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Another Reply to Emilio Zertuche

     Tim Brown raises an important question: Should one respond to criticism of one's country with counter-accusations? He writes:
     Such a defense by attack only works if one ignores other violence in Mexico not directed at school children or the religious: serial rape/killings of young women in Ciudad Juarez, massacres in Chiapas, vigilante killings all over the country, narco-violence, traditional abuse of rural workers, deaths of Central American migrants in the south and Mexican migrants in the north, etc.
     As to a gun culture, while guns are illegal in Mexico, I have lived in Mexico for as long as two years at a time, and during my stays met hundreds of Mexicans. Almost every male either carried a gun or had one or more at home, from Yucatan to Chihuahua. And as for the level of current criminal violence in the US versus Mexico, what is reported and actually happening in Mexico City puts prohibition-era Chicago to shame. I have just spent several weeks in Mexico and almost everyone I met had been held up on a bus, in a taxi, or on the street within the last two years. I have met very, very few Americans who have ever had that experience. The truth is that we both have serious problems. But the throwing by those who live in glass houses does neither any good.
     On relative incomes, I agree entirely. The Marxist-leftists solution is to take from the rich and give to the poor, and has invariably failed completely. The capitalist way is to grow the pie. Imperfect, yes, but demonstrably more successful.

     My comment: The "You're another!" tactic pervades the world's political culture. On the national level, the United States and China exchange insults. On the party level, Republicans and Democrats do the same.In Spain, members of the former Socialist government are on trial for corruption, and right now the Socialist Party is spreading allegations about members of the present Partido Popular government. Such exchanges do good in that they call attention to problems and smoke out the truth, but they do harm by spreading false allegations and fomenting hatred.

Ronald Hilton - 11/27/99