As part of his supplemental war funding request - the one where he asks for another $46 billion for the occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan - Bush is demanding $1.4 billion for fighting the drug wars in Mexico and Central America. Most of the funding will go to Mexico. Of the $550 million to be doled out in the first year, Mexico will get $500 million. According to this LA Times piece, that's a tenfold increase in funding. The president is putting your tax dollars to good use.
Especially when you consider what the Washington Post reported, and we blogged on, earlier today: Guns purchased legally in the U.S. are being illegally transported across the border and sold to drug cartels. Which then use them to kill people they don't like. Why? Because U.S. gun laws aren't as strict as those in Mexico. That's right. Mexican gun laws make it more difficult for criminals to obtain automatic weapons than those here in the states. With the expiration of the Federal Assault Weapons Ban in 2004, it's like Christmas every day on this side of the border for those who want to buy, say, an AK-47. And those are very popular among, you know, drug cartels.
So, lax American gun laws make it easy for Mexican drug cartels to arm themselves, to the financial benefit of U.S. gun makers, which makes drug interdiction efforts in Mexico more expensive - because now they need helicopters and bigger guns - and the Bush administration comes riding to the rescue with a tenfold increase in drug war funding for Mexico. Which maybe they can use to purchase bigger guns, all terrain vehicles, and helicopters from American industry. It's really a virtuous cycle, if you think about it.
The good news? Only 38 years into the modern war on drugs, the U.S. government has the problem about licked. Almost all the drugs are gone. They should be wrapping that war up any day now.