Home > Uncategorized > The Obama Doctrine, Mexico, and Guns

The Obama Doctrine, Mexico, and Guns

Vigorously defending the first war launched on his watch, President Barack Obama has declared that the United States intervened in Libya to prevent a slaughter of civilians that would have stained the world’s conscience and “been a betrayal of who we are” as Americans.

“Some nations may be able to turn a blind eye to atrocities in other countries. The United States of America is different,” Obama said. “And as president, I refused to wait for the images of slaughter and mass graves before taking action.” More than 8,000 Libyans aligned with the rebel movement that rose up against Muammar Gaddafi have been killed in the revolt against his rule, a spokesman for the rebel movement told Al Jazeera Sunday. “Our dead and martyrs number more than 8,000 killed,” Abdel Hafiz Ghoga said. Granted that the number comes from the AlQaeda affiliated rebels, and was reported by Al Jazeera, but let’s not quibble over the exact number.

Many commentators have declared this to be the “Obama Doctrine.” We will take action in foreign countries, regardless of Congress, provided some extra-territorial authority like the UN or OPEC authorizes it, and provided it fits the ideological leanings of Obama. Which is why we are involved in a “kinetic military action” in Libya, but not in Cote d’Ivoire. We are a bigger presence in Afghanistan, but not in Nigeria.

But of more curious interest is a little closer to home. Apparently 8000 dead Libyans is a tragedy that “stains the world’s conscience,” but 34000 dead Mexicans is a mere inconvenience, hardly worth mentioning. That’s the number of people killed in the Mexican drug cartel wars. To be fair, some of those are Americans, and I’m sure some are citizens of other countries. The subject is in the news recently because of the border shootings, where an American was killed, and the bus kidnapping where two Americans were killed.

Conspicuously absent from any of the media coverage has been Obama’s invocation of America’s inability to turn a blind a eye to the tragedy. Worse than his inactivity on the Mexican issue is the fact he may be complicit in at least some of the slaughter.

Some of those killed have been ATF and ICE(formerly Border Patrol) agents. And the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms has been running an operation called “Operation Gunrunner.” According to the ATF, which really sounds like a great convenience store, the point of Gunrunner was to “deny firearms, the “tools of the trade,” to criminal organizations in Mexico and along the border.” According to its critics, some of the media, and one former manager of the operation, Gunrunner has been supplying guns to the cartels.

George Gillett Jr., assistant special agent in charge of the ATF’s Explosives field office in Phoenix, has met with congressional investigators and is expected to provide crucial information about how dozens of U.S. guns may have been transported with the ATF’s knowledge into Mexico. Under Project Gunrunner and the Phoenix off-shoot, dubbed Fast and Furious, the ATF encouraged gun store owners to sell to straw buyers — consumers who they suspected of working on behalf of Mexican drug cartels. Project Gunrunner purposely allowed the straw buyers to illegally buy and export guns only to see where they surfaced in Mexico. Using this investigative technique, the ATF hoped to take down the entire gun trafficking organization. Instead, records show it allowed more than 1,700 guns, including hundreds of AK-47s and high-powered, armor-piercing .50-caliber rifles to be trafficked to Mexico.

When asked about it, Obama, Eric Holder, and Hillary Clinton all denied any knowledge of the operation. In an interview with Univision, Obama said, “I did not authorize it; Eric Holder, the attorney general, did not authorize it. He’s been very clear that our policy is to catch gun-runners and put them into jail.” Obama has, however, proved he has a sense of humor when he said Holder has asked the Justice Department to investigate.

The ATF forced gun dealers – against the dealers’ better judgment – to sell weapons to prohibited individuals with known connections to gun-smuggling operations. ATF agents who were on the ground then came forward to testify against this disastrous project, but were blacklisted by senior ATF and Justice Department officials. To top it off, this comes while ATF press releases continue to spread the flat-out lie that over 80% of all the guns used in Mexico’s drug war come from the United States. And now, officials all the way up to the Obama White House are denying any knowledge of the operation.

There has been an awful lot of propaganda from the Obama camp, before and after the election, about how evil the firearm industry is, how irresponsible firearm dealers are, and in general, how bad guns are. At the very same time Obama, Holder and Clinton were brazenly lying about guns smuggling, the ATF was coercing gun dealers into selling to suspicious buyers. That the ATF was manufacturing the very crimes that they were demanding more authority to stop is typical of the behavior of this administration. Aldous Huxley said, “Continued crisis breeds continued control.” The Obama administration seems to have taken that maxim to heart.

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