A New Low in the War on Drugs

A New Low in the War on Drugs
Posted by FoM on February 07, 2002 at 12:19:28 PT
By Arianna Huffington
Source: Salon Magazine
Did you know you are harboring terrorists in your furnished basement? To the terrible trio of Iran, Iraq and North Korea, we've now got to add millions of American kids. At least that's the cock and bull story the commander in chief is peddling with a slick new $10 million ad campaign that is one of the most offensive displays of drug war propaganda ever. And that's saying something. The TV spots, which for maximum impact premiered during the Super Bowl, promote the twisted reasoning that, since drug profits have found their way into the pockets of terrorists, any young Americans who use drugs are therefore guilty of aiding and abetting the enemy. 
In one particularly odious ad, a series of fresh-faced young people are shown copping to a host of terrorist atrocities: "I helped kids learn how to kill;" "I helped murder families in Colombia;" "I helped blow up buildings." It's a Madison Avenue-slick dramatization of the president's meaningless assertion that "If you quit drugs, you join the fight against terror in America." If that goad pushes a single drug user into newly responsible behavior, I'll donate my fee for this column to the president's reelection fund. But if I win the bet, 10 million of your tax dollars will have been wasted. Apparently, in The World According to George W. Bush and his drug czar, John Walters, the kid smoking a joint at a party is the moral equivalent of Osama bin Laden or Mohammed Atta. In the single largest ad buy the federal government has ever made, the White House spent nearly $3.5 million to get these commercials on the Super Bowl -- $3.5 million spent not on treatment but on demonizing America's young people. Our tax dollars at work. And that's just a minute portion of the $180 million dollars a year the drug office spends on ads. But they've really upped the ante this time. It's one thing to drop an egg into a frying pan to demonstrate that drugs are bad for you, and quite another to link drug users to bloodthirsty murderers. These ads make it seem like the next logical step in the war on terrorism is dropping Daisy Cutters on America's high schools and shipping teen-age drug users off to Guantanamo Bay. With 54 percent of high school seniors admitting they've used illicit drugs, it's going to get awfully crowded down in Cuba. In addition to setting new standards for illogic, the ads are also exercises in highly selective finger-pointing. We know, for instance, that bin Laden and al-Qaida used tens of millions of dollars in profits from the diamond industry to fund their operations. So how come we didn't see a commercial with a woman, say, a senator's wife, fingering the diamonds on her sparkling tennis bracelet and admitting: "I helped kids learn how to kill?" And, given the fact that 15 out of the 19 hijackers, and most of the detainees in Cuba, came from Saudi Arabia -- where the ruling family, glutted with oil profits, has coddled extremists for decades -- why no taxpayer-funded ad showing a soccer mom filling up her SUV and saying: "I helped blow up buildings?" Simple. Linking diamonds or oil to terror doesn't fit the Bush agenda. Conflating the war on drugs with the war on terrorism does. These ads are nothing more than a lame-brained attempt to give the drug war a desperately needed makeover -- turning it from a dismal, multibillion dollar failure into a vital front in America's war against the Evil Ones. "Just Say No" repackaged as "The Battle Hymn of the Republic." After all, any suggested front in the War on Terrorism can't be questioned without the questioner being labeled unpatriotic. You can almost hear the wheels turning inside the heads of the White House spinmeisters: "The War on Drugs is a loser, but the War on Terror's got big-time legs. So all we've got to do is blend the two of them together and, bingo, no more pesky people asking if the $20 billion a year we keep throwing at the drug war is worth it." It's hardly a coincidence that just one day after the Super Bowl ads aired, the White House released a new foreign aid budget that escalates U.S. military assistance to Colombian troops battling drug traffickers. At the end of the movie "Traffic," Michael Douglas' dispirited drug czar crystallizes the madness of the drug war: "If there is a war on drugs, then many of our family members are the enemy. And I don't know how you wage war on your own family." Clearly the Bush administration has no such misgivings. Note: The Bush administration launches a lamebrained attempt to give the drug war a makeover.Source: Salon (US Web)Author: Arianna HuffingtonPublished: February 7, 2002Copyright: 2002 SalonWebsite: salon salonmagazine.comRelated Articles & Web Site:Arianna Online Do You Think They Call It Propaganda? The Drug Ads Deception in U.S. Drug War
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Comment #7 posted by JR Bob Dobbs on February 08, 2002 at 04:35:15 PT
Read CC
  There's a great article in the latest Cannabis Culture which throws some light on this issue. The Northern Alliance produces both heroin and Afghani Hashish. Nol Van Shaik said something like, if you support the Northern Alliance, the best way for the folks at home to support their war effort is to buy their hash!  50% of all pot consumed in the USA was grown in the USA. And not by Timothy McVeigh, either.
