This article appears in the March 29, 2019 issue of Executive Intelligence Review.
The LaRouche Plan to ‘Hermetically Seal’ the Border Against Drug-Traffic
March 20—There is no question that President Trump is right that there is a huge crisis at the U.S.-Mexico border. There are desperate migrants trying to escape a hell made up of extreme poverty, drug gangs, shootings, kidnappings, etc., brought about by the very forces deployed to get President Trump out of office one way or another; and there are the problems of weapons and drug trafficking, which are national security threats to the United States, Mexico and Central America. And that problem does not only exist in one direction, as the “Fast and Furious” scandal taught us. So both countries need border protection.
But we must be clear. The only viable solution is to totally shut down drug production and trafficking, including the drug money laundering through the City of London and Wall Street; and we must also state emphatically that poverty has to be alleviated, which can only be accomplished with the real industrial development of all of Central and South America.
A unique opportunity exists for U.S. President Donald Trump and Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador to forge an alliance that will secure the U.S.-Mexico border in the only way possible: by jointly defeating the drug trade, which is wrecking both countries; and by ending the terrible poverty and underdevelopment which feeds that drug trade and the related migrant crisis.
To solve a problem, you first have to properly determine its cause, and then design policies that will address that cause and correct it. On both counts—drugs and migration—Lyndon LaRouche has done exactly that. It’s time to return to basics.
Let’s start with drugs. LaRouche and his associates wrote the book on the drug trade—literally. As the 1978 bestseller Dope, Inc. proved beyond a shadow of a doubt, the international drug trade is run as a single, international monopoly by the principal City of London and Wall Street banks that have otherwise created a $1.5 quadrillion unpayable speculative financial bubble. The potential annual sales by Dope, Inc. (including marijuana, cocaine, opiates, and synthetic drugs) is today about $1 trillion.
Other related components of the international black economy—arms, gold, diamonds, oil, prostitution, other human trafficking, etc.—account for another $1 trillion or so, and is run by the same London-centered financial apparatus. They do all of this both to help keep their speculative bubble afloat with laundered dirty money, but even more so as a kind of New Opium War being waged against targeted populations, emphatically including the United States. The epidemic of opioid and cheap heroin addiction and overdose deaths of recent years, is just the latest, intentional “marketing” offensive being carried out by that Dope, Inc. apparatus—much as they did with cheap crack cocaine decades ago, under the watchful eye of George H.W. Bush.
As Lyndon LaRouche stated as far back as 1985, in presenting a 15-point war plan against drugs to an international conference in Mexico City:
The international drug-traffic has become an evil and powerful government in its own right. It represents today a financial, political, and military power greater than that of entire nations within the Americas. It is a government which is making war against civilized nations, a government upon which we must declare war, a war which we must fight with the weapons of war, and a war which we must win in the same spirit the United States fought for the unconditional defeat of Nazism between 1941 and 1945. Law-enforcement methods, by themselves, will fail; even joint law-enforcement efforts by the nations bordering the Caribbean would fail.
The Strategy for Defeating Dope, Inc.
The strategy for defeating Dope, Inc. must proceed simultaneously on three fronts:
First, crop eradication: With modern technologies, especially those available to NASA, up to 90% of all global marijuana, coca and opium crops can be identified and eradicated. In fact, more than 40 years ago, a 1978 joint study by NASA and the Mexican government of José López Portillo proved the case even at that time:
The remote sensing techniques developed at NASA’s Earth Resources Laboratory to monitor agricultural crops from Landsat satellites [can] be used to detect cannabis. The particular radiation reflectance signature for the marijuana crop was determined to be in the 1.55 to 1.75-micron band, in the infrared part of the electromagnetic spectrum. With this knowledge, NASA analysts could find the cannabis fields from the air. A multi-spectrum scanning instrument (MSS) from NASA, mounted under the wing of a Lear 35 jet, could cover 12,000 square miles of Mexico per day. The entire country could be mapped every 15 days, to allow crops to be targeted for destruction almost as soon as they started growing.
