The brutal slaughter of nine Americans, including women and children, in Mexico reinforces President Trump’s calls for stronger action against the drug cartels there and could force a reluctant Congress to deal with the new threat of drug violence.
Trump has long warned of the dangers of the drug cartels in Mexico and used it to push his tougher immigration policies.
Members of three self-described Mormon families, including six children, were believed killed in an ambush by warring drug cartels in Mexico’s Sonora state on Monday.
The shock of the killings sent Trump on a Twitter rampage.
“This is the time for Mexico, with the help of the United States, to wage WAR on the drug cartels and wipe them off the face of the earth,” he tweeted.
Trump was keeping close tabs on the massacre and hinted of American military involvement in response.
“A wonderful family and friends from Utah got caught between two vicious drug cartels, who were shooting at each other, with the result being many great American people killed, including children, and some missing,” Trump tweeted.
“If Mexico needs or requests help in cleaning out these monsters, the United States stands ready, willing and able to get involved and do the job quickly and effectively,” the president added. “The great new President of Mexico has made this a big issue, but the cartels have become so large and powerful that you sometimes need an army to defeat an army!”
It’s hardly clear whether war-weary Americans would support an escalated military response to fight the drug cartels. And it’s likely Democrats in Congress would reflexively oppose any move by Trump to deal with the increased threat from Mexico.
But Trump’s hand in dealing with Mexican drug cartels was clearly strengthened by the latest attack. The president didn’t specify what action he might take to retaliate against the murderous gangs.
The White House said Trump offered “assistance” in a phone call with Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador.
“President Trump made clear that the United States condemns these senseless acts of violence that took the lives of nine American citizens,” the White House said in a statement. “The two leaders also discussed ongoing border cooperation and the strong bilateral ties between the United States and Mexico.”
But Lopez Obrador said on Tuesday that he didn’t believe his country will need foreign intervention in the wake of the massacre.
And the odds that the Democrat-led House will support any U.S. military involvement are slim to none. They seem more eager to move on impeachment than support Trump on any military mission.
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