Can Trump defeat MS-13?

Attorney General Sessions has made it clear the US government is targeting MS-13, a drug gang with ruthless behavior that is so bad that local police departments are intimidated by them. MS-13 was originally founded in Los Angeles by immigrants from El Salvador for self protection against Mexican and black gangs.

MI-13 is involved in child prostitution and human trafficking in addition to drugs. They had been very active here in Charlotte

2011 Charlotte crackdown on MI-13.

Possibly related, there was a news item two days ago about an ICE raid in which at least four people were taken into custody in the Spanish speaking part of town. The times they are a changin’

In a surprise announcement, President Trump has invited Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte, the so-called Donald Trump of the Philippines to the White House. The focus is likely to be what the Philippines wants in regards to China and the Chinese military asserting claims on the territorial waters of the Philippines. Donald Trump has been generally supportive of the “extrajudicial” campaign against drugs in the Philippines that has resulted in the deaths of an estimated 7,000 drug dealers without trial.

This is not without precedent in Asia. In the mid 1800s, the Chinese fought back against the British East India company importing opium into China. The Chinese were no match for the British military – in the first Opium war, the Chinese had 20,000 casualties and ceded control of Hong Kong.

The second Opium War was just before the US Civil War and resulted in another 20,000 Chinese dead and wounded. The treaty that ended the war allowed Christians to evangelize within China and to take indentured Chinese workers to the Americas, who ultimately built most of the post civil war railroads (by hand), while at the same time denied them from applying to become US citizens.

The root cause of the Opium wars was a trade imbalance. Europeans loved the things being made in China, but the Chinese wanted very little from the West. So the only thing the British had to offer for Chinese goods was silver. Then someone realized that if the Chinese could be addicted to opium grown in India, that could stop the outflow of silver.

From time to time, people on the political fringe will make claims like “The Queen of England is the biggest drug smuggler in the world” – specifically Lyndon LeRouche is referring to this. FDR’s grandfather also made his fortune on the Opium trade;.

History is so much more complicated when it isn’t a Disney cartoon. The Chinese and Filipinos have long memories of what happens when Europeans show up with gun boats. My sense is Trump is not a student of history, but he also is a fast learner.

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4 Responses to Can Trump defeat MS-13?

  1. Fred Stiening says:

    Predictably, the NY Times is freaking out that Trump could be as ruthless as they have pretended he is.

    It doesn’t even occur to them that Trump might be doing this to try to rein in Duterte. If Trump starts out y condemning Duterte, it won’t change anything, and right now we really need the Philippines as an ally in Asia.

  2. briand75 says:

    Point taken – big cartels/gangs are well organized and have tons of cash in hand. You can buy a lot of legitimacy with cash, for sure.

  3. Fred Stiening says:

    Some of the banks in Charlotte owe at least some of their profitability to laundering drug money

    In 1979, NCNB was very sensitive to that issue and would not do business with companies in Central and South America unless the company was visited in person to confirm it was a real company making a real product

  4. Fred Stiening says:

    Mecklenburg County has an estimated 56,000 undocumented immigrants

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