Technologies developed in the intervening four decades, including satellite-based systems, can do far more.
Once the drug crops are detected, highly effective herbicides, such as glyphosate, can then be applied massively, using virtual air flotillas protected by the respective national air forces, if necessary. For hard-to-reach mountainous areas and deep valleys, modern, armored helicopters can be equipped for the task. Environmentalist arguments against such spraying are specious. Herbicides have been designed that are damaging only to the drug crops, and not to other plants.
Over recent years, much of domestic U.S. marijuana production (the United States is one of the major cannabis producers in the world) has been moved into vast, technologically sophisticated indoor or underground plantations that are not detectable with standard aerial surveillance. Here, however, infrared photography, which detects heat, is very useful. So, too, is the measurement of unusually high rates of water and electricity consumption in areas where they are not warranted. Similarly, the discharge of unauthorized chemical effluents can be readily detected.
The same basic approach can and must be applied to other drugs, including opium and coca. It is not unreasonable to suggest that as much as 90% of all three major illicit drug crops can be identified and eradicated on the spot.
Second, drug interdiction and seizure: With modern technologies, up to 75% of the surviving drugs can be interdicted, seized and destroyed.
In all the discussion of constructing a concrete or steel wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, little attention appears to have been paid to the Drug Enforcement Agency’s (DEA’s) own 2018 National Drug Threat Assessment report, which identifies how most illicit drugs actually enter the United States. The vast majority of the foreign marijuana, cocaine, opiates and synthetics enters the U.S. through Mexico. How does it get across the border? The DEA reports:
The most common method employed by these TCOs [transnational criminal organizations] involves transporting illicit drugs through U.S. POEs [ports of entry] in passenger vehicles with concealed compartments or commingled with legitimate goods on tractor trailers. In some instances, regardless of method, the size of the loads has decreased, while the number of them has increased. Other cross-border smuggling techniques employed by Mexican TCOs include the use of subterranean tunnels, which originate in Mexico and lead into safe-houses on the U.S. side of the border. . . . Mexican TCOs also transport illicit drugs to the United States aboard commercial cargo trains and passenger buses. To a lesser extent, Mexican TCOs use maritime vessels off the coast of California.
This poses the significant problem of inspecting all of the cargo that legally enters the United States. According to the DHS’s U.S. Customs and Border Protection (USCBP), nearly 25 million containers enter the United States every year: 11 million by sea, 11 million by truck, and 2.7 million by rail. Similarly, hundreds of millions of passengers cross the borders by car, as do about 11 million tons of air cargo shipments.
At this point, the USCBP conducts “risk-based” screening only—i.e., they are able to screen only a small fraction of the containers actually entering the country. Even in those cases in which inspection does occur, the drug traffickers are constantly developing ingenious new ploys to foil existing detection systems: packing cocaine inside concrete posts eludes X-rays; placing packaged cocaine deep inside blocks of frozen shrimp stymies drug-sniffing dogs; or hiding cocaine in canned tuna lots, where only one can in a thousand is not legitimate, which means that the whole lot stands an excellent chance of passing inspection.
So what is called for is a far more serious obstacle than a wall of 20 feet or more. Only the extensive introduction of new detection technologies will turn the tide.
For example, Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) technologies, today applied routinely in the medical field, hold promise for the war on drugs. Here the detection system excites atomic nuclei in the scanned material and, by “reading” the signature of elements, is able to locate the presence of illegal narcotics.
Another promising possibility is to use neutron beam technology, developed in the 1980s to verify nuclear and chemical weapons disarmament accords, in the antidrug war.
Such technologies can be applied to detect the signatures of not only cannabis, cocaine and heroin, but also of the opioids now being massively produced (including the deadly fentanyl), the ever-new kinds of synthetic drugs, and the precursor and processing chemicals used variously for the above.
