Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is heading to Mexico to “head off a major foreign policy crisis,” said Marc Lacey and Ginger Thompson in The New York Times. The “neighborly feud” between the U.S. and its neighbor to the south is fueled by disputes on NAFTA trucking rules and the U.S. border fence. But the “principal sore point” is Mexico’s “bloody drug war,” which the U.S. fears is spreading northward and many Mexicans blame on U.S. drug demand and gun suppliers.
Mexico’s drug war is potentially “much more serious” for the U.S. than Iraq or Afghanistan, said Mark Kirkorian in National Review Online. Mexico’s “not a failed state—yet,” but it’s “only a matter of time” until the violence there hits the U.S. and pushes up illegal immigration. We need to “protect ourselves.” The Obama team should remember that good fences make good neighbors.
The widespread U.S. “caricature of Mexico” as a failing narco-state just increases “despair” in both countries, said Enrique Krauze in the International Herald Tribune. Mexico bears much blame for its drug violence, but it’s “profoundly hypocritical” of the U.S. to ignore its responsibility. Clinton’s visit would be a good time to change that.