It seems Hillary knew nada about La Virgen de Guadalupe. If she didn't know anything about La Virgen, she didn't know much at all about Mexico. I'm starting to get the feeling the Obama crowd thinks too well of their smarts and has little curiosity about the world outside their own beliefs after all. They've shown little sensitivity to countries as unique societies (Afghanistan, Mexico, for example) that I'm aware of and seem to be going at foreign policy with a one size fits all approach.
Obama seems to be thinking it's enough to put a velvet glove on old approaches. But militarization -- increasing militarization -- solves nothing in a way we'd want things solved: it doesn't solve underlying social problems, unequal distribution of wealth, increasing job losses due to the economic crisis, the terrible effects on local livelihoods of globalization, not just from NAFTA, but starting in the 1980s. Militarization also kills and maims people and destroys families and jobs. And creates anger among civilians affecte. Militarization does nothing for drug treatment. For civilian law enforcement. Militarization supports perhaps Calderón, but Calderón certainly isn't Mexico.
If the US can commit millions, even billions to militarizing Mexico further, it can commit some money to teaching Americans, including the president, about Mexico. And the teachers need to come from various places in Mexico, not from the State Department. I wonder what images Obama and crew have in their minds of Mexico.
I guess I hope that Calderón has success squashing the cartels, but I'm not at all sure the heavy hand of the US is what they want supporting them.
Plus, if I understood him correctly, Obama still doesn't get the connection between US drug prohibition and Mexican narco business. And they're backing off illegalizing assault weapons. What kind of country makes it legal to have assault rifles in your house?
Anyay, I'm wondering if my previous enthusiasm for Pascual as ambassador was misguided. By the way, La Jornada and El Universal report that indeed Pascual has been nominated to be Ambassador to Mexico. Now that there is no star-quality American government person traveling in Mexico, the NYTimes seems to think mentioning Mexican news of a nonviolent nature is so yesterday. Not a word of Pascual's nomination in that august journal.
It seems maybe, dare I say it, that Obama's inexperience is showing and that instead of exploring new avenues, he's doing the same old shit. See also the economy! By the way, The Baseline Scenario by Simon Johnson of MIT and friends is a very good resource for trying to figure out what's going on in that area.