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Comment #6 posted by l3l3q on February 07, 2002 at 20:34:34 PT:
Bush Supporting Opium
Not sure how reliable it is, but I found this interesting article saying how the only real opium producing part of Afghanistan is the area the Northern Alliance controls. Interesting how the same Bush administration that says kids who buy drugs are bad, kind of support these drug producers. And far as I can tell, the only drug really being exported from Afghanistan is opium, not a real heavily used/abused drug. I don't like the whole idea of this finger pointing stuff, but Bush should reconsider who he's pointing the finger at.All depending on how credible the article is.
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Comment #5 posted by p4me on February 07, 2002 at 14:56:32 PT
Prince Charles
I was reading the DE messageboards and found where Prince Charles asked a pentioner with MS if she had tried cannabis for it yet. Busch does not live in the real world. All he and his cohorts can think about is campaign contributions. While Busch will not address the nation or a town meeting or the Saturday audience of the Saturday radio addresses, Prince Charles is out talking to real people about cannabis.LINK:
PENSIONERS at a day care centre in Brecon were taken aback yesterday when Prince Charles asked one of them if she had taken cannabis. The Prince asked the question during a visit to the Usk House Centre in Brecon. His interest comes just two weeks after Prince Harry was sent by his father to visit a drug-rehabilitation centre after he admitted smoking the drug. Prince Charles was chatting to sufferers of multiple sclerosis at the centre when he asked one sufferer, "Have you started using cannabis?" Jill Ganderton, 65, from Brecon, laughed and replied, "Not yet." Last night she told The Western Mail that she thought it was "just a nice little joke". "He asked me how long I'd been coming here, and I said since 1998," she said. "Then he asked me if I'd started using cannabis. "I was quite surprised, but I just said, `Not yet!' "No one was too shocked, and it was really nice to talk to him; it was a wonderful day." A spokesman for St James's Palace said that it was an entirely legitimate question for the Prince to ask, given the current debate on the medical use of cannabis... 
Vote against all incumbents. Couldn't we twist the laws the way the DEA does and find a way to hang a few of these bastards?
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Comment #4 posted by goneposthole on February 07, 2002 at 14:10:42 PT
50,000 dollars per second is spendy. 60 X 60 X 24 X 365.25 equals 31 556 736 seconds per year times 50 000 USD equals 1 577 836 800 000 USD or close to 1.6 trillion dollars.Should the lamebrained fool decide to run the commercial 24 hours per day 365.25 days in a row.Of course, that is only on one channel. Your tax dollars at work.How much more and how much longer are people going to accept this kind of mindrot?
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Comment #3 posted by fnord23 on February 07, 2002 at 13:39:25 PT:
patriotic terrorist
What about all the drug money that has filtered to our own government? Does that make us patriotic terrorists?
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Comment #2 posted by Dark Star on February 07, 2002 at 12:40:36 PT
Too Incensed to Shut Up
At his next press conference, Dubya should be asked, "Is your niece a terrorist, and does she belong in jail?""But she took legal drugs," he replies."Illegally," comes the response. "Do you believe in equal protection under the law? Is is reasonable to send her to treatment when Florida is eliminating programs for the less moneyed and politically connected?"Silence----, followed by the smug grin, guffaw, and a finger pointed at some other journalist.
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Comment #1 posted by Dark Star on February 07, 2002 at 12:34:07 PT
Lucid Criticism
It is merely too bad that the sheeple were so caught up in the patriotic fervor to question this campaign as it occurred in real time. Soon the ennui and post-game torpor supervened. The brain cells cannot meet the challenge to work too hard on analysis of the status quo. The propaganda is merely swallowed like more pablum.I would like to see Arianna on the same show with the clowns writing the checks for this obscene nonsense.
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