How else am I supposed to read this article, from the New York Times (via NBC)? All of the candidates for the upcoming Mexican Presidential Election are signaling that they will focus more on "stability" than on actually fighting the war on drugs.
To parse that out correctly, you have to understand the only way to have "stability" with the Drug Cartels is to allow them free reign within their own territories. In essence, all of the candidates are signalling that they will surrender to the Cartels, and hope, as the Europeans did in the 1930's, that such capitulation will result in "peace."
It is easy to blame them for this stance; after all, it does seem overly naive. However, I don't really think they can accept the blame for this. I believe the blame falls squarely on the shoulders of Barack Obama and Eric Holder.
Eric Holder certainly knew, and Barack Obama almost certainly knew, about and approved Operation Fast and Furious. For those just catching up, this was a government sanctioned "gun walking" scheme (we call it "gun walking" because the government allowed it, if they hadn't, it would be "gun running." Sort of the same difference between "archeology" and "grave robbing.") wherein hundreds of guns were subsidized and shipped to Mexican Drug Cartels with, apparently, the specific purpose of stirring up the violence (probably in the hopes they'd take each other out- how did that work for you?). This gun walking scheme actually succeeded in three things: 1) The deaths of over 300 Mexican Citizens directly attributed to the guns "walked" in OF&F. 2) The death of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry. 3) The continued destabilization of the Mexican Government's hold on its norther border.
In short, we colluded with enemies of the Mexican State to arm and embolden them. As every opponent we've faced in the last century has found out, once the United States has moved against you, whatever the reason, you're going to lose. This was true in World War I. It was true in World War II. It was true in Korea. It was true (militarily, at least) in Vietnam. It was true in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Iraq again.
So it is quite reasonable to see why the candidates for Mexico's Presidency would decide to waive the white flag, here. Already there have been over 50,000 civilian deaths attributed to the drug violence. Admittedly, Operation Fast and Furious was a very small part of that, but it doesn't have to be a large part. By undertaking this operation the United States allied itself with the internal enemies of a neighboring Government; one that is a nominal ally, in fact. And when the United States allies itself with a group, that group has a strong tendency to win the war. As the Russian troops in Afghanistan in the 80's about that.