The horror of war, one of humankind’s worst afflictions, is often summed up by the number of a nation’s soldiers killed, and here are examples: the war in Korea, 33,643 American military deaths; Vietnam, 58,220; Iraq, 4,550; and Afghanistan, 2,448.
Now let’s consider deaths by drug overdoses in the United States during just a single 12-month period ending last April. The record, stomach-churning figure is 100,000 — more than all the deaths cited above.
The major poisons afflicting so many are methamphetamine and opioids, one of which is synthetic fentanyl that’s now a chief threat, 20 to 100 times more powerful than heroin and illustrating as much daily.
It comes from delighted, money-grubbing Chinese businesses protected by the Chinese Communist Party. The businesses send the drug or the materials necessary for producing it to Mexico, these days considered one of the most corrupt countries in this hemisphere as the government adjusts operations to deal more pleasantly with cartels smuggling the drugs up to our porous southern border.
The fentanyl often arrives here in the form of pills that can mislead victims into swallowing them without realizing exactly what they are or that just a couple of milligrams can kill. Varied sources report that, in the summer of 2021, Border Patrol agents seized 9,337 pounds of fentanyl, a 94 percent increase over the 2020 bombardment.
Fentanyl is now said to be one of the chief causes of U.S. deaths for Americans between 18 and 42 years of age.
Sadly, the negligent, court-reprimanded Biden administration assumed anything the Trump administration did to deal with drugs and hordes of illegal migrants was irresponsible and then undid much that actually worked. It has now fixed some of its inanities, if with slippage.
For instance, President Joe Biden did get Mexico to reinstate troops at its own southern border where encroaching migrants are usually from Central America. We are told they are now also arriving from such places as India, Turkey and Ukraine and can get Mexican visas, travel permission slips and pay bribes for their desert treks.
Some seem to think everyone should be allowed in, perhaps not understanding that some 42 million people from Latin America and the Caribbean have told Gallup pollsters how much they desire to live here. The Border Patrol encountered a record 2 million of the eager group evading border laws this past year with multitudes getting past them and others coming by other means.
One should have sympathy for most of these people but also have sympathy for those employing legal means to live in America. They likewise have deep human needs they are less likely to satisfy with illegal migrants taking their place.
Orderly, supervised migration has immensely better, more humane results than disorderly, unlawful migration that, among multitudinous culpabilities, makes drug smuggling easier. The tricky, masterful cartels are getting ever bigger and now also operate in networks inside the United States.
We need to rewrite laws and rules, definitely ending catch-and-release and freeing up ICE agents to do their job. We must make more demands of China, Mexico and South American countries, and hire more border agents.
Ports of entry have been a favored means for the drug smugglers to get their goods across the border except that now it is getting easier to cross wherever they want with millions of dollars soon to greet them.
I emphasized the 100,000 number early on, but consider an individual story from The Guardian of how a 14-year-old girl got some blue pills on social media before taking off for her first appearance in high school the next day.
She did not take off. She was dead.
We’ve got to stop this. And yes, there is more to it than smugglers. But without doing something about them, the threat will not cease.