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Telling the Truth on Drugs, Border Issues
email this pageprint this pageemail usMichael Cook - Gloucester Times
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June 21, 2010

Barack Obama and Felipe Calderon (Associated Press)
Last Tuesday night, while many were glued to their televisions watching the Celtics go down to defeat in Game 6 of the NBA finals I was channel surfing between PBS and Univison.

On PBS, I watched President Obama address the nation from the Oval Office and give what can only be called a disappointing speech about the devastating oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

On Univison, I watched Mexican President Felipe Calderon address his nation from the ornate halls of Mexico's congressional building.

As disappointed as I was with President Obama's speech, I was filled with admiration for Felipe Calderon as he called on the Mexican people to not lose faith and come together to fight the drug cartels.

Mexico is coming perilously close to being a failed state, and President Calderon is, no doubt, putting his life, and the life of his loved ones, in grave danger by taking the fight to the cartels as he struggles to keep his country from falling totally into the abyss.

The violence in Mexico is escalating rapidly and moving to parts of the country that had, until now, not been heavily impacted by it.

One city, Taxco, was the scene of a recent fire fight between the military, police, and cartel members that left more than a dozen people dead and scores wounded. When I read about the violence in Taxco, it was just further confirmation of what I wrote in 'Tripod' of Legalizing, Regulating Drugs Only Way to Win 'War' that many cartels are moving south, away from the U.S. border, despite what the likes of the Tea Party and Minutemen and politicians who grovel before them might say.

What really made me admire Don Felipe was that he had the courage to tell the Mexican people the truth. He told them the reason Mexico was in such peril was because it had the misfortune to be the southern neighbor of the nation that has the greatest appetite for drugs of any in the world.

Don Felipe said the same thing when he addressed the U.S. Congress on his recent visit and was ridiculed and criticized by some in Congress, the media, and even in the anonymous online comments at

But the fact is, Don Felipe was speaking the truth whether some who want to blame Mexico and latin immigrants for all America's problems like it or not.

I just wish more Americans were as concerned about and interested in the really important issues confronting us today as they are by a bunch of overgrown, overpaid kids chasing a ball up and down a court, around a baseball diamond, or across a football field.

Perhaps if they were, maybe, just maybe, we could resolve the truly important issues and problems we all face today whether we live in the U.S., Mexico, or anywhere else for that matter. Sadly, I'm not holding my breath.

Michael Cook is a summer resident of Gloucester, Mass. and winter resident of Puerto Viejo de Limon, Costa Rica.

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