A quiet, chronic 9-11

We've wondered for years why the United States insists on saying it's waging a "war on drugs." There's no war.


Is there?

Well, yes, as a matter of fact there is.

It's a war that the national media are largely ignoring. But did you know that since late 2006, some 4,000 people have died along the Mexican border with the United States?

More deaths than on 9-11, almost as many as in five years of the Iraq War.

Yet, not only are the national media not making this a top story, Washington has failed to make it even an issue.

Much like rugged, remote tribal areas of Pakistan, where Islamabad has little or no influence, Mexico had lost control of areas of its northern border. A Mexican federal crackdown on drug cartels in the area only seemed to ramp up the violence -- kidnappings, death threats, shootouts and more.

It's also increased the number of Mexicans looking to the United States for sanctuary. An Arizona Republic story last week said increasing numbers of professionals in northern Mexico are moving to the United States, and real estate companies in the U.S. are happy to accommodate them, considering the state of the housing industry today.

"The main driver is a wave of violence unleashed by Mexico's 18-month-old crackdown on drug cartels," the newspaper reported, quoting a San Diego real estate agent as saying, "First it was the dentists, then lawyers and doctors ... now it's teachers, owners of little stores, people from the working class."

Ominously, the Arizona Republic cites polls in Mexico in which most citizens say the Mexican government is losing the battle to drug cartels.

The carnage and corruption going on just inside Mexico can't help but send more than dentists into the United States.

It is inexplicable and unconscionable that the U.S. government has failed to either secure the country's border or fully engage itself or the American people in a war on their border that has already taken 4,000 lives.

When will we actually try to win this war?