Friday, November 19, 2010

Rick Perry suggests sending U.S. troops into Mexico to fight drug war

Texas Gov. Rick Perry is a big-name, big-time Republican.

Elected lieutenant governor in 1998, he took over when the Supreme Court handed Bush the presidency two years later. He won gubernatorial elections in 2002 and 2006. Earlier this month, he won a third term with 55 percent of the vote.

And he is now set to head the Republican Governors Association.

Gov. Rick Perry says he's open to the idea of sending U.S. troops into Mexico to fight the drug war. The Texas governor told MSNBC [yesterday] morning that border violence has escalated dramatically since George W. Bush was governor a decade ago. He said more aggressive federal tactics are needed. "You have a situation on the border where American citizens are being killed, and you didn't see that back when George Bush was the governor," he said.

Host Chuck Todd asked whether Perry would advocate military involvement on the Mexican side of the border. Perry responded: "I think we have to have any aspect of law enforcement that we have including the military. I think we have the same situation we had in Columbia. Obviously, Mexico has to approve any type of assistance that we can give them. But the fact of the matter is these are people who are highly motivated for money, they are vicious, they are armed to the teeth. And I want to see them defeated. And any means we can to run these people off our border and to save Americans' lives we have to be engaged in."

Yes, he admits that Mexico would have to "approve" any such move, but it's not clear from this that Perry appreciates the concept of sovereignty. And would Mexico would really ever want American troops on its soil, troops over whom it would have no control?

All Perry shows here is that, like most other Republicans, he sees the military as the solution to America's various national security (or, in this case, drug) problems. As if the military isn't already overstretched, as if Iraq and Afghanistan aren't enough, as if the military is equipped to chase down and combat organized drug crime, as if the military can ever be a genuine instrument of law enforcement, particularly in another country.

This would be a recipe for disaster.

Yes, Rick Perry is our Craziest Republican of the Day -- maybe of the week, perhaps even of the month.

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