The Washington Times - February 2, 2009, 12:38PM

My Web story on Newt Gingrich’s appearance at a Christian Science Monitor breakfast Monday morning is up on our site, and focuses on his remarks surrounding the economy. He says the economy is headed “off a cliff.” Read the whole thing here.

Another interesting theme that Gingrich hit on at least twice Monday morning, with an audience of about 20 or so reporters around a large table in the basement of the St. Regis Hotel, was the Mexican drug war.

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While discussing the overall range of radical change ocurring globally, he made the jarring remarks that the war in Mexico is worse than the Iraq war.

“Look at Mexico, which lost more casualties to war last year than Iraq, and realize that the world is much more difficult than any American understands right now and that it is likely to get worse, not better,” he said.

Actually, Mexico saw about the same number of drug-related deaths in 2008 as have been suffered over the entire six years of the Iraq War.

There were more than 4,000 drug-related deaths in Mexico in 2008, according to the Council on Foreign Relations. There were 4,163 U.S. casualties in Iraq last year, according to GlobalSecurity.org.

Gingrich alled it an underreported story, which I’d have to agree with, even though our own Jerry Seper has written extensively on the subject and the New York Times put the story on their front page Monday. This narrative just hasn’t penetrated our news cycle for whatever reason.

But the details of the violence are repulsive. The drug cartels are inflicting brutal violence on the police in Mexico, sowing fear and intimidation by routinely decapitating police officials who dare stand up to them.

— Jon Ward, White House reporter, The Washington Times