Calderon, whose six-year term in office ended last month, was to spend 2013 at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard.
HE WOULD BE a world leader that the Ivy League university managed to attract to teach its students about the ways of governing in places other than the United States.
Yet there have hundreds of people who have signed on to a petition drive that is meant to encourage Harvard to dump on Calderon.
For what they want to remember him for is all the violence along the border – particularly near Ciudad Juarez. The drug cartels were willing to use their significant arms to enforce their business “ideals,” and pressure law enforcement to sit back and do nothing.
In short, let the drug dealers be in charge.
CALDERON’S RESPONSE WAS literally to send in the army to try to reinstate order. An extreme reaction, admittedly. But it also was an extreme problem that needed a harsh reaction towards.
There is some superficial evidence that it worked, although there have been many people who were killed – including many who were merely nothing more than innocent bystanders!
The Calderon critics want to claim that innocent people are now dead because of his presidency. That alone ought to prevent him from getting the stamp of credibility that a year at Harvard would convene on his legacy, they would say.
Although I’d have to wonder if these same people would be just as angry if Calderon had not done what he did.
IN WHICH CASE, there likely still would have been bloodshed caused by the cartels as they tried to enforce their own perverse sense of authority. These same critics likely would be complaining that Calderon was weak and ineffectual and did nothing to try to stop the flow of narcotics.
They’d be right, in that case. Which isn’t what happened.
The outcome along the border may well be the evidence of just how intense the problem is – and how it likely will take a joint effort by Mexico and the United States to try to bring the situation to an end.
Why do I suspect the people who are most outraged about Calderon are the same ones who want to complain that the United States has no responsibility for this situation?
IT IS WHY I’m skeptical of the thought that people are now complaining about Calderon.
Argue, if you wish, that his policies failed to stem the flow of drugs. Of course, you’d also have to acknowledge that the large reason that cartels are operating so openly near the border is because of the drug-demand to the north of it.
It would be nice if Calderon’s presence this year at Harvard could draw more attention to the situation involving Mexico – aside from those individuals who want to ignore the nation, except for those moments when it fits their own ideological agenda to dump all over it.
Which is what it strikes me that the people signing these petitions really want to achieve.