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If Merida doesn't work out ... (or: since Iraq is going so well ...)

June 10, 2008 | 12:22 pm

Minutemancms The leader of the Minuteman U.S. border security group is proposing that the U.S. deploy its Army to Mexico to deal with criminal drug cartels and rising violence along the border. Speaking to radio stations in Southern California and Oregon, Minuteman Project President Jim Gilchrist suggested that the U.S. give Mexico 12 months to put an end to drug cartels before sending U.S. soldiers to do the job.

Referring to his belief that there is widespread corruption among Mexican politicians and law enforcement officials, Gilchrist said he was skeptical about how money from a proposed U.S. aid plan to battle the cartels would be spent.

The key, he said, was for the U.S. give Mexico an ultimatum. "Either terminate the criminal empires that influence your nation, and threaten to cripple the United States, or risk the incursion of U.S. soldiers to do the job for you," Gilchrist said. "I'm not talking about just any soldiers," Gilchrist added. "I'm talking about some heavyweight U.S. Army airborne brigades."

He added that his comments should not be seen as a proposal to wage war against Mexico or its people, but only against the criminal drug dealers there.

Photo: Minute Man statue at Minute Man National Historic Park, Massachusetts. Credit: U.S. National Park Service

-- Nicole Gaouette in Washington