Using such technologies, all containers entering the United States could be subjected to scanning by such detection systems. There would be a gigantic jump in the amount of drugs seized. This, combined with aerial interdiction based on coordinated deployment of space-based, Airborne Warning and Control Systems (AWACS), and land-based technologies, tightly coordinated across borders while fully respecting national sovereignty, would be capable of interdicting and seizing perhaps 75% or more of the quantities of all drugs shipped into the United States. If only 10% of the drugs cultivated gets past the eradication stage, and if only 25% of that reduced amount gets past the seizure stage, we are talking about only 2-3% of the total amount initially cultivated actually making it through to the consumer market. That is still a lot of drugs. But it would put a substantial dent in Dope, Inc.
Third, stop drug money laundering: The silver bullet against drug money laundering is the Glass-Steagall Act, the FDR-era strict separation between commercial banking and speculative investment banking. This would immediately render Dope, Inc. insolvent. The “wall” most feared by the controllers of the drug cartels and the $1 trillion per year drug trade, is the wall between commercial and speculative banking established by Glass-Steagall, which remained in effect in the United States from 1933 to 1999.
An exemplary case is that of HSBC, formerly known as the Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited, for centuries the central bank of London’s international drug trade—which was caught dead to rights laundering tens of billions of dollars of drug money from the Sinaloa cartel, as exposed in the 2012 hearings of Sen. Carl Levin’s Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs.
Or recall the point made in 2009 by Antonio Maria Costa, then head of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime, who stated:
Drug money is currently the only liquid investment capital. . . . In the second half of 2008, liquidity was the biggest problem the banking system had, and therefore, this liquid capital became an important factor.
Here is how Lyndon LaRouche presented these three aspects of his proposed War on Drugs—against production, transit, and financial flows—in his historic 15-point plan of 1985:
Technologies appropriate to detection and confirmation of growing, processing, and transport of drugs, including satellite-based and aircraft-based systems of detection, should be supplied with assistance of the United States. As soon as the growing of a relevant crop is confirmed for any area, military airborne assault should be deployed immediately for the destruction of that crop, and military ground forces with close air-support deployed to inspect the same area and to conduct such supplementary operations as may be required. The object is to eliminate every field of marijuana, opium, and cocaine, in the Americas, excepting those fields properly licensed by governments.
With aid of the same technologies, processing-centers must be detected and confirmed, and each destroyed promptly in the same manner as fields growing relevant crops.
Borders among the allied nations, and borders with other nations, must be virtually hermetically sealed against drug-traffic across borders. All unlogged aircraft flying across borders or across the Caribbean waters, which fail to land according to instructions, are to be shot down by military action. A thorough search of all sea, truck, rail, and other transport, including inbound container traffic, is to be effected at all borders and other points of customs-inspection. Massive concentration with aid of military forces must be made in border-crossing areas, and along relevant arteries of internal highway and water-borne transport.
A system of total regulation of financial institutions, to the effect of detecting deposits, outbound transfers, and inbound transfers of funds, which might be reasonably suspected of being funds secured from drug-trafficking, must be established and maintained.
Special attention should be concentrated on those banks, insurance enterprises, and other business institutions which are in fact elements of an international financial cartel coordinating the flow of hundreds of billions annually of revenues from the international drug-traffic. Such entities should be classed as outlaws according to the “crimes against humanity” doctrine elaborated at the postwar [[World War II] Nuremberg Tribunal, and all business relations with such entities should be prohibited according to the terms of prohibition against trading with the enemy in time of war.
Now that is a wall against the international drug trade. Nothing less will work.
The other critical component of defeating the drug economy south of the border, is to replace it with great infrastructure and other economic development projects, especially between the United States and Mexico, but also including Central and South America—and all of this in cooperation with China’s Belt and Road Initiative. We will further discuss this aspect below, as it relates to the migrant issue.
The Migrant Crisis
George Soros and other British-run promoters of drug legalization are at the center of intentionally fomenting migrant “caravans” and other cruel provocations, as part of their stratagem to overthrow the Trump Presidency. What they are playing on is the underlying crisis that arises from the chronic, intentional looting and destruction of the nations and populations south of the U.S. border—Mexico, Central America, and beyond.
