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Remember the Monroe Doctrine of 1823 when then-President James Monroe and the U.S. government saw the need to keep all European powers from further colonization in this hemisphere. What chutzpah! Here we were a new country and we were already setting rules and laws regarding this entire Western Hemisphere as if we owned it.

Even way back then this country was claiming that we were the boss, the masters of this hemisphere.

Later came the Mexican-American War when this country, inspired by its own conjured up Manifest Destiny, decided it had the power to expand its borders from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean and that whoever got in the way of this God-inspired mandate had better get out of the way. So the Mexican-American War ensued and the Manifest Destiny slogan became a reality when Mexico was relieved of half its territory for a paltry $15 million.

Since then this country has been seen as the bully of the north by our southern neighbors and for good reason. Even as not too long ago in our history, all we have to do is look at the Iran Contra affair during the Reagan administration. Remember the ghoulish death squads that were sent down to Guatemala and El Salvador to assassinate Catholic priests because they were said to be promoting communist ideas.

Later this same President Reagan sent the Marines into Panama because he felt the need to arrest a dictator, Manuel Noriega, who had fallen into disfavor with our State Department. So our sorry history in dealing with our neighbors to the south has much to be desired.

This attitude of superiority toward our southern neighbors still exists today. Just recently I have heard more than one Republican politician express the idea that we should bomb the cartels in Mexico, a sovereign country! To these guys might always makes right, so why not just go ahead and drop bombs on a sovereign country?

Have these guys ever thought of doing something in this country to lower the demand for these illicit drugs?

This is the root of the problem; the demand from folks on this side is what is keeping this drug business thriving. Why don’t we invest in more mental health clinics to help people deal with the root cause of drug addiction?

Also, have they even stopped to consider curtailing the sale of these dangerous weapons of war, those assault rifles that the cartels can easily acquire from any border town? We should stop selling these weapons to the cartels immediately because this alone will help the Mexican police deal with the drug cartel problem.

But of course, they will never agree to this because it would hurt our gun manufacturers’ profits and that would mean they could cut back on their political contributions to the Republicans in government. So to these folks on the right the only reasonable solution is the easiest one: bomb the cartels in Mexico, never mind that this is an act of war. These guys’ sentiments are, who cares about respecting Mexico’s territorial integrity? These folks still think it is 1823 when the Monroe Doctrine and Manifest Destiny were alive and well, when we felt we were the kings in this hemisphere and we could do with it as we please.

I hope this is just foolish talk and we don’t start acting like Teddy Roosevelt or James Polk again. This “walk softly but carry a big stick” and “it’s our way or the highway” attitude will not fly in today’s world.

Instead, let’s take to heart what Benito Juarez, the great Mexican statesman, said: “Respect for the rights of others is peace. In other words, we need to respect other people’s property and let them live in peace. Dropping bombs in Mexico will not solve the fentanyl problem in this country.

Jesse Dorsett lives in Hemet, Calif.