Obama Compares Mexican President and Drug War To Eliot Ness and Alcohol Prohibition

CANNABIS CULTURE – President Barack Obama appeared on the CBS’s Face The Nation and discussed the growing drug-related violence in Mexico with host Bob Schieffer. In a comment that is sure to bewilder and confuse those on both sides of the drug war debate, Obama compared Mexican President Felipe Calderón to alcohol prohibition-era gangbuster Eliot Ness.

President Obama: Well, what’s happened is that President Calderon I think has been very bold and rightly has decided that it’s gotten carried away. The drug cartels have too much power, are undermining and corrupting huge segments of Mexican society. And so he has taken them on in the same way that when, you know, Elliot Ness took on Al Capone back during Prohibition, oftentimes that causes even more violence. And we’re seeing that flare up.

As Obama knows very well, alcohol prohibition was a complete disaster. Eliot Ness and others like him ultimately failed at their mission to curb America’s drinking habit, and only the repeal of alcohol prohibition remedied the violence associated with the bootlegging gangsters of the 1920 and 30s.

So what exactly is the President trying to say? Is he acknowledging that today’s War on Drug is just as futile as the bloody bullet-riddled alcohol prohibition of yesteryear?

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton also made some brow-raising comments recently. The Washington Post reported that while on her visit to Mexico last week, Clinton said outright that US anti-narcotics policies have been a failure and only contributed to the explosion of violence:

“Clearly what we’ve been doing has not worked…Our insatiable demand for illegal drugs fuels the drug trade. Our inability to prevent weapons from being illegally smuggled across the border to arm these criminals causes the deaths of police, of soldiers and civilians.”

Yes, it seems the US government is actually admitting that the drug war is not working!

But don’t celebrate yet. The same Washington Post article goes on to explain that Obama and Clinton’s solution is simply more of the same: over a billion dollars for “more agents and extra high-tech gear” as well as “$66 million in new funding for extra helicopters for the Mexican police.”

The following video is from CBS’s Face The Nation on March 29, 2009. Obama begins discussing Mexican gang violence just after the 11:00 minute mark.