And lets not pretend like Afghanistan was some paradise before the US showed up. We didn’t help the situation, but the Taliban and some war lords basically ran what was a failed, lawless state who’s largest export continues to be poppies for heroin. Oh, and unlike with the highly unnecessary war in Iraq that was a war of choice, I’m pretty sure we initially invaded Afghanistan because the Taliban was providing a safe haven for Osama bin Laden who did attack us on Sept. 11th. I personally think we should have done the do then left, rather than try to fix the mess several other pass and current occupiers had created. And I’m PRETTY SURE Pakistan wants to run its own government and not be overthrown by the Taliban. I mean, if the people of Pakistan want a fundamentalist Islamic state they can vote for it like they vote for their leaders. They don’t need an insurgency, unless someone wants to force their hand.

  10. The A says:

    I don’t see these two conflicts on the same level at all. Mexico is like a wildfire burning near the city – certainly dangerous with the potential for becoming a catastrophe but less of a global disaster. Maybe I would feel different if I resided in Arizona or Texas. At the end of the day, this is a greedy and violent business competition. The cartels are interested in pushing product to promote their bottom line – not in governing a region or extinquishing a group of people in the name of some religious belief. If we survived the cartels in NY and DC, etc. pushing crack in the streets & the violence that came with, we will survive this as well.Pakistan is a toxic mix of greed, nukes, gods, and zealots on all sides. I wouldn’t even know how to address this situation. The potential for devastation is far beyond the worse case scenario in Mexico.

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