Here, too, LaRouche has provided the gold standard to understand the underlying cause of the crisis and how to correct it. The immigration crisis is best understood from the standpoint of LaRouche’s concept of Potential Relative Population Density (PRPD). The nations of the Caribbean Basin region, as also Mexico, today have levels of physical-economic activity (i.e., PRPD) which are significantly lower than their existing populations. This means they currently lack the economic power to maintain their existing populations at an acceptable standard of living. This in turn has led to sharp deficits in multiple physical-economic parameters (food, housing, health care), and it is also reflected in the sizable illegal and (to a lesser degree) legal emigration which occurs, especially to the United States. The remittances which these millions of individuals send home to their families are often their only means of survival.
For example, look at cumulative emigration to the United States from Central America and Mexico. As of 2015, more than 20% of native-born Salvadorans had emigrated to the United States, fleeing economic devastation, violent drug-running gangs which control large parts of the country, and natural disasters such as earthquakes.
Bringing the vast development potential of China’s Belt and Road Initiative into this region, will create the economic conditions in which populations that are today driven to emigrate from their homelands—or submit to the slavery of working for the drug cartels—will be able to find productive work and a dignified life for themselves at home, with the prospect of an even brighter future for their children and grandchildren.
In adopting such an approach, the United States will find a willing partner in Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO), who has repeatedly stated that Mexicans should emigrate by choice, and not by the force of economic penury. He has also proposed to discuss specific development projects with President Donald Trump, including some that would involve the nations of the Northern Triangle of Central America: Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador. Trump should do exactly that—immediately meet personally with AMLO and hammer out between them a ground-breaking approach to the drug and migrant crises along the lines specified here.
Where President Trump has broken out of British geopolitical containment and engaged in such personal diplomacy—with Xi Jinping, with Kim Jong-un, with Vladimir Putin—the results have been excellent. The same can be expected of a summit with Mexico’s AMLO, who has asked the United States for co-investments to match Mexico’s considerable commitments to development projects in the country. The Trump administration should do so.
LaRouche Plan for U.S.-Mexico Cooperation
LaRouche laid out the basis for such cooperation with Mexico in his 1982 book, Operation Juárez, drafted after his meeting with then President José López Portillo. Today, U.S.-Mexico cooperation against Wall Street looting must involve the Belt and Road Initiative as well, and include great projects (elaborated fully elsewhere by the LaRouche movement, as in The New Silk Road Becomes the World Land-Bridge, Vol. II), such as:
• Constructing a high-speed rail line all the way through the Darién Gap (on the border between Panama and Colombia), running the length of all of Central America into Mexico, and then linking up with U.S. and Canadian rail lines, and finally crossing over into Eurasia through the Bering Strait tunnel. This would be a full development corridor, with related industrial and agricultural projects along its length, which will substantially increase productive employment for millions of people throughout the region.
• Building a high-speed rail line across Mexico’s Isthmus of Tehuantepec, including deep-water terminals at the ports of Coatzacoalcos on the Gulf coast and Salina Cruz on the Pacific.
• Finally launching the massive North American Water and Power Alliance (NAWAPA) water management project, involving the United States, Mexico and Canada, along with Mexico’s related Plan Hidráulico del Noroeste (PLHINO) and Plan Hidráulico del Golfo Norte (PLHIGON) water projects.
Research into atmospheric ionization to increase rainfall should be a leading feature of Mexico’s water management program, as should nuclear desalination. These are two ways of producing more fresh water, and not simply transferring existing supplies from one basin to another, and as such, will help establish an entirely new technological platform for the country.
• Adopting a crash program for nuclear energy, including the construction of at least twenty nuclear plants in the country, as originally intended by López Portillo.
• Launching other science-driver projects for Mexico and the region, including space science activities centered at the Alcantara and Kourou launch centers located in Brazil and French Guiana, respectively. The Mexican Petroleum Institute (IMP) should return to its historic role as a center of advanced scientific research and engineering work in all fields of endeavor.
A revitalized NASA has a special role to play in many aspects of the above policies for solving the interrelated drug and migrant crises threatening our hemisphere. Reawakening that great American dream is the best thing we can do for our country, and for our good neighbors.