"Travel Advisory" Reveals U.S. Media Campaign vs. Mexico
"Were the articles in the national 'newspapers of record' part of an orchestrated media campaign to invent a very different story, in which the reputations of these families and their missing got dragged through the mud as a kind of 'collateral damage' in the information war known as the 'war on drugs?'"
And we reported that both newspapers were spoon-fed the invented "story" by the U.S. State Department as the opening salvo in its campaign to scare U.S. citizens about drugs and violence in Mexico to justify increased meddling by Washington (and U.S. media) in Mexico's upcoming 2006 election.
Hours later, the U.S. State Department (and Embassy in Mexico) issued a "travel advisory", and also a public letter from Ambassador Tony Garza to Mexican officials railing about "warfare, kidnappings and random street violence (that) will have a chilling effect on the cross-border exchange, tourism and commerce so vital to the region's prosperity."
If anyone had any doubt about our accusation that New York Times reporter Ginger Thompson and Washington Post reporter Mary Jordan had placed themselves at the service of media manipulation by U.S. officials - making themselves corrupted mercenaries to the agendas of the powerful - the orchestrated statements that have just come out of Washington and its Embassy reveal that what we called "an orchestrated media campaign" is real, it is active, and it has only just begun... Conroy and I, documenting the direct U.S. State Department role in the articles in the Times and the Post last weekend, wrote:
With Mexico heading into what ought to be its most democratic presidential contest ever (and one in which Mexico Citys center-left and activist governor Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador leads in opinion polls, to the chagrin of Condoleeza Rice and company), expect more of these kinds of news stories in which everything Mexican shall now be flavored not with chili, but, rather, with a journalistic salsa called narco.
Now comes the State Department - its new Grand Pooh-bah, the radical anti-democracy interventionist Condoleeza Rice just confirmed by the Senate - upping the ante on its media campaign against Mexico.
The U.S. "travel advisory," in language conjured to invoke fear and alarm, says:
This Public Announcement is being issued to alert U.S. citizens to the current security situation along the Mexican side of the U.S.-Mexico border in the wake of increased violence among drug traffickers. Although the majority of travelers in the region visit without mishap, violent criminal activity, including murder and kidnapping, in Mexico's northern border region has increased. The overwhelming majority of the victims of violent crime have been Mexican citizens. Nonetheless, U.S. citizens should be aware of the risk posed by the deteriorating security situation. This Public Announcement expires on April 25, 2005.
But in its zeal to inflame and invoke fright, Kondoleeza's Keystone Kops inadvertenty reveal that the U.S. drug policy imposed on Mexico is to blame for what Washington calls a rising tide of narco-violence in the country to the south:
Violent criminal activity along the U.S.-Mexico border has increased as a product of a war between criminal organizations struggling for control of the lucrative narcotics trade along the border. The leaders of several major criminal organizations have been arrested, creating a power vacuum. This has resulted in a wave of violence aimed primarily at members of those trafficking organizations and criminal justice officials. However, foreign visitors, including Americans, have been among the victims of homicides and kidnappings in the border region in recent months.
With those words, the State Department has just admitted that the arrests - ordered by the United States - of "the leaders of several major criminal organizations" have "created a power vacuum... that has resulted in a wave of violence."
In other words, U.S. prohibitionist drug policy is to blame for the "wave of violence" (if there is one: as a reporter who has covered Mexico and the drug war extensively since 1997, it is my sense that the amount of violence is at more or less the same levels that it has been at consistently for these eight years: the only difference now is that U.S. officials are pushing the story through their toadies in the Commercial Media).
Prohibition has always been the cause of all drug-related violence in Mexico and elsewhere. It is the prohibition of the drugs that makes their commerce a no man's land outside of the law.
So pay close attention to the "news reports" that will now come out of the U.S. Commercial Media from Mexico. Take names and take notes, kind readers. You will see, if you watch carefully, which media correspondents take dictation from the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City, from whom those "journalists" are dependent for their supposed scoops.
The media campaign now jumps into second gear. Ginger Thompson and Mary Jordan put it in first, and now Condoleeza's minnions have popped it into second. It's only the beginning.
Between now and the July 2006 elections in Mexico, look for ever more shrill and strident "reports" about the narco-sky falling over Mexico, and its supposed "threats" to U.S. citizens and soil.
The narco scare is our own hemisphere's version of the false "weapons of mass destruction" stories that paved public opinion to support U.S. intervention abroad.
Now they're taking that strategy and applying it to the next door neighbor's democracy.
However, unlike Iraq before the war, the Authentic Journalism renaissance men and women are here, all over the 31 states and federal district of the Republic of Mexico, and we're going to fact-check and throw the truth right back in the faces of the inauthentic simulators at every turn.
The only enemy of democracy and peace in Mexico is the U.S.-imposed drug policy... and, of course, its soldiers-of-fortune from Foggy Bottom to 43rd Street.