Of all the comments made recently about the drug-related murders in Mexico, among the most disappointing came from our new president.

Speaking at his recent prime-time press conference, President Barack Obama declared that his administration would take a greater role in battling Mexican drug cartels. The number of agents at the border will more than double; extra resources will go to damming up the flow of guns into Mexico; and enhanced cooperation with Mexican authorities is promised.

Obama noted these measures would ensure “that the border communities in the United States are protected and you’re not seeing a spillover of violence, and that we are helping the Mexican government deal with a very challenging situation.”

With all due respect, Mr. President, the violence is already here. Take in the nightly news broadcast in virtually any major U.S. city, and you’ll see drug-related violence is rampant. For that matter, it spread long ago to places like Omaha and Nashville and Kansas City, where I live.

Oh, I know what Obama was referring to. He meant the outlandish bloodshed Mexico has suffered since President Felipe Calderon took office and declared war on drug cartels.

A horror movie director couldn’t have scripted the gore any better. Torture and murder between drug rivals are common, as are the beheadings of federal police who are both attempting to break the cartels and ferret out those in their own ranks who are involved. The tally of death rises daily, with more than 7,200 murders since the beginning of 2008.

This kind of violence — which threatens to plunge Mexican society into chaos — has stayed south of the border. But let’s be honest: It wouldn’t happen, and couldn’t happen, without accomplices on this side.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton got nearer to this truth recently in a startlingly frank comment as she set off to Mexico to meet with Calderon. “Our insatiable demand for illegal drugs fuels the drug trade,” Clinton said.

Bravo, finally a public admission of complicity from the top of the political food chain! However, let’s not stop at the Saturday night coke fiends, bong hitters and meth heads. Let’s talk about the businesses on this side of the border that supply the high-powered weapons to the Mexican cartels.

Let’s talk about how the money gets laundered stateside (drug dealing ain’t done in pesos, amigo). It’s all well and good to send a few more platoons of Homeland Security agents to the border, and to send Blackhawk helicopters and all manner of surveillance gizmos to Mexico.

But our foremost efforts need to remain on this side of the border, where presumably they can have their greatest impact. Federal agents need to use every available measure to break the cartel’s foothold in the States, much as they did with the Mafia. A huge portion of the drugs consumed in the U.S. are ferried up through Mexico. We’re a $65 billion market for the cartels.

The Mexican drug lords did not seize the U.S. drug market overnight, but it did occur in something of a vacuum of concern. We’ve had our share of drug violence, to be sure. We’re just not inclined to assign responsibility to anybody but drug users and inner city folks caught up in the mess for quick profits or to feed their own addictions.

For too long Americans have been anesthetized to drug violence because the stories are so familiar and yet so distant from our own lives. Yet another poor black or Latino killed as they grub at the bottom rungs of the drug trade. Change the channel.

Only now, with the violence of Mexico threatening tourism there and terrifying people living in states like California, Texas and Arizona, is the general public becoming concerned.

And yet, even President Obama doesn’t readily make the connection. Yes, the reign of terror is unfolding in Mexico, but it is hardly “contained” there.

It’s here, it’s entrenched, and it’s not going away on its own.