I was puffing on a Rocky Patel Decade contemplating the best-looking Jewish girl in the world when my ex-Navy compadre proposed an interesting theory. “What if Fast and Furious is just stage one?” he asked, peering over his Woodford Reserve. “Stage one of what?” I enquired. “War with Mexico,” he replied. I nodded my head, pretending to know WTF he was talking about, trying to focus on something, anything other than the startling beauty smoking a significant cigar in front of me. “Hear me out . . . ”
“Fast and Furious armed the Sinaloas against Los Zetas, right?” ex-Navy asked in his usual rhetorical style.
“Roger that,” I replied, as I do on a regular basis. “We also helped them smuggle drugs across the border and launder billions.”
Ex-Navy waved his hand impatiently, as if the ATF’s gun-running ops were of no more consequence than a local school board meeting.
“We’re supporting the Sinaloa drug cartel and the Mexican military with guns, grenades against Los Zetas,” he said. “Why?”
“To prevent a coup by the Zetas?”
“Because . . . ?”
I didn’t see that one coming. Or cigar babe depart. Clearly, my curiosity had been piqued.
“We don’t want a dictatorship on our southern border?” I suggested, wondering when the object of my admiration would finally get around to setting-up the guns ‘n cigars evening. “And we like Mexican oil. And cheap labor. We don’t want to rock that boat.”
“Meanwhile . . .”
“Everybody’s getting shot to shit. No democracy. No gun rights. Slaughter. Chaos.”
“So what do we do?” ex-Navy asked, smiling at the vestiges of amber liquid lingering at the bottom of his glass. “We encourage the Mexican military to make allies with their old pals in Los Zetas and take over the country.”
“Say what?” I said, channeling my inner Shaggy (Life is Life).
“Think about it,” ex-Navy instructed, signaling the waitress as if she was on a nearby supply ship. “Mexico has a military coup. CNN shows hundreds of thousands of refugees crossing our border fleeing the junta. American business interests are threatened. Our oil supply is threatened.”
“By a coup we encouraged.”
“The situation is untenable,” ex-Navy said, pausing to roll the bourbon around his glass. “Republicans see hordes of Mexican invaders. Democrats see a humanitarian crisis. The Mexican government in exile asks us to intervene.”
“As in invade.”
“Restore democracy,” he corrected. “Reintroduce the rule of law, including your precious gun rights. Save the Mexicans from the evil drug cartels. Secure our border. Develop the country. Protect our—their oil. Depose the fascist generals.”
“Win – win.”
“It’d be a hell of a lot easier than Afghanistan. And more profitable. Did I say anything about the cartels’ connection to Iran and terrorists groups in the Middle East? We’ve got to play that up too.”
“Sounds like a plan,” I demurred. “But c’mon. Really? The ATF arms the Sinaloas as part of a conspiracy to take over the entire country?”
“We do this stuff all the time. Do you seriously think we’re the only ones sitting around discussing these things?” he asked.
“Just in time for the elections.”
“Timing is everything,” ex-Navy concluded, tipping a small measure of H2O into his drink, eyeing the return of cigar girl with an arched eyebrow.
“Roger that,” I replied.