Donald Trump has been asking advisers to draft plans for military attacks inside Mexico
Stewing in not-quite-indicted-but-almost semi-exile in his for-profit home and club, the coup-attempting Donald Trump has had plenty of time to think about what he should have done differently with his four years in the most powerful office in the nation. But Donald Trump is now surrounded exclusively by violent batshit cultists of the worst sort; his retinue has been filtered down exclusively to those Republicans who have no problem with mounting a violent attempted coup, if that's what it takes to keep their own leaders in power.
There's nobody left to temper Trump's stupidest and most illegal ideas, and that's probably a good chunk of the reason Donald now thinks most of the major errors he made during his administration were because he kept getting talked down from implementing his stupidest and most illegal ideas. Like, for example, a military invasion of Mexico.
No, we're not joking here. Rolling Stone reports that Donald Trump has been asking his remaining policy advisers to draft up military options for striking Mexican drug cartels—with or without the cooperation of the Mexican government. The options range from Special Forces raids on suspected cartel targets to full-on military campaigns that "include elements of the Marines, Army, Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard."
That's one of the options that the fascist Center for Renewing America has been publicly boosting, but the number of Republicans in or around Trump's circle who have been advocating for military strikes on Mexican cartels is large; Rolling Stone cites Reps. James Comer, Dan Crenshaw, Michael Waltz, Marjorie Taylor Green, Beth Van Duyne, former attorney general Bill Barr, Sens. Lindsey Graham and John Kennedy, and sedition-backing Trump official Chad Wolf among those who had expressed support for a military campaign inside Mexico or regretted that Trump didn't launch them when he had the chance.
There is deep Republican support for waging war inside Mexico, at least from the wing of the party that already considers an attempted coup to be a reasonable option here at home. They're not too keen on the United States providing weapons to Ukraine to fight off an invasion by Russian kleptocrat Vladimir Putin, but they're itching to show Mexico some neoconservative shock and awe.
We can't say, then, that Donald Trump is a fringe figure. To be sure, he's been formulating a new "presidential" campaign with planks that include public execution of drug dealers, military bombings of suspected international cartels, and presidential pardons for insurrectionists that attempted to overthrow the U.S. government on his behalf—but none of those things are far outside of "mainstream" fascist Republicanism as it's expressed by any of those other names up above. On the contrary, it's the seditionist wing of the party that's egging him on.
The justification for mounting military attacks on targets inside Mexico is the Republican usual. The Center for Renewing America (fascist!) cites "the mounting bodies of dead Americans from fentanyl poisonings," which Republicans insist is Because Mexico.
But House Republicans are also quick to point out that the fentanyl that comes through Mexico is actually mass-produced in China; Mexican importers then press it into counterfeit pills for the illicit U.S. markets.
It would seem more efficient to mount military strikes on the Chinese factories producing the stuff—oh, but China is a military superpower, or at least a good percentage of one. Mexico isn't. So there's your answer.
What isn't being said here is that when push comes to shove comes to bombing things, the Mexican government has as much reason to mull military attacks on the United States as the Trumpites have to wage war in Mexico. It's the American markets that are providing such enormous quantities of cash to Central and South American crime syndicates as to render them into something of pseudo-governments in regions under their control. And it's not as if we don't know who's doing the importing.
In San Jose, California, this week, the Department of Justice charged the head of the San Jose Police Union with attempted opioid smuggling, part of a larger Homeland Security investigation into San Francisco Bay region drug smuggling.
Far-right U.S. militia and white supremacist groups have long used international drug smuggling as a key means of funding their expensive insurrection fetishes; this week saw the arrest of 24 people linked to a white supremacist prison gang and the seizure of "more than 1.9 million doses" of fentanyl—in addition to 177 guns and over 230 pounds of methamphetamines.
If Mexico wanted to do serious damage to Mexican drug cartels, special military operations targeting ultraviolent U.S. crime syndicates would leave the cartels without most of their major sales channels. It is possible, as the Center for Renewing America (very fascist!) might itself acknowledge, that the U.S. government that's proven unable to corral these criminal gangs would object to a Mexican military incursion aimed at bombing U.S. traffickers into oblivion, but you can't say the Mexican government wouldn't have reason to do it. U.S. drug importers are responsible for destabilizing their nation's government; if Mexico knows where to find these Americans, wouldn't that make them plausible military targets?
It's not likely that Dan Crenshaw, Lindsey Graham, or any of the other advocates for military action against foreign crime rings would be willing to agree with that, and it's not because the Republicans itching to send our military to yet another new target are sticklers when it comes to international human rights agreements.
Again: Donald Trump is carving his new campaign into something much more vicious than either of his previous two, and it's not because he's been wallowing in narcissistic self-pity to such an extent that it's broken his brain. The Republican aides, officials, and policy advisers he's surrounded himself with have continually been pushing for extreme-right national policies, but now any Republican not on board with things like "attempted coup" or "military invasion of Mexico" has self-defenestrated and headed for the Liz Cheney wilderness. It's an aggressively fascist brand of "Republicanism" that's pushing Trump to extremism; it's not Trump pushing the party into it.
Will Ron DeSantis now adopt "bomb Mexico" as a new policy stance? Will it be written into the Republican Party platform, assuming the Republican Party ever again produces a platform that isn't just a one-page vow to support whatever Dear Leader blurts out? The odds are better than half, because this whole damn party went off the rails long before Donald J. Trump came along.
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