Saturday, November 25, 2006


Mexico, November 25

The UN Committee on Torture has noticed that things aren't quite right in Mexico. They mention Atenco and the ongoing violence in Oaxaca. Comandante Marcos, the man who has emerged as a leader of indigenous resistance, thinks that things are further along than that, that this is “the beginning of the end for a political system that, since the Mexican Revolution, became deformed and began to cheat generation after generation, until this one arrived and said, ‘Enough,’” ... Calderón, he added, “will begin to fall from his first day.”He stated, “we are on the eve of either a great uprising or a civil war.” He might be right. Mexico is deeply dependent on money submitted by emigres and on the maquilas. A recession in the US will cut those sources of income, having a disproportionate effect on Mexico. There was a megamarch of thousands of people to the city square of Oaxaca, with the intent of blockading the federal preventive police (PFP) (Image from Reforma The APPO fire off bottle rockets and throw stones, the police respond with tear gas, pepper gas, and water cannons. A few people are hurt.
still on the edge of mi silla.
Oh, I don't think anything big will happen suddenly, Nezua.

What's happening is that a community-based alternative government is spontaneously forming. When there is a severe recession, suddenly, no one will support the central government. And so, almost without noticing, one day everyone will be asking, "How the h--l did that guy Calderon get into office?" It will be like suddenly noticing the mustard bush that has grown up while our attention was elsewhere.
Let's all hope so, Charles.

Because if a civil war does break out south of the border, it isn't likely to be as "neat" and "tidy" as the last one they had. We can reasonably expect another Mexican Civil War to go 4GW as a matter of course.

If Bill Lind's article is too highbrow, here is how Gary Brecher puts the matter.

Brecher's thought on Somalia:

"It's worth giving a moment to let that sink in: these people fought to the death against overwhelmingly superior US forces, because they wanted their clan to win by starving rival clans to death."

And in his summing up, he writes -

"1. Most wars are asymmetrical / irregular.

2. In these wars, the guerrillas / irregulars / insurgents do NOT aim for military victory.

3. You can NOT defeat these groups by killing lots of their members.

In fact, they want you to do that.

4. Hi-tech weaponry is mostly useless in these wars.

5. "Hearts and Minds," meaning propaganda and morale, are more important than military superiority.

6. Most people are not rational, they are TRIBAL: "my gang yay, your gang boo!" It really is that simple. The rest is cosmetics."

If something like this starts in a country whose border with the United States runs more than 1900 miles, there are GOING to be serious consequences up here.

And they won't be pretty.

And the worst authors are liable to be our own homegrown nutbar American nativists, not Mexican revolutionaries.

Interesting link, Stormcrow.

What's going on in Mexico appears to be different than DNI's description. Parallel with almost negligible destructive force (preventing the collection of tolls, shutting down the tourist industry, torching a few buildings), there appears to be a constructive force: a formation of democratic government.

DNI mentions narcotrafficking as a means of funding 4GW, as in Columbia. As far as I can tell, it is the government of Mexico that is running narcotrafficking. The resistance in Mexico is in part forming around a rejection of the violence of the narcotraffickers, rejection of corruption, rejection of wealth polarization. It appears to be based in a reassertion of (fundamentally conservative) indigenous notions of the primacy of local community vs. government and of stewardship of land, air, water, resources, and the next generation.

No one can predict the course of this. If Felipe Calderon wanted to, he could turn the whole thing around by declaring a major national push against corruption. But since he seems to be at the center of it, I'm predicting that won't happen.
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