Conspiracy Nation -- Vol. 9 Num. 23

("Quid coniuratio est?")


(La Jornada, 9/15/96)
[Abbreviated translation by Conspiracy Nation]

The Clinton administration seems at present to lack high-level personnel able to evaluate and define political responses to current challenges in Mexican relations.

"Our question is, 'Who is in charge? Who is monitoring policy (toward Mexico) at the highest levels?'" said a frustrated member of the U.S. government interviewed by La Jornada. The answer, according to various bureaucrats and analysts consulted this week, is "no one."

The foreign policy of the United States is frequently the result of a chaotic equilibrium amongst bureaucratic interests which only reach consensus at the highest levels at a time of sharp crisis, and whose dynamic is especially present during an election year.

"What we question," commented a U.S. government official who requested anonymity, "is who is offering general leadership and asking the hard questions?"

Another source added, "I simply don't believe that anyone is paying attention." Various legislators already have begun to ask the White House who is in charge of policy toward Mexico.

The Wall Street Journal, in an article on the EPR [Ejercito Popular Revolucionario, Army of the Popular Revolution] at the beginning of September, commented that, "the United States is singularly ill-prepared to give to this latest crisis the attention it deserves."

Robert Pastor, Director for Latin America at the Carter Center in Atlanta, pointed out that in an election year the focus of White House personnel gets distracted by politics.

In fact, the only sustained focus regarding Mexico at the moment is the effort to assure that it, or any other of the themes connected to the bilateral relation, does not get converted into an election issue. With this in mind, the highest levels of U.S. government are working all-out to ensure that Mexico does not default on what it owes the U.S.

The Wall Street Journal has pointed out that, "none of the high-level foreign policy team of the Clinton administration have focussed their attention on Mexico, while many of the senior experts on Latin America have recently left the State Department and the intelligence services."

Therefore, according to some experts on bilateral relations, "no one is minding the store" regarding Mexico at this moment. Others limit themselves to hoping that nothing important, or worse, difficult for the Clinton campaign, will occur in Mexico until after November 5th.

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Aperi os tuum muto, et causis omnium filiorum qui pertranseunt. Aperi os tuum, decerne quod justum est, et judica inopem et pauperem. -- Liber Proverbiorum XXXI: 8-9