Fox hosts: Bombing Mexico 'a good idea' because shoplifting is 'terrorist activity'

Fox hosts: Bombing Mexico 'a good idea' because shoplifting is 'terrorist activity'
Fox host Greg Gutfeld, Image via screengrab.

During the Wednesday, July 25, segment of Fox News' The Five, the conservative co-hosts Jesse Watters, Jeanine Pirro, Dana Perino and Greg Gutfeld suggested Mexican drug cartels are behind a shoplifting surge in America, and to combat the alleged issue — the U.S. military should bomb them.

Host Jesse Watters began the conversation saying, "While the liberal media gets a crash course on crime, we're learning that Mexican drug cartels are fueling America's shoplifting surge. They're selling the stolen stuff online and then laundering the profits through, guess where? Chinese brokers. So, Dana, CNN finally discovered crime is a crisis in San Francisco."

Dana Perino replied, "This is after they made fun of us for pointing it out last year...On this point, I think that finding out that there are Mexican cartels behind this, makes me feel maybe there's hope that we could figure out a way to do something about it. So the state attorneys general are banding together and they're like let's go after it. But also they need help from the retailers. The retailers don't want to be looted like this either. But the problem, to me, is that all this stuff gets taken and then it's resold online. Like on Amazon, for example. So can Amazon help us out? Somehow, can they figure out a way to track them? We've got AI, we've got all these other tools. There must be a way to try to prevent all of this from happening."

READ MORE: Donald Trump complains that 'somebody leaked' his plans to launch Patriot missiles at Mexican cartels

In April, CNN interviewed Mission Local managing editor Joe Eskenazi about San Francisco's surge in crime, and the editor noted, "There is crime in downtown San Francisco, but there always has been. I think the notion that these businesses were driven out by crime is frankly dishonest. That's always been a factor."

Eskenazi later added, "San Francisco also has lots of property crime because there's a great divergence of wealth and people steal things. But San Francisco’s violent crime rate is at a near historic low right now."

Watters then said, "You can put up the task force, maybe with the FBI, bring in the DEA, make it transnational Greg, since the cartels are involved."

Greg Gutfeld replied, "It's weird to see these cartels diversify. They're almost like Amazon now. They're doing drugs, smuggling and theft, pretty soon they're gonna have their own podcast. There's another thing that we said a long time ago and I bet we don't -- bombing the car-- remember we said we were talking about bombing the cartels? And people were going, 'No, no, no, that's an act of war, that's in another country.' Yeah, but we do that to terrorists as well, and this is kind of a terrorist activity. And the thing is, now, we see this at least on the Republican side, a lot of candidates are talking about doing it and I think it's a good idea. I think we need to elect a president who values a border. That's the important thing. Bomb these. And there's, like, one cartel we can cooperate with, let them kill the rest. Encourage them to kill the rest."

READ MORE: MTG says U.S. should be 'bombing Mexican cartels' and 'Antifa BLM rioters' instead of 'aiding' Ukraine

Watters then asked Pirro, "Remember when the Chinese were ripping off our DVDs and we sent the entire federal government after them and we actually were pretty effective. This is pretty similar in terms of now it's shoplifting.

She said, "Yeah, and I remember prosecuting a case for the Motion Picture Association because what they were doing was people were going in and they were just making copies of movies," to which Watters replied, "I've watched a few movies like that where the guy just holds the camcorder and the finger? I mean, my friend watched it."

Pirro added, "This is part of a, you know, global organized criminal activity. The problem is that this organization is not just doing retail theft. They're also doing human trafficking. They're doing fentanyl. They're doing all kinds of crime and so they're expanding their criminal network. And now they're going to be so powerful, I don't know if we're ever going to be able to defeat them. Because we've got a president right now, who, you know, with the border -- and they're in charge at the border -- there is nothing going on that's preventing the fentanyl from coming in. We hear about an arrest every now and then. It's usually the locals making the arrests, not the federal government. But the issue is whether or not these criminals are being prosecuted. That guy walked out, right, and then the person in the store says it's a police state for everyone. So for the victims it's a police state, with the criminal, it's not a police state. That's the actual problem. It's low risk and it's high reward. Low risk because the employee's not gonna punch you out, you're not gonna get arrested, you're gonna make a fortune. You're gonna start this business and you're gonna launder your money through China. And unless we get serious about this, whether it's bombing or whatever -- you have to come up with something. These organizations are dangerous. They are absolutely dangerous. And for everybody at home, your insurance is gonna go up because of it. The cost of retail and consumer products are gonna go up. You're paying for this."

The New York Times' Maggie Haberman reported last year that "President Donald J. Trump in 2020 asked Mark T. Esper, his defense secretary, about the possibility of launching missiles into Mexico to “destroy the drug labs” and wipe out the cartels, maintaining that the United States’ involvement in a strike against its southern neighbor could be kept secret, Mr. Esper recounts in his upcoming memoir. When Mr. Esper raised various objections, Mr. Trump said that 'we could just shoot some Patriot missiles and take out the labs, quietly,' adding that 'no one would know it was us.'"

READ MORE: 'Bomb the Mexicans' is the GOP’s new 'build the wall': columnist

However, Haberman wrote experts argue that, "Patriot missiles are the primary surface-to-air missile used by the U.S. military, which is designed as anti-aircraft and anti-ballistic missile interceptors. As there are no reports of airborne drug labs in Mexican air space.

Trump supporter U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) complained earlier this year that American is "not bombing the Mexican cartels who are poisoning Americans every single day. And I know that sounds extreme. I'm not talking about the Mexican government or the Mexican people. I'm talking about the cartels. They're murdering Americans."

Miami Herald columnist Jean Guerrero notes the "Calls for U.S. attacks on Mexican drug cartels, recently discussed in secret if at all, have become a loudly expressed talking point for Republicans who are trying to exploit the violent rhetoric for political gain," highlighting Trump's 2024 GOP opponent and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis' "recent promises to deploy the military against drug cartels, along with his support for executing smugglers and his assertion that 'you absolutely can use deadly force.'"

She argues, "Republicans aren't making a good faith argument, and that their rhetoric has more to do with racism than finding solutions to the ongoing opioid crisis."

Axios reports earlier this year, Rep. Veronica Escobar (D-Texas) said, "If my colleagues were serious about addressing the cartels, they would start with addressing guns here in America," noting that the cartels "are able to outgun Mexican local law enforcement because of American guns."

READ MORE: 'Time to reverse course': NYT Editorial Board endorses ending the War on Drugs

Watch Media Matters' video below or at this link.

READ MORE: Lawmakers readying bipartisan bills to authorize Pentagon resources to combat fentanyl: report

CNN's full report is available at this link. Axios' report is here.

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