From the diaries by Erick
Take a good look at this map, for it affects your life more than you may realize. The situation on the ground that this map represents not only impacts us today, but to a large degree, will determine our future. The map is changing all the time (this version dates from August 2010) -- but we can be sure that some variation of it will continue to be of crucial concern to us for the foreseeable future. It is a map to break your heart....
...or at least, it breaks mine. I have always loved the people of Mexico. It breaks my heart that millions of them now live in unrelenting terror because their entire country (except for the remote Baja California peninsula) is under the control of the drug cartels. The huge cream-colored swaths on the map are the areas where two or more cartels are battling it out for control -- and killing everyone in their way. Since 2006, when President Felipe Calderón took office and began a tough crackdown on the drug lords -- a squeeze that, albeit necessary, has caused the cartels' turf fights to intensify -- there have been more than 28,000 drug-related killings.
The map shows graphically why Arizona and Texas have been hit so hard by narcotrafficking violence: They directly border the hottest war zones.
Sealing the U.S.-Mexican border is no longer just a matter of preserving American social cohesiveness, or dealing with law-enforcement problems and exploding social-service budgets. Important as those issues are, sealing the border is now a matter of national security. The narcoviolence is one reason why.
Another reason is that Muslim terrorists are probably coming over -- a situation I'll treat in more detail in a future post.
Cross-posted at West to the West Wing 2012