The Mexico-is-a-failed-state meme is cropping up again in the U.S. media. It does get attention, which is why the media types go with it. Mexico could be a failed state, but it is a long, long way from being in that condition. It is, however, a stressed state finally confronting many destructive long-term social and economic problems, and corrupt political arrangements.
Well, the general media ignorance of things military and/or foreign is a given, but still...considering that this latest version of the Mexican Civil War is (as usual) spilling across our southern border, you'd think they'd do a better job of reporting the facts, even if they don't get the analysis right.
To me, this looks a lot like a rerun of the drug wars in Colombia, which are reaching their endgame as the cartels have left the country or been smashed, and the Communist insurgencies have turned into just another bunch of narcotraficantes. The only thing propping up FARC and the other drug gangs at this point is Hugo Chavez, who is not very cleverly using them to fight a proxy war against Colombia as a means of making the U.S. look bad. (He'd better be careful about that; two can play at that game, Colombia's economy is in a lot better shape than Venezuela's, and there are a LOT of Venezuelans who would like to get rid of Chavez and his followers by any means necessary.) Mexico is in the early stages of their Cartel Wars, but given how hard-working and courageous the average Mexican is, I wouldn't put odds on them losing the fight, especially if America has their back. And we really have no choice but to have their back on this, do we?
Hm. Germany, Italy, Japan, South Korea...Colombia, Iraq, Afghanistan (soon, very soon) and sometime in the next decade or two, Mexico. Maybe we're not as shitty at this nation-building thing as some people think.