"Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton was simply stating the obvious," said the Los Angeles Times in an editorial, "when she acknowledged Wednesday that U.S. demand for illegal drugs has fortified Mexican narco-mafias and fueled that country's drug violence." Mexico has been waiting for an honest mea culpa, now maybe the U.S. and its neighbor can work together to solve a problem that hurts us both.

It's big news that Hillary Clinton is buying into Mexico's "convenient and long-standing tradition" of blaming the U.S. for its problems, said Tim Padgett in Time. It would be more surprising still if the U.S. plan—which would put 500 more federal agents in border states, cut off southbound gun smuggling, and "lasso more of the billions of dollars heading back to drug cartels"—actually "prodded Mexico to take its obligations more seriously."

"It's an indictment of our fact-averse political culture that a statement of the blindingly obvious could sound so revolutionary," said Eugene Robinson in The Washington Post. But admitting that weapons smuggled from the U.S. cause deaths of Mexican police, soldiers, and civilians, is just the first step. We still have to be smart about how we fix the battle plan in the disastrous drug war.
There's a hidden reason for this big so-called confession, said Michael Goldfarb in The Weekly Standard. Leaders of the Obama administration, and many in the press, believe that "a Mexican drug war will finally convince law-abiding Americans that their tradition of gun-ownership simply comes with too high a price." Sorry, it won't work.