From the Right: Fentanyl and the border


From the Right: Fentanyl and the border

By Don Schmitz 

From China, to Mexico, to American morgues, fentanyl creates a triangle of death and misery. A synthetic opioid used as a pain killer since 1959 to combat abuse, it was placed under international control in 1964. Tightly regulated by the Drug Enforcement Administration, illicit drug cartels are now supplying death by the bushel to American drug abusers. According to the Congressional Research Service, as of November 2021, traffickers have created 150 fentanyl analogues with no legitimate medical use, with tragic results. The DEA estimates synthetic opioids killed 73,000 Americans in one year between July 2021 and June 2022. Roll that number around in your head for a moment — that is more American dead than we have lost in every war since 1960 combined (Vietnam to the war on terror). In over half a century of bitter conflicts with foreign adversaries around the world, we lost fewer Americans than in one year from our enemy on the southern border, drug cartels. 

China is the source for U.S.-bound illicit fentanyl, at least the raw materials. Despite international pressure, China still allows precursor fentanyl chemicals to be liberally produced and exported overseas. The U.S. Commission on Combatting Synthetic Opioid Trafficking concluded in 2022 that China’s pharmaceutical sectors have “outpaced the government’s efforts to regulate them.” Excuse my skepticism, but really? We have watched billionaire Chinese businessmen hauled off to jail for not toeing the line of The People’s Republic of China (PRC) dictator Xi Jinping. The PRC, with the assistance of American software giants, has created a system where everyone is monitored, constantly. Yet somehow the PRC can’t reign in their pesky pharmaceutical companies from shipping drugs to Mexico? More plausible is that the PRC is already in a low-level conflict with the U.S., two global superpowers sparring for position, and they are willing to fight dirty. The PRC pulled back from bilateral cooperation in 2020 on counternarcotics when our department of Commerce subjected their ministry of Public Security to export controls over their concentration slave camps of ethnic minority Uyghurs. Subsequently, in 2022, then House Speaker Pelosi visited Taiwan. Infuriated, the PRC announced total formal suspension of cooperation with the U.S. They know exactly what they are doing.

The Mexican cartels are making billions on their drug trade. In October through June last cycle, U.S. Border Protection seized 8,425 pounds of fentanyl, yet much more gets through our porous border. Four years ago, Mexican President Obrador promised to fight the cartels with “hugs, not bullets.” That’s over. Cartel warfare caused 45,000 Mexicans to flee their homes in 2021, five times more than 2020. Our military estimates one-third of Mexico is “ungoverned space” controlled by cartels, with eight of the most dangerous cities in the world. Mexico has now authorized its military to handle public safety duties through 2028. Troops were sent to Tijuana last August, while just days ago after the son of El Chapo was arrested, cartel fighters set up roadblocks, and attacked an airport. Surface-to-air battles ensued, with Mexican fighter planes and helicopters conducting strafing runs. Mexico is fighting back again, but they have never succeeded, and a massive leak of 4 million documents revealed that some in the military were selling weapons to the cartels. With open warfare on our southern border, you would think this would be splashed across our newsfeeds daily, but you don’t see much. Curious.

Additionally, the cartels rake in over $1 billion annually on smuggling illegal immigrants from all over the world into the U.S. In the first two years of the Biden administration, an astonishing 5 million poured across the border, shattering records. Not since “Baghdad Bob” claimed Iraq was defeating America as our military rolled into their capital, has there been such a surreal disconnect as White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre and the president claiming that the border is secure. Our border is a death, depravation, and rape zone. 

Desperate, Texas launched Operation Lone Star, capturing 328,000 illegal migrants, with 22,000 criminal arrests, while capturing 353 million lethal doses of fentanyl. Meanwhile in Washington, Democrats blocked the “Stop Fentanyl Border Crossings Act” three times last year. 

Imagine China, the world’s other economic and military superpower, was shipping untold doses of lethal poison to kill hundreds of thousands of Americans, while pushing military confrontations globally. Imagine if we had a failed state as a neighbor with open civil war raging, organized crime syndicates trained by Jihadist terrorists, who smuggled drugs here along with millions of impoverished people from other countries, all the while bribing, corrupting, raping, torturing and murdering, on both sides of the border. Imagine our devastated families and communities with over 100,000 Americans dying annually because of it. Now stop imagining and see the reality. Drop the politics and control the border. We have gone to war for less.