It’s hard to imagine a leftist culture that could defend terrorist killers. But, as many people witnessed in the coverage of raid that killed Baghdadi (he was called a “scholar”), it appears that there is no shortage of people who will take up the cudgels on behalf of murderous criminals… as long as President Trump is against them, of course.
That’s what happened when the president indicated that he plans to designate Mexican Drug Cartels as terrorists groups last night.
“They will be designated … I have been working on that for the last 90 days. You know, designation is not that easy, you have to go through a process, and we are well into that process,” Trump said in an interview aired on Tuesday with conservative media personality Bill O’Reilly.
Soon afterwards, Mexico’s foreign ministry issued a statement saying it would quickly seek a high-level meeting with U.S. State Department officials to address the legal designation as well as the flow of arms and money to organized crime.
“The foreign minister will establish contact with his counterpart, Michael R. Pompeo, in order to discuss this very important issue for the bilateral agenda,” the ministry said.
Once a particular group is designated as a terrorist organization, under U.S. law it is illegal for people in the United States to knowingly offer support and its members cannot enter the country and may be deported.
Financial institutions that become aware they have funds connected to the group must block the money and alert the U.S. Treasury Department.
Earlier this month, Trump had offered in a tweet to help Mexico “wage WAR on the drug cartels and wipe them off the face of the earth” in the aftermath of the bloodiest attack on U.S. citizens in Mexico for years.
Three women and six children of dual U.S.-Mexican nationality were killed in the ambush in northern Mexico. Mexican authorities said they may have been victims of mistaken identity amid confrontations among drug gangs in the area.
Alex LeBaron, a former Mexican congressman and relative of some of the victims, on Twitter rejected the idea of a U.S. “invasion”.
“We have already been invaded by terrorist cartels,” he wrote. “We demand real coordination between both countries… both countries are responsible for the rising trade in drugs, weapons and money.”
The LeBaron extended family has often been in conflict with drug traffickers in Chihuahua and victims’ relatives said the killers must have known who they were targeting.
Interestingly, the Washington Post reported that the move was stirring an “outcry.” The liberal outlet reported:
“Mexico will never accept any action that violates our national sovereignty,” Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard tweeted. “We will act firmly. I have sent our position to the U.S. as well as our resolution on combating transnational organized crime.”
The Foreign Ministry said Ebrard would contact Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to set up an urgent meeting to discuss “this theme of high relevance for the bilateral agenda.”
Trump told former Fox News host Bill O’Reilly in a radio interview broadcast Tuesday that Mexican cartels “will be designated” as Foreign Terrorist Organizations. The president noted that he had already suggested sending the U.S. military to help Mexico tackle organized crime, but was turned down by Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador.
“I’ve actually offered him to let us go in and clean it out and he so far has rejected the offer. But at some point, [something] has to be done,” Trump said, citing the damage done by drugs to American addicts and their families.
The president added that the American government had been working on the terrorist designation for the past 90 days. “You have to go through a process, and we’re well into that process,” he said.
Most people agree that such a designation is long overdue.